Policy & Procedures for COVID-19 Exposure & Positive Tests
- Transparency & Charity: All those involved in faith formation (parish catechetical leaders, catechists, volunteers, and participants) should be transparent and honest about any health concerns related to the COVID-19 situation. We must always act in charity in our response to possible COVID-19 symptoms or concerns. For example, we would always assume in charity that someone not wearing a mask has a good reason for not doing so.
- Response to Catechists/Volunteers Who Test Positive for COVID-19: If an employee, parish catechetical leader, catechist, or volunteer tests positive for COVID -19, the spaces in which that person worked or resided should be closed off and deep cleaned. The individual will be expected to be quarantined for 14 days (or according to local county ordinance) and should not return to serve in the parish unless he or she meets the following criteria: fever free for 24 hours (without medicine), symptoms have subsided, county requirements for quarantine have been observed, or at least 14 days have passed without any symptoms.
- Response of Those Who Show Symptoms, Have Been Exposed or Suspect Illness: Those who begin to show symptoms of illness or suspect illness should not attend formation sessions. A space that was occupied by the individual should be disinfected. The individual should choose a self-imposed quarantine (according to county guidelines) and seek a COVID-19 test. No one should return to service until any necessary quarantine ends and symptoms have subsided.
- Children/Families Who Test Positive for COVID-19: If a participant in faith formation tests positive for COVID-19, the spaces which that person occupied should be closed off and deep cleaned. The individual will be expected to be quarantined for 14 days (or according to local county ordinance). A participant should not return to the parish unless he or she meets the following criteria: fever free for 24 hours (without medicine), symptoms have subsided, county requirements for quarantine have been observed, or at least 14 days have passed without any symptoms. Families who have one member who tests positive for COVID-19 should assume that all members have been exposed. Families ought to consider quarantining as a unit or having all members tested. Members of the family should not return to formation until the expected quarantine time for “no symptoms” has passed.
- Notification to Participants in Faith Formation Regarding a Positive COVID -19 Test: If a participant, parish catechetical leader, catechist or employee tests positive for COVID-19, the parish upon notification should immediately contact medical authority or public health officials for consultation and follow appropriate directives/suggestions, especially for those who may have been exposed to the infected person. Directives may include notification to participants, parents, staff, etc., with appropriate instructions to individuals. Exposure cases may vary in potential severity and risk based on the situational elements at the time and place of exposure, such as the symptomatic nature of the infected person at the time of exposure, the duration of exposure, the proximity of exposure, protective measures in place at the time (e.g., facial coverings), and the confined nature of the space. The potential directives for an exposure case may vary as well, including sanitation of space, testing, monitoring for symptoms, tracing, tracking, and quarantining.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Expectations & Guidelines for a Return to Faith Formation 2020-21, please contact Michelle Nilsson in the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis in the Diocese of Madison at 608-821-4545 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Version 1.0 8/7/2020