Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported an outbreak of a new strain of Coronavirus, identified as COVID-19, in China. The virus spreads rapidly from person-to-person and primarily affects the respiratory system. Symptoms range from mild to severe illness and even death. The elderly and those of any age with underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more severe illness. COVID-19 was first reported in the United States in early February 2020. In early March 2020, the WHO characterized COVID-19 as a world-wide pandemic. By mid-March, all 50 states and four U.S. territories had reported cases of COVID-19. For more information on COVID-19, please see our resources page.
Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is 100% committed to our mission to educate and empower all students – no matter our current world circumstances. We are committed to providing the safest education environment possible for our students and staff. To that end, for the 2020-21 school year, Fargo Public Schools operated under the “Smart Restart” reentry plan for our students and staff, which included mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The plan was suspended as of June 7, 2021 and was not in effect for 2021 summer school programming.
At the August 10 Fargo Board of Education meeting, Board members approved implementing COVID-19 mitigation strategies recommended by Fargo Cass Public Health for the 2021-22 school year. These recommendations are due to the changing conditions in our community regarding COVID-19 and the impacts of the COVID-19 Delta variant. The recommendations include:
- Screening, testing, ventilation, proper handwashing, and respiratory etiquette.
- Universal masking for all staff, students, and visitors to buildings, regardless of vaccination status or community transmission rates. Masks will be required inside all Fargo Public School buildings for the 2021-22 school year starting on Monday, August 16.
- Students and staff staying home when experiencing ill symptoms and getting tested for COVID-19.
- If a rapid test and PCR test are collected, both test results need to be reported before being allowed back to school
- COVID-19 post-exposure guidelines of:
- Mask to mask exposure: exemption to quarantine
- Fully vaccinated contacts: if no symptoms, no quarantine but should monitor for symptoms.
- If one or both individuals are unmasked: 14-day quarantine. Contacts may release from quarantine after day 10 if no symptoms or after day 7 with a negative test collected on day 5 or later.
- If a rapid and PCR test are collected, both test results need to be reported before being allowed back to school
Additionally, masks are required for all riders and drivers on Fargo Public Schools (FPS) transportation, including school buses and activity buses due to a federal requirement.
For the 2021-2022 school year, Fargo Public Schools will strive to resume all school operations to the best of it’s ability while continuing to follow COVID-19 mitigation strategies approved by the Fargo Board of Education. This approach differs from the 2020-2021 school year where many school operations, such as facility rentals and field trips, and activities were limited or cancelled. At this time, those operations are expected to continue while following the mitigation strategies outlined above.
Please see the graphic below for the approved masks to wear at Fargo Public Schools. The masks in the green column are to be worn while in school buildings.
All masks should fit over the nose and mouth, contain multiple layers of tightly woven and breathable material, and be able to block light when held to a bright light source. For additional information on approved masks, visit CDC.gov.
FPS COVID-19 Action Tree
North Dakota Department of Health Resources:
- Decision Tree: COVID-19 K-12 School/Childcare Attendance Guidance
- Decision Tree: COVID-19 K-12 School/Childcare Exclusion Guidance
- Childcare and Schools Infectious Disease Exclusion Guidance
- COVID-19 and K-12 Schools- Questions and Answers
- NDDoH Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
- Close Contact & Quarantine Calculator