116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - The Cedar Rapids Community School District has completed its COVID-19 vaccine clinics, after months of administering the two-dose Moderna vaccine to school staff.
In a newsletter to families Friday, school nurse and nurse practitioner Jill Asprey said it was a 'privilege to play a part in ending this pandemic.”
'It's exhausting, but I'm so happy to be a part of it,” she said.
In an email to The Gazette, Colleen Scholer, Cedar Rapids schools communications director, said the district will not be sharing the number of staff who were vaccinated through the clinic or the number of staff who chose not to get vaccinated.
The district started administering COVID-19 vaccines in January to school nurses and have continued to offer a vaccine to all staff.
Washington High School basketball Coach David Garner, one of the last staff members to receive the second dose of the vaccine Thursday, said getting the vaccine is 'necessary” to get to herd immunity.
'We all have to do our part to make the community better,” he said in the newsletter Friday.
The Iowa City Community School District finished its second round of COVID-19 vaccine doses in March, and vaccinated more than 2,000 staff members, said Chase Ramey, the district's chief operating officer.
Staff who received both doses of the vaccine, who wear a mask and are asymptomatic do not have to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19, Ramey said at a school board meeting last month.
'That's great news for us,” he said. 'It helps us keep staff in the building.”
Ramey said the new quarantine guidance cannot be extended to students, many of whom are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
Last month, Cedar Rapids schools updated their social distancing guidelines to reflect new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which now calls for 3 feet of social distancing in classrooms instead of the original 6-foot recommendation.
Quarantine requirements for students remain the same. If students are within 6 feet of a person who tests positive for the virus, they must quarantine for 14 days unless they were wearing a mask correctly, the district said.
When masks are removed, such as during lunch, students should remain 6 feet apart.
'While the physical distancing guidelines have changed based on CDC research and our district data, our health protocols with multiple layers of protection are rigorous and will continue to remain in place,” Sandy Byard, health services facilitator, said in a newsletter last month. 'We are committed to providing a safe environment for our students and staff.”
Ramey said it's good that the CDC now says 3 feet of social distancing is safe in classrooms.
Maintaining 6 feet of distance between students in Iowa City classrooms was a challenge now that Iowa schools are required to offer the option of 100 percent in-person instruction, Ramey said.
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