Today more than ever, we remain committed to the health and safety of our haumāna and our campus ‘ohana. We have developed an approach to helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 that is based on four pillars:
Our approach is informed by recommendations from leading health organizations and guidance from state and county officials, based on current conditions in our communities.
All KS campuses have established plans in each of the four areas that provide information about what actions will we take as risk levels of the virus change. These plans ensure our ability to continue providing quality educational experience while keeping health and safety a top priority. For detailed campus plans, please visit the KS Hawai‘i, KS Kapālama and KS Maui back to school websites.
The Wellness Check will continue to be required before coming to school in person. Please note the the question about symptoms has changed from asking about just current symptoms to asking about symptoms in the past ten days. If students have had any COVID-19 symptom(s) in the past ten days, they will need to be cleared before returning to school (see below). Additional information about the Wellness Check is included in each kula‘s Back To School plan.
If your child has experienced any symptom(s) of COVID-19 for 1-3 days even if at home and not missing in-person learning, a doctor’s note or negative COVID-19 PCR test collected after the onset of symptom(s) must be provided to your child’s health room prior to your child’s return to school or school activities (including athletics); a doctor’s note continues to be required for return following 4 or more days of illness.
To ensure that your child is cleared to return to school or school activities (including athletics), we recommend that you submit the required documentation prior to when your child returns onsite. This will avoid your child possibly needing to be sent home upon arriving onsite for not having the necessary documentation. Please log into the KS electronic health record Mo‘omō‘ali Olakino (https://ohana.ksbe.edu) and upload a copy of the negative test result or doctor‘s note clearing the student to return to school, as applicable.
Instructions on how to access the KS electronic health record Mo‘omō‘ali Olakino:
The testing described below is voluntary and at no cost to the student or employee. Testing is intended to help improve the safety of the learning environment and is intended for those who attend a kula in person.
To help monitoring of the effectiveness of preventive measures and identify asymptomatic cases as an additional layer of protection, we will be conducting periodic testing. Testing will be saliva-based PCR and is anticipated to occur monthly, but the frequency may change based on conditions including community prevalence. For campus students and employees, testing will occur on campus on school days. For preschool students and employees, home test kits will be made available for ordering, and they will sign a consent form as part of the test kit ordering process each time they order a test kit. For campus-based students and employees to participate in the surveillance testing, a consent form must be signed in the KS electronic health record Mo‘omō‘ali Olakino (https://ohana.ksbe.edu), and this will authorize participation for the remainder of the school year. Parents/guardians will access the EHR the same way as they did for medical clearance before the start of the school year. Employees will be able to access the EHR using their KS email and password. Test results will be reported through the EHR, and individuals who test positive will be personally contacted.
Instructions on how to sign the consent form authorizing voluntary testing for COVID-19 (COVID Consent Form):
Information on saliva-based testing
Students who develop any COVID-19 symptom(s) at school, that is not a typical symptom of a known condition, will be isolated, and their parent/guardian will be contacted to pick up the student. If there is a signed consent for testing on file, when the parent/guardian is contacted to pick up their child, they will be asked if they would like for their child to be tested. If they give verbal consent, a rapid test will be performed. This is an antigen test of a sample collected by nasal swab. Nasal swabbing of elementary students will only be performed with their parent/guardian present. A negative antigen test will not be sufficient for a student to be cleared to return to school; a PCR test or doctor’s note is needed as described above. The parent/guardian may instead or in addition consent to a PCR test. This PCR test will utilize a nasoparyngeal swab and be performed at a local lab. We are working with this lab to be able to offer a saliva-based option for symptomatic testing.
If close contacts are on campus when KS learns of a confirmed case that had been onsite, we will attempt to collect saliva-based specimen from those for whom we have received signed consent for testing before the are picked up. If the close contacts are not on campus, KS may arrange for drive through testing or may recommend ‘ohana contact their healthcare providers. Testing upon being identified as a close contact can help identify if a close contact was potentially infectious prior to entering quarantine. A negative test does not obviate the need to quarantine for 10 days from the last exposure.
With respect to the COVID-19 vaccine, what’s important to know is that Kamehameha Schools respects everyone’s ability to make choices about their own personal health and encourages our KS ‘ohana to stay informed about the latest developments regarding vaccination.
Vaccine rollout information
For the latest on COVID-19 vaccinations available across the pae ‘āina, visit the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine information page, or the following healthcare system websites. For questions specific to your ‘ohana, contact your primary care physician.
All three of our KS K-12 campuses and Kawaiaha‘o Plaza are using aqueous ozone to supplement the routine cleaning and sanitizing that already occurs at KS work sites throughout the workday. KS will also continue to clean and sanitize using additional EPA approved commercial products as part of its daily cleaning process after the work/school day ends.
Ozonated water isn’t new. It is a common cleaning and disinfecting solution that has been used since the late 1800s and was FDA cleared in 1996. KS has reviewed the effectiveness of Aqueous Ozone at eliminating the Coronavirus and other microorganisms such as E. Coli, Staph A. and Salmonella and we feel confident that this technology will support safely returning to school and work.
We also recognize that during these challenging times we will be cleaning and sanitizing surfaces more frequently in the presence of kumu and haumāna. Because of this, we need to ensure our staff and students are not exposed to harmful chemicals which sometimes require a dwell time (“the amount of time that a sanitizer or disinfectant must be in contact with the surface, and remain wet, in order to achieve the product’s advertised kill rate”) before wiping down. With Aqueous Ozone there are no harsh synthetic chemicals or fragrances added, it leaves no residue, and it takes only 30 seconds to clean and sanitize a surface. Therefore, in addition to Aqueous Ozone’s effectiveness eliminating microorganisms including the coronavirus, it is also a safe and easy to use solution for our KS schools and worksites.