Due to the extremely high number of positive cases this year, we are changing how we report our data on the COVID-19 Daily Report. This year, given the increase in cases, the Health Department and our school district have been unable to fully process every daily case, resulting in delays in reporting. As the backlog has grown, the daily report has not been providing an accurate picture.
Our priorities are to ensure that students and staff who are ill are not in school, and that students who are healthy are in school. To achieve those goals, our time and resources are focused on verified positive cases among our students and staff, and on ensuring that they are not in school, and that they know what to do next in terms of health care, instructional options, and their safe return to school or work.
Next, we want to ensure that healthy students remain in class, and healthy staff members remain at work. To achieve this goal, we are changing how we handle students and staff who have been in contact with a positive case. Those numbers, previously reported as “Impacted” will no longer appear in the Daily Report.
Starting today (August 20, 2021), we will notify parents/guardians that someone in their student’s class tested positive. The students will not be required to quarantine if they are healthy with no COVID-like symptoms. Instead, we will inform parents that if their student exhibits symptoms they should remain at home, and they should consider getting tested. The self screener posted on each school website provides a helpful guide regarding symptoms, and should be reviewed daily prior to coming to school. It is essential that students and staff should not be in school or in the workplace if they have symptoms.
Going into this school year the goal was to remove the notification responsibility from schools, and have district staff handle this responsibility. However, given the significant increase in the number of positive cases compared to last year, this responsibility has now returned to the schools to ensure that parents/guardians receive notifications as soon as possible regarding the potential exposure of their child to a COVID positive individual. We are confident this will result in a more efficient notification system.
This new approach will enable us to catch up on all positive cases and will keep parents/guardians informed if their child has potentially been exposed to a positive case, and so parents/guardians can monitor the number of cases at their student’s school in a more timely manner.