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Contact Tracing in Schools

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(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Vaccination Survey for Families)
(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Vaccinations)
(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Testing)
(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 FAQs for Families)
(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Contact Tracing information)
(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 risk mitigation information)
(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Tracking)



>>CLICK HERE for PDF of the RCPS
Contact Tracing in Schools presentation.











RCPS Contact Tracing in Schools

August 12, 2021

Presentation by

Cindy Ball
Chief of Strategy and Innovation

Sources include:
Georgia Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 School Guidance (DPH Guidance)
www.CDC.gov  
www.GNRhealth.com


Following Department of Public Health (DPH) and CDC Guidance
1. Terminology
2. What to do if a Staff Member or Student Becomes Sick at School?
    • What if a Positive Test Result is Reported?
3. Contact Tracing
    • Contact Tracing Dashboard.
    • Reporting to Public Health.
    • Contact Tracing at the Schools.
4. Communicating with Stakeholders
    • Parents/Guardians (Students).
    • Community.


Terminology – Know What it Means
Quarantine –  those identified as a close contact must be excluded from school and all school related activities until they meet DPH’s “Return to School Guidance After COVID-19 Illness or Exposure”.
Isolation – 1. keeping separated from others. 2. A Confirmed Case must isolate a minimum of 10 days from onset of symptoms.
Confirmed Case – one who has received a positive COVID-19 test result.
Suspected Case – one who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but has not tested.
Exposure – cumulative 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of a Confirmed Case, regardless of wearing a mask – within 48 hours of onset of symptoms of Confirmed Case or test date if Confirmed Case is asymptomatic.
Close Contact – a person who has spent a cumulative 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of a Confirmed Case, regardless of wearing a mask.
Contact Tracing – identifying Close Contacts of a Confirmed or Suspected Case.
Symptomatic – a person experiencing symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19.
Asymptomatic – a person who has no symptoms.
Fully Vaccinated – means one who has received the full dose (two for Moderna and Pfizer, one for J&J) of the vaccine.
DPH  – Department of Public Health.


What to do if a Staff Member Becomes Sick at School or Reports a Positive Test Result
Staff who become ill at school should immediately contact an administrator and be allowed to leave campus. 
Recommend that Staff who are ill get tested for COVID-19.
Staff who receive a positive COVID-19 test result must immediately notify an administrator and school Contact Tracing should begin.
Staff who receive a positive COVID-19 test result must follow the DPH guidance for isolation and may not return until at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
Staff who leave work due to illness, have a known exposure to COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19 must contact Dr. Kimberly McDermon, Chief of Human Resources, at kmcdermon@rockdale.k12.ga.us


What if a Student Becomes Sick at School or Reports a Positive Test Result?
    • Students who are ill will be separated from those who are well until they can leave campus. The goal is to keep the student with suspected COVID-19 and other illnesses from spreading their germs to others. These students should leave campus immediately and not be held in a waiting area for long periods of time.
    • If a parent calls in to say a student tested positive, then contact tracing begins and identified close contacts must be picked up from school immediately.


WHAT TO DO IF A STUDENT BECOMES SICK AT SCHOOL OR REPORTS A NEW COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS (flowchart)
Student(s) reports or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19.

Teacher/staff notifies clinic and student is escorted for symptom screening.

If screening reveals need for isolation, clinic notifies parent/guardian for pickup. Student is provided surgical mask and is isolated. Multiple students may be isolated in the same room if masked and 6 feet distance between them.

Parent/guardian picks up student and is advised to contact healthcare provider for evaluation and possible need for testing.

If/then result A or result B:

A) If Student has NEGATIVE COVID-19 test result - then Student(s) returns to school following DPH guidance.

B) If Student has POSITIVE COVID-19 test result - then Student is newly identified as having COVID-19 and must follow DPH criteria for isolation.  Family members are requested to quarantine. School Contact Tracer is notified, investigates and creates list of close contacts of the student and communicates with staff or parents of students exposed that they must quarantine.
Exposed areas are cleaned and disinfected by appropriate staff.
School Contact Tracer submits required documents to DPH and weekly numbers to the district.
Staff/Student(s) may return to school after meeting criteria to end home isolation or quarantine.


What is Contact Tracing?
• Contact Tracing is identifying close contacts of those with confirmed COVID-19 and notifying them of their exposure. Tracing starts at 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms of the Confirmed Case or the date of the positive test if asymptomatic.

• Close Contacts have spent a cumulative 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of the person with confirmed COVID-19, regardless of wearing a mask - within 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms of the Confirmed Case or the date of the positive test if the Confirmed Case is asymptomatic.

Contact Tracing Dashboard - Created by Michael Rotjan, it is a tool that can be used to make contact tracing easier, especially at the secondary levels when students change classes several times a day.


Required Reporting to Public Health
Notify the local public health department immediately when a positive COVID-19 case is identified in the school setting (as required by § OCGA 31-12-2).
Notify the local public health department of clusters or outbreaks of COVID-19.

Local health department for RCPS is the Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale (GNR) Health Department.


Reporting Individual Cases to Public Health
(Image of form for Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale County Health Departments COVID-19 Case Report Form (School/Childcare). )
(Image of form for Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale County Health Departments COVID-19 CLOSE CONTACTS Report Form (individuals spending more than 15 minutes within 6 feet). Says "Call GNR Epidemiology to report case (770-339-4260 and ask to speak with the Epidemiologist On Call AND fax 770-339-5971 or send this report by encrypted e-mail. " Form has columns for Name, Date of Birth, Home Address, Phone Number preferably cell phone, Last Date of Exposure, Exposure Type to Case - is the contact a student, teacher or support staff?. )



Quarantine for people with no symptoms (graphic)
(Graphic image with logo for Georgia Department of Public Health. Says "COVID-19 Quarantine for people with no symptoms. Option 1) Full 14 days SAFEST: 14 days quarantine at home. Option 2)  After 10 days, no test: 10 days quarantine at home. After Day 10, released from quarantine, monitor for symptoms, wear a mask, social distance. Option 3) After 7 days, with test: quarantine at home for 7 days. Day 5 is earliest day to get a test. After Day 7, released from quarantine after negative test result, monitor for symptoms, wear a mask, social distance. Day 0 is date of most recent exposure. Day 5 is earliest day to get a test. )


Who doesn't have to quarantine when exposed to COVID-19?
• Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine due to an exposure.
• Individuals who have tested positive in the last 90 days do not have to quarantine due to an exposure.


Contact Tracing in Schools
Each school has identified a primary and secondary Contact Tracer
Primary and secondary Contact Tracers are given regular updates and guidance on any changes coming from CDC or DPH.
Contact tracers have full-time support through Cindy Ball, April Fallon, Jaqueline Vignati, Michael Rotjan, transportation department.


Communicating with Parents About an Exposure
(this letter is in English and Spanish)
(Image of the form Letter to Parents/Guardians about exposure to a student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19.
Image of the form Letter to Parents/Guardians about exposure to a student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19. Image says:
[Insert Health Department or School Letterhead.]
Dear Parent/Guardian,
(Insert school name) considers the health and well-being of our students, teachers, and staff to be of the utmost importance. On (insert date), we were alerted to a student/teacher/staff member who was diagnosed with COVID-19. We have been working closely with local public health officials to ensure the proper recommendations are followed to isolate the student/teacher/staff diagnosed with COVID-19, identify close contacts, and clean and disinfect areas of the school building.

Your child was identified as a close contact to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

A close contact includes being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more OR having direct contact with secretions from a person with COVID-19 (e.g. being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils or water bottles, etc.). As a result, your child is at risk of infection beginning 2-14 days after exposure.

For your child's safety and the safety of the public, the Georgia Department of Public Health requires that you actively monitor your child's health for COVID-19 symptoms and keep him/her quarantined at home. To our knowledge, the last date of exposure for your child is (insert date), therefore they should quarantine until (insert date).

All close contacts are instructed to take the following steps during the quarantine period:
1. Quarantine.  Your child should quarantine at home, except in case of emergency or to be tested for COVID-19, until he/she competes all DPH requirements for persons exposed to COVID-19 found at https://dph.georgia.gov/contact. He/she should not attend school or extracurriculars during this time.
2. Check for temperature and symptoms.  Twice a day, check your child's temperature and assess him/her for the below COVID-19 symptoms using the following checklist:
Fever or chills, new cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, new severe/bad headaches, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, sore throat, fatigue, diarrhea.
3. Get tested.  CDC and DPH recommend your child get tested for COVID-19 at least once during their quarantine period. If your child has no symptoms, the test should take place no earlier than the 5th day of quarantine. If your child develops symptoms, the test should be obtained earlier.
4. Alert the school.  Alert the school IMMEDIATELY if your child develops COVID-19 symptoms. Depending on when your child developed symptoms and his/her last day in school, additional contact tracing may need to be done by your school.

Please review the following guidance documents from the Georgia Department of Public health for additional recommendations:
Quarantine Guidance: https:/dph.georgia.gov/contact.
Return to School Guidance: https://dph.georgia.gov/document/return-school-guidance/download.

(Insert school name) and (insert health department name) will continue to work together to monitor the situation. If you have any questions, please call (name of school contact) at (phone number). )


Keeping the Community Informed
Weekly dashboard on district website – updated on Fridays

School Name
#of New Confirmed Cases by Students  and by Staff
#of New Students / Staff Quarantined due to Exposure

www.rockdaleschools.org/covid19tracking


Closing slide
We're all in this together!
#RCPSWorldClass