Update for 10-13-2020
Since returning to school this year, the district has dealt with three (3) “school-related" persons with COVID. The most recent being yesterday.
When a school is notified of a positive test case, the school staff work closely with the Health Department to identify other persons who were Close Contacts while at school. A Close Contact is defined as “within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes”. Another important part of the contract tracing process can be information that family members provide. We encourage families to self report health concerns to the school and to the Health Department. By contacting both places, it is more likely that contact tracing will occur sooner because both staffs will be working on it.
Families are encouraged to reach out and communicate with the parents of your child’s friends. While it might feel intimidating or embarrassing to share this information, it is better for the other family to know so they can respond appropriately and monitor their child more closely or quarantine their child if they determine the kids are Close Contacts with one another.
In addition, if a family member becomes sick and presents with COVID symptoms, please keep other household members, including students home until the cause of the illness is confirmed. It is better to miss a day or even a few days of school compared to missing two weeks.
Below are some other important concepts presented in Question/Answer format:
Q: Why does a school send out an information alert to families even if their child was not identified as a Close Contact at school?
A: Having this information is better than not having it. The school staff does not know all of the Close Contacts that might occur, many of which are likely to occur outside of school. Even though the school cannot release the names of specific people involved to everyone, it is better to know about a situation so that you can closely monitor your child more closely during the two-week period of time.
Q: If my child has a class with someone who tests positive for COVID why is he/she not automatically identified as a Close Contact?
A: A Close Contact is defined as “within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes.” As a proactive strategy this year, the schools have reduced the number of students in classrooms. Students are spaced out more and teachers are using methods to arrange students to reduce the likelihood of becoming a Close Contact. So it is possible “to be” or “not to be” a Close Contact for students/staff in the same class.
Q: Does the school post information publicly if there is a positive COVID case related to a school?
A: Yes, the district has a dashboard of information on our website to keep the school community and the general public informed with the case count at our schools. The link to the dashboard is located in the NEWS section on the main page. It is called “COVID Data Dashboard”. This dashboard is to be updated when a new school-related case is identified.
Q: What type of sanitizing and disinfecting is happening in our schools?
A: Sanitizing occurs throughout the day at all of the schools. Hand sanitizer is readily available throughout the buildings, including all of the classrooms. Sanitizing wipes are also readily available in all classrooms. Students and staff have been trained on the protocols for using these resources. Disinfecting of all classrooms and all common spaces is performed after every school day and after in-door school events in the evening.
If there is a confirmed COVID case in your child’s classroom and you child was not determined to be a Close Contact, we still encourage families to take the following steps:
As a precaution, consider postponing plans that can create “Close Contacts”, like play dates, family visits, and social activities for the next 14 days.
Continue to check your child for COVID-19 symptoms daily: fever or chills, new uncontrolled cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, new onset of severe headache, especially with fever.
If anyone in your household develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, they should immediately isolate and call the local Health Department at 517-933-3040. Also contact your medical providers. You can find your local testing site at Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest.
Your child may continue to attend school if NO symptoms develop and you have not been instructed otherwise to quarantine for a different exposure.
Thank you for understanding that, due to medical privacy laws, we are not able to release the names of the individuals with COVID-19 to the general public. We will continue to communicate changes and updates.
End of Update