Contacts, Cases & Contact Tracing FAQs

Superintendent Parent Chat

When: Tuesday, 12/15/20

What: As more and more students and staff come back to campus, contact tracing protocols will become an important focus for our school operations. Come and learn about contact tracing protocols and how we determine, based on SMC Public Health requirements, who quarantines.

Who: A moderator, PVSD Superintendent, SMC Executive Director, Strategy and Communications, and Abbe Keane, SMC/PVSD Public Health Nurse. Parents, staff and teachers are invited to the moderator-based question/answer series.

Questions and Answers:

Q: What is the definition of a “close contact”?
A:
A “close contact” is a person who is within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, regardless of face covering use.

Q: What is the definition of “contact tracing”?
A:
Steps to take when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 to identify possible close contacts and decrease the risk of transmission.

Q: What should someone do in the PVSD community (staff, student, or family member) if they have a confirmed positive COVID-19 test?
A
: If anyone in the PVSD community tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate at home and notify their school administrator of the test results. All privacy laws will be followed to maintain the confidentiality of the person receiving the test.

Q: What are the communication protocols if/when someone in the PVSD community has a confirmed COVID-19 positive test or is suspected to have COVID-19?
A:
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, notify the school or district immediately. PVSD will notify the PVSD community when a case is confirmed. The district will work with you to ensure that you have medical care and a plan to isolate according to CDC protocol.

When School District Initiates
● PVSD Superintendent will notify SMCOE’s Office of the Superintendent.
● SMC Superintendent will work in collaboration with County Health and the local district or school.

When Parent, Staff or Community Member Initiates
● If an individual notifies a school staff member, including the school nurse, that they have or may have COVID-19, that staff member will immediately notify the school principal.
● The school principal will implement the Communication Flowchart by notifying the district superintendent who will then contact SMCOE’s Office of the Superintendent who will work in collaboration with County Health and the local district.
● If the District Office is notified directly, it will notify the affected school principals, and initiate the communication flowchart for notifying SMCOE.

Q: What happens if there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in my child’s classroom?
A:
The district will notify the PVSD community when a case is confirmed. The district will also contact the class directly to initiate immediate and necessary procedures. The case will be isolated and excluded from school for at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared and at least 3 days (72 hours) after recovery, or date of positive test if the case is asymptomatic. The affected class/cohort will quarantine for 14 days after the last day the case was present at school while infectious. Testing of contacts should be considered. Thorough cleaning and disinfections of classroom and primary spaces where a case spent significant time.

Q: What happens if there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in my child’s school, but not my child’s classroom?
A:
The district will notify the PVSD community when a case is confirmed. There is nothing you need to do differently, unless contacted by the district/school and told otherwise.

Q: What happens if there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in my child’s school, and it is assumed my child was in the same breakout specialist group (reading, speech, etc) with one of the students from the confirmed positive class?
A:
The district will notify the appropriate cohort and contacts, as part of contact tracing within our district and in accordance with the definition of a “close contact”.

Q: What happens if there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in my child’s school and my child takes the bus, goes to New Horizons, or plays a sport outside of school - with one of the children in the Covid-19 positive class? Does my child need to quarantine as well?
A:
No. The confirmed COVID-19 positive class will follow the “close contact” quarantine. While those other cohorts will not. Note: Even if proper physical distancing, mask wearing, hand 2 washing, and ventilation has taken place, all students and teacher in a class will be considered a direct contact if their classmate(s) or teacher tests positive.

Q: What should I do if someone my child lives with tests positive for COVID-19?
A:
This is considered a “close contact” and the parent/guardian should notify their school administrator and keep the child home to follow the 14-day quarantine protocol. All privacy laws will be followed to maintain the confidentiality of the person receiving the test.

Q: What happens if one of my children in the PVSD has tested positive for COVID-19 and they have a sibling who is negative for COVID-19 (either at the same or other school)? Will the sibling need to quarantine as well? Will both classes quarantine?
A:
Yes. The sibling will need to quarantine since they are in the same household. However, only the positive child’s class will need to quarantine. The negative child’s class will not need to quarantine.

Q: What happens to the students of a middle school teacher who is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case?
A.
If a middle school teacher is a confirmed case, then all students who have been in close contact with that teacher for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period of time would need to quarantine for 14 days. This is one of the key reasons why we are taking the reentry to campus for our middle schoolers at a measured pace.

Q: My child is exhibiting some cold-like symptoms, but I am not sure they are COVID-19 related. Should I keep my child home even though I do not think we have had exposure to COVID-19?
A
: In accordance with the 2020/2021 Health Guidance and Sick Policy, PVSD will have more conservative "stay at home" symptom standards. Any time your child exhibits even mild cold/flu-like symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat and/or respiratory symptoms (such as shortness of breath, sneezing, etc.), they should stay home. If you are unsure, or have any questions, please contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

Q: As stated in the previous question, one of my children is home sick (not COVID-19), but my other child is seemingly healthy. Do I need to keep my healthy child home?
A:
No. Only the child who has symptoms needs to stay home.

Q: We’ve now had two positive COVID-19 cases, why have the schools not closed?
A:
A school will close and enter distance learning if, within a 14-day period, either multiple cohorts have multiple cases or 5% of students/staff (of those who are on-campus) test positive. 3 Each of our positive COVID-19 cases did not fall into this scenario. Currently, if we had 9 cases at ORM, that campus would have to close. Currently, if we have 8 cases at CMS, that campus would have to close. This number is subject to change given the number of students and staff on-campus.

Q: What is the threshold to close both schools, and our entire district?
A:
The full district must close if more than 25% of schools within the district are under mandated distance learning. Given the size of PVSD, the closure of one school will result in the closure of the District. The Local SMC Health Officer may also determine school/district closure is warranted for other reasons