Editor’s Note: Acting Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza and Health Director Nancy Brault sent out this following letter to explain how the school district will handle positive cases of COVID-19 throughout the school year.
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff:
In light of the recent positive COVID-19 test result in our school community, it is important that we share our district’s response to COVID-19 cases, including our efforts with contact tracing. As we have all heard, there is a potential for more positive COVID-19 cases as schools continue back in session.
We have developed, in collaboration with our local health department and State of CT Department of Public Health, protocols when a student or staff member has symptoms, have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, or have positive test results for COVID-19. We have mandated face coverings, social distancing, and other mitigation strategies that will minimize the risk to our school community.
Once a positive test result has been determined, our district will use guidance found in the CT State Department of Education’s Addendum 5, Interim Guidance for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios in CT School Districts. These Guidelines identify various scenarios and the action that the district will take for each of them.
It is important to know that we use these guidelines in consultation with our local Health Director, our local Public Health Nurse, and the State Department of Public Health. In last week’s case, our first call was to these professionals where we consulted the guidelines, developed a communication plan, and helped with contact tracing.
The following information and procedure will be used once a person is confirmed to have COVID-19.
- The Monroe Health Department is notified by the State Department of Public Health of COVID-19 case(s).
- The COVID-19 positive individual will be isolated.
- Contact tracing information will be gathered to determine close contacts (persons within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes of the COVID-19 positive individual). This will be a collaborative effort between the school district and the Monroe Health Department.
- Anyone in the school community who has been determined to be a close contact will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.
- Household members of an infected person will also be asked to quarantine for 14 days as they are considered close contacts.
- There is no public health recommendation for a close contact of a close contact to quarantine.
- We will communicate with the entire school community positive cases occur. We will not provide any identifiable information so that confidentiality and privacy of the individual will be maintained.
- Changing our instructional plan (hybrid, full in-person, or full remote) will depend on a number of factors, including the number of cases, the results of contact tracing and the probability of greater COVID-19 spread.
- All decisions for changing the instructional plan will be made in consultation with both local and state health officials.
- Closing a school or quarantining a class or group of students may be needed to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Please understand that we will share as much information as we can while maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of the people involved.
There is a great deal of information contained in this letter, but we thought it important to share the district’s response to COVID-19 situations.
Joe Kobza Nancy Brault, RS, MPH
Acting Superintendent Director of Health