Listen to this blog
K-12 school administrators have a lot on their hands. While working to limit classroom disruption, address increasing student mental health concerns, and create a new normal, administrators and other school personnel must also stay vigilant in mitigating the spread of the COVID virus within their schools.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a 6-step process for responding to a COVID-19 case within a school or at a school event. By following their process—summarized below—it can slow the spread of the virus within the school community and prevent large-scale outbreaks that may result in school closures.
Step 1: Collect the Details
You first need to ask when they started showing symptoms (if any) and when they tested positive for the virus. This information lets you determine how long the person should remain off campus and who you need to contact about possible exposure.
Step 2: Provide Guidance
People who have symptoms or tested positive must isolate themselves from those who do not. The CDC has a customizable template to help schools explain isolation and why it’s important to follow the process.
Step 3: Determine Close Contacts
You’ll need to identify who the individual was in close contact with 2 days prior to them showing symptoms or 2 days prior to their positive test result. It’s important to consider all school settings, like classes, athletic practices and games, tutoring groups, volunteer events, and club meetings.
Step 4: Contact Trace
Inform each close contact that they may have been exposed to the virus. These close contacts should quarantine, wear a mask, watch for symptoms, and potentially get tested. To limit the disruption to learning, the CDC suggests schools consider allowing vaccinated students—even if they have not received a booster—to forgo quarantining.
Step 5: Notify the Community
Your school community needs to know how COVID-19 is impacting the school. The updates should follow any local regulations. In the communication, make sure to list the steps the school has taken to prevent further infection, including contact tracing efforts.
Step 6: Keep Track of Isolated/Quarantined Individuals
The school must maintain a list of individuals who have COVID-19, are showing symptoms, and/or were identified as a close contact. This list should include the date each person can return to school so you can ensure that they do not enter school buildings or events until their isolation or quarantine period ends.
Can Technology Help Streamline the COVID Exposure and Mitigation Process?
It is incredibly time consuming to manually track the information needed to contact trace and keep individuals with exposure risk off campus. Manual processes are also error-prone and often unprotected, making it easy for someone to access confidential health information.
Trusted by over 35,000 K-12 schools across the nation, Raptor Visitor Management automatically tracks every individual who signs in, recording details such as their contact information, when they were in your school, their destination, and when they signed out of the system. This information is instantly accessible for effective and prompt contact tracing. Raptor also screens each entrant against your custom databases, including those of individuals who are flagged as an exposure risk, so you confidently keep them off campus.
To learn more, contact us today to schedule a demo.
Maintaining a Safe School in the Post-Pandemic World
Although eager and excited to fully reopen as infection rates decline, school leaders are concerned about the potential increase in violence that experts warn we may see as students come back to the classroom.