FAQ: What is the Ripon Area School District’s contact tracing procedure when a student tests positive for COVID-19? | News

Students, staff and families masked up during a recent ‘Power of Play Night’ in Barlow Park. When an elementary student tests positive for COVID-19, the whole class is notified and switches to mandatory masking.


What is the Ripon Area School District’s contact tracing procedure when a student tests positive for COVID-19?


This issue was raised by several community members, who commented on the Commonwealth’s Facebook page.

According to Superintendent Mary Whitrock, at Ripon Middle School and Ripon High School — where masks are mandatory — the district is notifying families of the total number of positive cases.

At the start of the school year, she said parents in each class where a positive case was identified would receive a notification.

As a result, parents were receiving multiple emails from the district regarding COVID-19 cases.

“Due to feedback from many parents, the process has changed to notify parents of the total number of cases in the school, as was done last year,” Whitrock said.

She noted that staff in the nursing department were helping with contact tracing – identifying those who were considered “close contact” with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Close contacts are defined as anyone within one meter of a COVID-positive person for 15 minutes.

“Currently all schools are in a mandatory mask status,” Whitrock said. “Medical staff ensure that close family contacts who have not been vaccinated are contacted. Students are asked who would be a close contact, and those people are encouraged to get tested. »

In elementary schools, the superintendent noted that when a student tests positive, the whole class is notified and goes from “masks requested,” which allows for mask breaks when students are at their desks, to a “mask required” where students must wear a mask except when eating.

What does this mean to you :

Whitrock added that the goal of contact tracing is for people considered a “close contact” to monitor for symptoms and get tested.

“We are working for early detection to reduce the risk of spreading the virus,” she said. “Combining contact tracing with masking and vaccinations will reduce our overall COVID cases in schools and in our community. »

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