DCSS Announces Plans for Contact Tracing

DCSS Announces Plan for Contact Tracing
Posted on 08/24/2020
Please see the following letter regarding the COVID-19 tracing process that will be used when students return to school. The letter was emailed to parents on August 24, 2020.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

While our students and teachers are working online at this point, please know that we are diligently preparing for the return of students to our buildings. Administrators, teachers and custodians have spent countless hours developing procedures, arranging classes, placing signage and sanitizing buildings. When our students return, we will be ready to provide them with a healthy and well-planned learning environment.

The most important way you can help us prevent the spread of COVID-19 when students return is to keep your child home if he or she is showing any symptoms, including:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion
  • runny nose
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

A child showing any COVID-19 symptoms must remain at home for a period of time as determined by Cobb & Douglas Public Health. In addition, it is imperative that you keep your child home while awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Regardless of how many precautions we take, we know that some students and staff will test positive for COVID-19 in the days and weeks to come. Part of our COVID-19 preparation involves contact tracing and notification of parents when their child has been in contact with a person at school who has tested positive. I would like to share our notification procedure.

  • If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they must report the positive test to the principal (or to the staff member’s supervisor).
  • The principal will report the positive case to the student services department. The head nurse will be notified and will work with Cobb & Douglas Public Health to determine direct and indirect contacts. Determining direct and indirect contacts takes some time.
    • Direct contacts are people who have spent 15 minutes or more with the person who tested positive while being within six feet, whether or not they were wearing a mask.
    •   An indirect contact is someone who may have been in the same area with the person who tested positive, but not within six feet for 15 minutes or more.
  • Students and staff members who are identified as direct contacts will receive a call from a Douglas County School System nurse along with a letter instructing them to quarantine at home for a certain period of time.
  • If a student is at school when he or she is identified as a direct contact, someone from the school will call the parent to pick up the child. A direct contact will not be allowed to ride the bus home.
  • Students who are quarantined but not experiencing symptoms are expected to participate in digital learning from home.
  • Students or staff members identified as indirect contacts will receive a letter instructing them to monitor their children or themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. Indirect contacts are not required to quarantine.

The letters to direct and indirect contacts will be sent by the school in one of two ways:

  • If the student is in school, the letter will be given to the student to take home. Please ask your child each day if he or she has a letter to share with you.
  • If the student is not in school, the letter will be emailed to the parent through our automated messaging system. Please ensure that your email address is correct in Infinite Campus.

Please keep in mind that in all cases, we will protect the privacy of our staff and students. We will not provide names or any information that could identify a person who has tested positive.

We appreciate your support as we work to keep our students and staff safe during this unusual time. Contact tracing is an important part of mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The better job we do, the more likely it is that we will have a successful in-person experience for everyone.


Renee Davis
Assistant Superintendent of Student Services



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