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Changes to COVID Exposure Notifications

Changes to COVID Exposure Notifications
Posted on 01/24/2022

We communicated last week that, as a district, we are feeling the impacts of Omicron. While it’s currently surging, public health experts expect infections to level out and start to decline relatively quickly. The number of positive cases reported in each school are publicly available on an online dashboard (families attending charter schools can contact their school directly for case numbers).

With the start of second semester, we began a notification process around potential classroom-based exposures. We have since realized that there are significant flaws in this notification process starting with the fact that students in a school regularly have contact with peers outside their own classrooms. Therefore, limiting exposure notifications to those in the same classroom isn’t accurate or reliable. Second, our system has led to some families receiving multiple exposure notifications per day for a single student, which is confusing.

Other districts of our size are no longer contact tracing and Jefferson County Public Health has also stopped its contact tracing efforts. Given that the information we are providing through exposure letters is not accurate or reliable, individual schools will no longer be sending these letters. The most accurate and reliable exposure information for our families can be found on our online dashboard where cases are reported for each school. Families can then use that information, in conjunction with COVID test results, to make decisions that are right for them.

While this is a change in how we are communicating, what isn’t changing is our mitigation efforts. We are watching both students and staff attendance data daily and sending out notifications to families when educator absence rates reach 25% at their school. In the past two weeks we have initiated a couple of short-term closures (one to two day closures) of schools that were unable to continue operating effectively due to staff illness. We remain committed to keeping our students and staff safe and providing schools with the support they need to continue in-person learning.

We encourage families to check the dashboard regularly for updates.

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