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Carson City school, health districts have COVID-19 plan ready

By Jessica Garcia jgarcia@nevadaappeal.com
Medical bandages and gloves on a blue background.
Medical bandages and gloves on a blue background.

Procedures for conducting investigations into active cases for persons with or have had close contact with others who have had confirmed symptoms of COVID-19 potentially impacting the Carson City School District have been prepared and are available for use if necessary, according to both entities.

The total number of active cases in the Quad-County region has now reached 1,021 as of Monday with the reporting of 13 new cases and 15 additional recoveries.

The school district has not reported new cases that have had any direct correlation to any Carson City school site, as of Monday, but two of the most recent cases to be reported are a male Carson City resident younger than 18 with a connection to a previously reported case and a female Carson City resident also younger than 18 without such a connection.

CCSD administrators continue to monitor the status of active cases closely before the school year began, and while cases remain relatively low, officials including district risk manager Ann Cyr and CCHHS director Jeanne Freeman say the steps following the identification of a case assist in the thorough investigation for contact tracing.

Once a case has been identified of a confirmed positive test case, the local health department launches the contact tracing process and the individual is advised on the next steps to take, according to Freeman.

Local health departments, whether it would be CCHHS or the Washoe County Health Department or in another jurisdiction, then asks the individual certain questions about recent situations they have been engaged in that would have led them to come into contact with COVID-19, according to Freeman and Cyr.

“Furthermore, if the positive case is a student, CCHHS and WCHD will collaborate with school officials to ensure close contacts are identified through the review of school district tools to include, but not be limited to, seating charts,” Freeman and Cyr said. “For staff, (Carson City School District) assists by providing the names of persons employed at the school district who have reported a positive test result to Human Resources and reside in another county to CCHHS.”

Close contacts, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are then contacted by contact tracers and directed on what to do on isolation or self-quarantine as well as testing recommendations, Freeman said.

Cyr said the school district reports a student’s absenteeism correlated to his or her COVID-like symptoms in a school and logs are provided to the health department.

While the CCHHS monitors this data regularly and watches for the persistence of symptoms, if a classroom or school campus necessitate any closure, the health district would consult with the superintendent first and make a recommendation, Freeman and Cyr said.

Cyr said notification of a case potentially impacting Carson City’s schools occurs through three points of contact. The employee would notify the district’s human resources department of a test having been administered with a need to isolate or having receiving a positive result from a test and needing to self-quarantine. A parent could notify the school of a similar procedure for their child or household with these notifications being reported to the health department on a daily basis. Finally, CCHHS could notify the school district of a positive case that could impact a school named through the investigation process.

Should a school be closed in this process, according to Freeman and Cyr, the district would then ensure the classroom or site is cleaned and disinfected as the protocol calls for in the Quad County Outbreak Response Plan with reopening to occur at CCHHS’ recommendation.