Responding to COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools : resources for school administrators
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Responding to COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools : resources for school administrators

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    Updated Sept. 27, 2021

    As K-12 schools resume in-person learning, school administrators must be prepared to respond quickly when someone with COVID-19 has been in the school or at a school event. In these instances, case investigation and contact tracing serve as important strategies for reducing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Case investigation is the process that helps a person who has COVID-19 recall everyone they have had close contact with during the timeframe they may have been able to spread the virus to other people. Contact tracing is the process of notifying the identified exposed individuals (close contacts) of their potential exposure. They are most effective when implemented in combination with other prevention strategies.

    Contact tracing is used to provide instructions and support to people who have COVID-19 and their close contacts. Timely and complete contact tracing can help to quickly isolate people who have COVID-19, and to identify their close contacts so that those contacts can quickly take actions (such as quarantine, testing, and wearing a mask) to prevent any further spread of the virus. This can slow spread in schools (and in the community) and help prevent school closures due to large-scale outbreaks. For contact tracing to be effective, schools need protocols to quickly identify people with COVID-19 and determine their close contacts. The process requires timely action and cooperation by everyone involved in the confidential investigation of cases of COVID-19 and notification of their close contacts.

  • Content Notes:
    Core principles of case investigation and contact tracing -- Process for responding to COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools --
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