The Union County Department of Health said only close contacts will be notified; sometimes it can mean an entire class, but not all the time.
CHARLOTTE, NC – Union County Public Schools Education Council Amends COVID-19 Policy, Ending Staff Responsibilities Regarding Contact Tracing and Quarantine Operations for All Students and Staff asymptomatic or non-positive.
This task now falls to the Union County Department of Health. The move led to a letter from North Carolina health officials urging the district to follow state guidelines for schools with the threat of legal action if left unchecked.
Will parents always be notified if a member of their child’s class contracts COVID-19?
The Union County Department of Health said only close contacts will be notified. Sometimes that can mean an entire class, but not all of the time.
WHAT WE FOUND
In a special meeting, the Union County Board of Directors decided to end staff responsibilities for contact tracing in schools, but will continue to deal with positive or confirmed cases of COVID-19, such as required by law.
The responsibility for tracing contacts will now rest with the health service.
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According to the StrongSchoolsNC toolkit, it is suggested that districts work with their local health departments to create a contact tracing plan.
The toolkit strongly recommends that school leaders provide instructions to prevent students and staff from going to school if they test positive or are in close contact with someone who tests positive , share information about cases and are in close contact with the local health department. Communicate with students, staff, and families and work with their local health department to take any additional recommended actions.
When asked if the district would notify parents if there was a positive case in their student’s class, UCPS directed all questions to the health department.
The Union County Department of Health sent WCNC Charlotte an email saying in part:
“Public health case investigators will contact those confirmed positive to obtain the names and contact details of close contacts. All those considered to be close contacts by the case investigator will be contacted. . ”
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