Because of the increased numbers of positive COVID cases in Converse County and across the state, the state contact tracers are overwhelmed. In some cases it’s taking several days to initiate the contact tracing on positive case notifications. For that reason, the district has worked with the Department of Health and our county health team to alter our procedures for the time being. For the safety of our staff, students, and community, the district will send notice to families if a student has had prolonged contact (15 minutes or more) with a positive staff member or student as soon as possible after the positive case is reported. This will be a letter from the Department of Health. Understand the school district has no authority to quarantine staff or students; however, the district feels it’s important for families to know of possible exposure to a positive COVID case without delay so they can make the best decisions to keep their students and others safe. When the contact tracing takes so long, there can be other exposures because people are not aware of the initial contact.
Here is the updated and revised process we will follow:
- As soon as the school district is notified of a positive case, the district will begin to gather information about possible contacts that meet the quarantine parameters.
- When the district has determined which students or staff may have had contact which might lead to quarantine, the district will provide a letter of notification to the family of the student or will personally notify the staff member(s). The purpose of the notification is to allow families to keep their children out of school after a possible exposure but before the state can complete the contact tracing. It will also allow staff members to stay home until contact tracing is completed. Understand the school district is not responsible for the contact investigation or the determination of isolations or quarantines. However, the county and state health departments are so overwhelmed at this time that the investigations are taking several days. The district has been asked by the State Department of Health to notify families of possible contacts to try to mitigate the spread of the virus and keep students and staff safe. Not all the students and staff who get these immediate notifications will be quarantined after the investigation. Staying home immediately after the notification of the contact but before the contact tracing does not lengthen the quarantine time.
- When the Converse County Emergency Agency receives the verification of the positive case, they will notify the district and put out a public notice of the positive COVID-19 case which will include the name of the school affected. These notices will come out one time per day.
- The school district will notify parents/guardians and staff of the positive COVID-19 case using our notification system, School Messenger.
- The school district will post the public notice on the district website and social media pages.
- To protect the privacy of the individual student or staff member, the school district will not provide any additional information.
- The Wyoming Department of Health in collaboration with the Converse County Public Health will conduct the contact investigation. If you do not get an initial notification from the school district and are not contacted by either of these two agencies, you can assume your child did not have the types of contact with the positive case that would warrant a quarantine.
If there is not a public notice or official message from the school district, then there has not been a confirmed positive COVID-19 case within the schools.
This process will replace the prior process the district was using.