DCSD announces COVID-19 notification protocols

The Darlington County School District (DCSD) has released its public notification protocols for COVID-19 cases in schools. The district will follow the guidelines of the S.C. Department of Health and Environment Control (DHEC) regarding the notification of families when COVID-19 cases occur.
Parents should notify their child’s school when a student tests positive for COVID-19. When a DCSD staffer or student tests positive for COVID-19, that individual will be required to stay out of school and isolate for at least 10 days, as determined by DHEC. School and district administrators and nursing staff will work with DHEC to conduct contact tracing, then notify families according to the following notification system:
CLOSE CONTACTS – DHEC defines “close contact” as “being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more to a COVID-19 case while contagious.” Once the close contacts are identified, the school district and DHEC will call the parents/guardians of the close contacts. Students who are quarantined will continue to receive education services through the district using Schoology and SeeSaw.
COHORT CONTACT – Students or staff who may have interacted with the person but have not been closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes are called cohort contacts in the DCSD. Cohort contacts are people who may have been in the same classroom, on the same athletic team, or on the same bus as an individual who tested positive but who do not meet the qualifications for close contacts. The cohort contacts will be notified through SchoolMessenger. These students and staff will not have to stay home from school but should be closely monitored for 14 days for symptoms such as fever, cough, trouble breathing or loss of taste/smell. Families should consider limiting contact between these individuals and high-risk family members.
DASHBOARD – The DCSD will maintain a rolling two-week COVID-19 dashboard of positive student and staff cases reported at each school daily. The dashboard is located on the DCSD website and will provide the Darlington County community with a transparent view of the number of COVID-19 cases at each school.
Parents are asked to notify the school if they have a family member living in the same house who has tested positive for COVID-19. Siblings who reside with students who test positive and the children of teachers who test positive will be considered “close contacts” and must be excluded from school for a time determined by DHEC. A negative test during this period of time does not eliminate the quarantine requirement.
The well-being of staff and students is the highest priority in the Darlington County School District. The district is committed to sharing the information allowable by law to inform parents, while also ensuring the individual’s confidentiality.

Author: Stephan Drew

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