District releases public notification process for COVID-19 cases in Charleston Co. schools

VIDEO: District releases public notification process for COVID-19 cases in Charleston Co. schools

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the Charleston County School District have released details about public notifications when it comes to positive COVID-19 cases in schools.

“We thought it was important that we establish a protocol that our parents, community members, and staff could rely on,” CCSD Spokesman Andy Pruitt said. “It’s something that they can say ‘Look the district told us ahead of time.’ This is the effort that’s going to be put into communicating when there are COVID-19 cases associated with our schools.”

According to the district’s protocols, when a student or staff member in a school tests positive for the virus, that person will be required to stay out of school for at least 10 calendar days and will be directed to isolate.

District officials said their Nursing Services Department and the school nurse, in cooperation with DHEC, will then begin contract tracing to determine if there are people who have had “close contact” with the person who tested positive.

“Close contact” is defined by DHEC as “being within six (6) feet for 15 minutes or more to a COVID-19 case while contagious” either with or without face coverings.In classrooms where social distancing could not be maintained, all children and staff will be considered close contacts.

Dependent on the findings, district officials said they will implement the following types of notification:

  • Direct Notification for “Close Contacts” - Anyone who has been in “close contact” with the COVID-19 positive individual during the time he/she was contagious must be excluded from school for 14 days after last contact. The parents/guardians of any student who is determined to have had “close contact” with a COVID-19 positive individual will be notified directly (same day) by the district’s Nursing Services Department.
  • Notification for those who are not “Close Contacts” - Individuals in the school who are determined to not have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person will not be notified unless it is determined to be necessary in consultation with DHEC.
  • School-Level and Broad Notification - When it is determined, in consultation with DHEC and/or health agency officials that a school, group, team, etc. requires a special notification beyond the direct notification for close contact, the district and/or school will utilize phone calls, emails, and/or written notification to parents, guardians, and staff as appropriate and necessary.

District officials say there will be times the district will have to deviate from the protocol, depending on the state of the pandemic, but this will provide parents with an understanding for what to expect.

CCSD COVID-19 Dashboard

CCSD officials said they will provide data updated daily showing the running two-week total of COVID-19 positive cases (combined students and staff) on a school-by-school basis.

“The results will not include students who are learning remotely or teachers providing instruction off campus,” district officials said. “This dashboard will be housed on the CCSD website, ccsdschools.com/covid-notification, and will provide the community with a transparent view of the condition of each school relative to COVID-19.”

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.