Dear Parents and Guardians, Sept. 2nd, 2020
We have been in school three weeks and I would like to thank the students, parents, faculty and staff for all their support in adapting to the changes implemented this school year. The goal of our new protocols is to limit the spread of COVID-19. We know there is no way to eliminate the spread of COVID-19, but we can limit the impact it may have within our school and our community.
With Labor Day weekend approaching, and fall break around the corner, I would like to remind everyone to mask up, wash hands, and remain home if you begin to feel sick. With our combined efforts of parents and the schools we can limit the amount of days students and staff may need to quarantine if there is close contact at school. Currently, close contact is defined as longer than 15 minutes under 6 feet.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box has stated, “A positive case of COVID-19 in a school is not a reason to panic or a reason to close, but rather it is a reason to take action to prevent an outbreak.”
While we have NOT been notified of any confirmed COVID-19 positive students, within our buildings, as of writing this letter I would like to explain our notification process if and when we do receive notification of a positive case.
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the school will contact the local health department. The Switzerland County Health Officer and I will work together to determine if we need to close or if we can contact trace and remain open. If we can contact trace individuals who were within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes, the health department and school administration/nursing staff will then call to notify those student’s parents who were close contacts. Per the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and our re-entry plan, all close contacts will be required to quarantine for 14 days, and be symptom free before returning to school. If the student develops symptoms, you are encouraged to reach out to your healthcare provider for further guidance.
Per healthcare privacy requirements, we will not be able to give the name, or any identifiable information about the COVID-19 positive case. The school will not send out a general email or call unless it is deemed necessary for the schools to close for a short period of time.
It will not be uncommon for someone within our community to test positive throughout the year. This includes the school setting. We will continue our efforts to ensure all safety protocols are followed and ask parents to continue to keep children home who are sick in an effort to keep our schools open in a traditional setting.
I want to thank you all for your continued efforts in keeping our schools safe. We appreciate your support and please stay safe in your weekend travels.
Mr. Rod Hite, Superintendent
Switzerland County School Corporation