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According to Ann Cyr, risk manager for the Carson City School District, two positive cases of COVID-19 at Fremont Elementary School led to the exclusion of two kindergarten classes and are now remote.
Since school resumed last Monday, August 16, there have been about 35 positive cases of students in the Carson City School District.
According to Cyr, students are excluded and asked to quarantine themselves once they receive a positive case or have had close contact with a positive case, which is determined by whether the student was in or not within a meter of a positive case without wearing a mask.
Students in the Carson City School District were not required to wear masks in person, which is currently being re-evaluated, according to Cyr.
“We are re-evaluating not requiring universal masking,” Cyr said. “When we are actively involved in contact tracing, not having universal masking in place complicates this process.”
Cyr said the district would like to encourage parents to have their children wear masks at school. From what Cyr has seen herself, she estimates that around one-third to one-half of students currently wear masks in school, although this depends on the student’s age and level.
“We work closely with Carson City Health and Human Services (CCHHS) and take action as quickly as possible when we become aware of a positive case,” said Cyr.
Nurses perform tests in schools for students who show symptoms. Once a nurse identifies a positive case within the school, that positive case is reported to CCHHS and is considered a valid laboratory result.
At this point, the district is able to begin contact tracing and notification of any close contacts and exclusions.
An exclusion will last for 10 days, unless a student wants to take a test five days after their exposure, in which case they can return after seven days.
There is no requirement to receive a negative COVID-19 test to return to school, as long as the student has been excluded for 10 days. District asks parents to screen their children and ask them not to return to school until they have no symptoms for 24 hours before returning to school, once the 10-day exclusion finished.
“We encourage staff to self-test, and we are happy to say that 74% of staff are fully immunized,” Cyr said.
Students who participate in athletics are screened for symptoms before participating.
However, temperature checks or health examinations are not performed on students by district staff unless a student is showing symptoms.
If a student becomes symptomatic during the school day, they are placed in segregation and assessed by the school nurse.
If students are exposed, they will be informed on a class-by-class basis, not school-wide. This means that if a student is exposed in a grade four class, parents of students in that grade four class deemed to have been in close contact (within a yard without a mask) will be notified, but the rest of the school will not be. .
“Our managers will likely communicate with their staff (there has been an exclusion),” Cyr said.
The reason exhibits are not reported beyond those suspected of having close contact is due to resources, Cyr said, and the desire to provide accurate and verified information to the community.
The district has consistently directed the school community to the state’s COVID website for information on exposures and positive cases, Cyr said.
“We report all of our data to the Department of Health,” Cyr said. “It’s not our job to report on public health statistics and when we start to do it and our data is not in tune with the timeliness of (state) data then people start to lose confidence in the data provided by the state. statistician. They work very hard at this level to provide accurate information statewide.
Cyr said there is a specific statewide dashboard just for schools, which can be found here; However, the data does not appear to have been updated since August 18 and includes only one current positive case, as opposed to the 35 or so Cyr that have been confirmed since the start of the school year. Be sure to note the date when reviewing the data on this dashboard.
Nevada Health Response has the most recent COVID-19 information for the entire state and can be broken down by county, test positivity rate, confirmed cases, deaths and more.
It is not known whether masks will be mandatory in schools for all students and staff again, only that discussions are ongoing.
If students come into contact with a positive case and do not wear a mask and are not vaccinated, they should be excluded, by district policy. However, if a student is wearing a mask, they may not be excluded, depending on the level of close contact.
If a parent has any questions after reviewing the information on the state dashboard, Cyr said, they can contact their child’s school district or school, who will be happy to clarify any questions they have. he might have.