Parents Raise Concerns About Contact Tracing And Covid-19 Tracking

Nico Payne

It has been almost a full month since students have been back in the classroom and concerns about positive Covid-19 cases and how schools are tracking the cases has parents concerned.

We spoke to a parent who says her son tested positive and his fellow classmates were not alerted about his test results.

“Unfortunately they didn’t inform the students, they didn’t let them know about what happened with my son,” said Sandra Ramirez, CVUSD Parent.

Ramirez’s son attends Coachella Valley High School, he tested positive for Covid-19 on August 17th, and she says his classmates had no idea.

“I know they didn’t tell the students because my son was in contact with his friends and they said no, nobody told them somebody was positive in the classroom,” explained Ramirez.

Last week CVUSD launched their live tracker for Covid cases, reporting 40 cases in the district, most of them coming from Coachella Valley High School.

In the case that a student does contract Covid 19 and they are sent to the school’s isolation room, the school is then required to follow one of three protocols.

“We need to know if they tested positive or negative, if they don’t want to test then they may quarantine for 10 days and then after 10 days they may return to their site, or if they don’t want to do any of those, they are unable to do any of those, then they need to seek advice from their medical professional, at that point their medical professional will let them know if they are allowed to return back to their site,” said Lissette Santiago, Spokesperson with CVUSD.

This concern is not just focused on one school district, parents valley-wide are concerned about students contracting the virus and taking it home.

The lead nurse from Desert Sands Unified School District reminds parents of extra safety measures they can take.

“Wearing their mask indoors at school, outdoors is optional so if they prefer to wear their mask outdoors at recess that is fine too. even though there aren’t currently any mandates for distancing, keep your distance as much as possible,” explained Susan Kadel, Lead School Nurse with DSUSD.

And in the case of Ramirez’s son, specific criteria have to be met in order for other students to be notified.

“According to the CDC for us to be able to contact other students and other individuals, and let them know that they were exposed to a covid-19 positive case, then they have to be within that 0-6 feet distance for a period of 15 minutes or more within 24 hours,” added Santiago.

CVUSD did look further into Rmariez’s case and they were able to verify that the students that did come into close contact with her son were notified that they had been exposed to a positive Covid-19 case.

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