As school open across the region, local health departments will be monitoring within-school transmission rates. Presently, we are not seeing any significant degree of within-school transmission. We will continue to track and monitor community incidence rates as well as positivity rates, but within-school transmission will be the most critical metric in determining the continuation of in person learning. Prior to the level of contact tracing and case investigation that we now have available, community transmission rates were used as the thresholds for decision making. Case investigation also allows us to determine if in-person schooling is responsible for fluctuations in community transmission rates (i.e. can a cluster in the community be traced back to a within-school transmission).
As the weeks progress and positive cases present in our schools, staff and students will be notified if they are deemed to be a close contact. As a district, we have added a COVID-19 Data Tracker to our website to keep the community informed weekly of these COVID-19 positive cases reported to school. Students and staff that test positive for COVID-19 will be isolating at home. Students and staff that are determined to have been a close contact to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will quarantine at home as a protective measure to see if they become sick.
If you have not been contacted, it means your child was NOT in close contact with the COVID-19 case. Your student may come to school unless they are feeling sick or exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, including shortness of breath, coughing, fever or chills, congestion, sore throat, diarrhea, abdominal pain, body aches, and loss of taste or smell.
If a student or staff member who tests positive was in our building during the contagious period, we will work with the Chester County Health Department to support contact tracing. Contact tracing includes identifying those individuals who were in our buildings, on our busses, or attended before/aftercare that reside in our buildings and were less than six feet from the COVID-19 positive person for more than 15 minutes. We will also temporarily close off all areas of the building the student used over the past several days so that we can thoroughly clean and disinfect the spaces.
If your child must quarantine due to a close contact at school, the school nurse will provide you with the Close Contact Information Sheet outlining the steps to follow. Your child may participate in school virtually. Unless notified otherwise, the siblings of students who have been advised to quarantine are permitted to attend school. Those siblings were not in direct contact with the COVID-19 positive person.
If your child develops symptoms while at school, you will be contacted to pick your child up and will receive the Symptomatic Student Information Sheet.
We are notified by RTMSD staff members and students when they have been advised to quarantine based upon interactions/contacts that occurred outside of school. The District is not involved in the investigation of those cases. If those individuals eventually test positive, the District will become involved in contact tracing if the student or staff was in the building during the contagious period to determine if any other student or staff would be determined to have been a close contact.