COVID-19 Case Response and Notifications
When a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified among students or staff attending school on-site, the district nurse will work closely with Lane County Public Health officials to respond to the case, conduct contact tracing, determine and notify any persons who may have been exposed to COVID-19, and protect the health of our school communities.
As a district we are committed to a high standard of health and safety protocols, which limit the likelihood of transmission between people at school.
Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine
The district will exclude individuals who are diagnosed with or suspected to have COVID-19 in accordance with applicable district policy, and public health recommendations.
Generally, people who have received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 should isolate for 10 days after the onset of their symptoms (or from their first test date if no symptoms were present) and 24 hours after fever or other symptoms are improving without the use of medication. They should follow the instructions of Lane County Public Health, their medical provider and/or the district nurse.
When a student or staff member is identified as having COVID-19, the district will coordinate with Lane County Public Health and conduct contact tracing for the time the individual was onsite, to identify any potential close contacts. Only those who had close contact with the ill person are considered to have been exposed to COVID-19. People who did not have close contact with the ill person, including people who have been in close contact with a person who was in close contact with the ill person, are not considered to have been exposed to COVID-19.
In general settings the CDC defines close contact and potential exposure as a person who has been near a person with COVID-19, within 6 feet for more than 15 cumulative minutes in a 24-hour period, starting from 2 days before the onset of illness. Under CDC and OHA guidance, in a school setting, students are not considered to be close contacts of a person with COVID-19 if they were 3 feet or more apart and both students were consistently and correctly, using well-fitting masks.
Any unvaccinated person has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 is directed by public health officials to quarantine at home for 14 days after the latest time of exposure.
Under current public health guidance, close contacts are not required to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or have had a case of COVID-19 diagnosed within the previous 90 days. Fully immunized close contacts should still monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 during the 14 days after exposure, and if symptoms develop they should isolate and seek testing.
Extent of quarantine
Springfield schools continues to follow the state guidance to ensure a high standard of safety protocols are in place to reduce the likelihood of transmission between people at school. When consistently adhered to, the district’s safety protocols have helped limit the number of individuals who have needed to quarantine as a result of exposure at school or work.
Parent and Staff Notification
The district is committed to open communication with staff and families, and provides three levels of notifications when a person who has been on-site at school or work is identified as having COVID-19. Our goal in sharing information is to keep staff and families well informed, while maintaining confidentiality and honoring everyone’s right to privacy to the extent possible.
Close contact notification
The district will conduct contact tracing for the time the person was at school or work and identify any students, staff or others they were in close contact with. All people identified as close contacts will be contacted directly, notified of the exposure and provided information about appropriate measures including recommended testing for close contacts and required quarantine for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated. Typically, all close contacts are identified and notified within-1-2 days of first learning of the case. Certain circumstances such as complex contact tracing may take longer.
The district will identify all staff and students who are in a school group or “cohort” with the affected person, and notify staff and parents that there has been a case identified in the cohort, normally within one day after contact tracing is completed. For elementary schools this may be a single classroom cohort; for middle and high schools, multiple course sections will be identified. Students may also be in a transportation cohort or athletic cohort.
Receiving a cohort notification does not mean that the individual has been exposed to COVID-19; it is a courtesy notice for transparent communication to the school community. Only those identified as close contacts are considered to have been exposed to COVID-19 and directed to quarantine if unvaccinated. Once contact tracing has been completed, if you have not been directly contacted and informed as a close contact, you do not need to quarantine, stay home from school or sports, or take any other special measures.
Notification emails are sent out through the district mass notification system, and parents will receive them if they have not opted-out of receiving such messages.
COVID-19 cases identified in schools will be tracked in a publicly accessible online dashboard.