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School-Based COVID-19 Identification & Notification

Guidance for Schools Responding to LPHA Capacity Needs Related to Contact Tracing

At times, the Local Public Health Authorities (LPHAs) in Oregon experience high volumes of COVID-19 cases, leading to challenges in completing case investigations and contact tracing. While detailed guidance explains how to plan for COVID-19 scenarios in schools, questions still remain related to the role of school staff and how they can support contact notification when cases of COVID-19 appear in schools and districts.

Resources

Background

In January 2021, ODE and OHA released a joint summary of the action steps schools can take in the event that their LPHA has limited capacity to conduct contact tracing. These actions are summarized below and represent options by priority:

  1. Quarantine entire cohorts when there is a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 instead of identifying close contacts and contact tracing.
  2. When the LPHA is experiencing high volume of cases and is unable to contact trace exposed individuals in schools, request that the LPHA partner with the Oregon Health Authority for additional operational support.
  3. Reduce the impact on the LPHA by working with the LPHA to develop streamlined systems to identify close contacts therefore reducing the number of students who are quarantined and saving valuable time.
  4. If the LPHA is unable to support contact tracing and districts want to identify close contacts and reduce quarantines, designated school staff can receive training from the OHA to support their LPHA.

ODE and OHA have refined this guidance even further to align with a new targeted training opportunity with increased clarity on the role of schools to support contact identification and notification. The purpose of this message is to provide a preview and get the training dates and information out for your consideration.

Training Recap & Recording

School staff have a responsibility to collaborate with their Local Public Health Authority (LPHA) to support contact notification - one part of contact tracing -- in the event that a positive case or outbreak of COVID-19 occurs at school. School staff should not take on the responsibility of contact tracing; instead, they should support school-based COVID-19 contact identification and notification.

This training is not for everyone. This training is to prepare and equip school personnel and staff for how they can support contact notification when cases of COVID-19 appear in schools and districts. This role works in coordination with an LPHA when an LPHA is without the capacity to meet school or district needs and the school has determined not to opt for blanket quarantining of cohorts.

Watch a recording of the training session.

Please email us with any questions.


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