School Contact Tracing Tip Sheet (10/22/2020)
These tips courtesy of the Allen County Health Department
How to determine infectious period:
Person with Symptoms: The infectious period begins 2 full days before the onset of symptoms.
(for example: if a person develops symptoms on Tuesday, their infectious period started on the Sunday prior – it is not calculated by the hour)
Person without Symptoms: The infectious period is considered to be 2 full days before the test was collected.
(for example: if a person has no symptoms, and has a test collected on Wednesday, they were infectious starting the Monday prior)
When is a case released from isolation: a person that has tested positive can be released from isolation when all the following have occurred:
10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms
Free of fever for 24 hours without the use of medication
An overall improvement in symptoms has occurred
How to advise people about properly isolating at home:
Case should sleep in a separate bedroom
Case should use a separate bathroom if possible. If not possible – then all surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected between uses
Everyone should mask while in common areas of the home (and keep these interactions to a minimum)
*If these points cannot be met, the contact’s quarantine period does not start until the case’s infectious period is over – so it would be a 24-day quarantine due to re-exposure each day during the infectious period.
How to determine high-risk close contacts: a high-risk close contact is anyone that meets the following criteria:
Within 6ft of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more
Lived or stayed the night with a confirmed case for 24 hours or more – regardless of being w/in 6ft.
Shared eating/drinking utensils
Provided direct care to a confirmed case without medical grade PPE
Direct contact with a confirmed case (hugging/kissing/close contact sports such as wrestling/football, etc.)
Anyone that reports being directly sneezed or coughed on by a confirmed case
What to do with high-risk contacts:
Anyone who meets the criteria of a high-risk contact MUST quarantine for 14 days from the last exposure to the positive case – this means they stay home and do not leave their home unless they are seeking medical care. To calculate this time period, the date of last exposure is counted as day 0, then count out 14 full days, the person can return to school on the 15th day. This is NOT calculated by the hour – it is 14 full days from the exposure. (For example, if someone had their last date of exposure to a case on October 1, that is day zero. October 2nd is Day 1, October 3rd is Day 2…and October 15th is Day 14. Therefore, they can return to school on October 16th.)
A person who is placed in quarantine is not required to be tested; however, we recommend they be tested if symptoms develop. If they do not become symptomatic but would like to be tested, we recommend that they
wait at least 5 days from their last exposure to the positive case to ensure the most accurate testing results. The disease takes a bit to incubate and be detectable upon testing.
A person is not released from quarantine with a negative test result. The full 14-day quarantine needs to be followed.
The only exception to a quarantine is if there is an exposure, but the high-risk contact has already tested positive within 90 days of the current exposure. If that contact remains asymptomatic, the CDC does not require them to quarantine due to the belief they likely still have immunity from their infection for that short period of approximately 90 days (with the information known at this time). If the exposure occurs outside of the 90-day window, that person would need to quarantine.
What to do if you have a positive case in your school:
If you have questions about how to determine the infectious period of the case, or who qualifies as a high-risk contact, contact the Allen County Health Department’s School Hotline at 260-449-8483 (8am-4:30pm, M-F).
Once your contact tracing is complete – submit all information via the CROSS reporting system to the Allen County Health Department. Allen County will then report all information into the ISDH K-12 Portal (if you are not submitting your own).
Use the letter template to notify all parents of the students quarantined to ensure they do not come to school the next day. Some schools also choose to call each parent as well.