Communication Process Regarding COVID-19 Cases 
Dear Families,

Recently, the State of Michigan announced that it plans to begin releasing weekly reports about COVID-19 outbreaks in schools. Per the state, an outbreak is defined as "two or more cases with a link by place and time indicating a shared exposure outside of a household."

In our weekly conference call with the Livingston County Health Department, the county superintendents discussed what this means. To be considered an outbreak within the school setting, the link would need to be the school. For example, if two students sat next to each other in class and both tested positive for COVID-19, with no other exposure, that would be an outbreak. If two students within a school test positive, but they have not had any interactions with each other, that would not be considered an outbreak. Another example would be that if two students who attend the same school spent time together outside of school and both tested positive, that would not be considered an outbreak in the school.

This does not affect our commitment to being transparent about COVID-19 cases in our district. We are committed to sharing information promptly and will do so regarding positive cases of COVID-19 in our schools. In regards to that commitment, I want to assure you of a few things.

If we have a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19, we will work closely with public health officials. The Livingston County Health Department will investigate and identify close contacts during the infectious period. Only those close contacts will be ordered to quarantine by the Livingston County Health Department

Those who test positive for COVID-19 will not return to school until public health officials provide a letter to the school that states they are clear to return. This could be as soon as ten days after the positive test results if symptoms are resolved. The guidelines around this are outlined in the Livingston County Health Department Back to School Parent Toolkit.

We will alert families and staff at the affected school of a positive case, as soon as we become aware of it. Due to federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose the person's identity. A district-wide notification will not be sent for each instance of a student or staff member testing positive. A district-wide communication will be sent regarding a confirmed outbreak or if an entire building is switching to mandated distance learning.

To date, there has been no transmission of COVID-19 in any of our schools. However, we must continue to partner together to keep our staff and students safe and healthy. Thank you for continuing to complete the student self-screening process each morning and keeping your child home if they are showing any signs of illness.

Erin J. MacGregor, Ed.S.
Howell Public Schools
Posted by gouldt On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 2:44 PM  

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