We want to provide some additional information to help you better understand our response to COVID-19. This process is something we practiced all summer with our activity groups, and we continue to work with Central District Health on an individual case by case basis for the best response and notifications.
Our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our staff and students. Because the incubation period for COVID-19 can be up to 14 days, we knew this week would likely be a mark of significance since it has been three weeks from the time, we started face to face school. We are striving to do things correctly and offer a response to each COVID-19 incident that is timely and appropriate to each scenario.
Close contact to COVID-19 occurs when you are within six feet of someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, for at least 15 minutes and the infected person later tests positive for the coronavirus. The 15 minutes can be cumulative. This can also apply to situations in which the infected person did not show any symptoms at the time of contact, but it is much less likely.
Once we receive a confirmation of a positive case, there are many details we will not release regarding each situation to protect the privacy of others. Please know that we will immediately notify employees and parents of students if we have reason to believe there has been a close contact. This notification could come from West Ada and/or Central District Health.
Considerations for who should get tested
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19
- People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19
- People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider or health department
It is important to understand that not everyone needs to be tested. If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional. If you test it is assumed you were identified as a known contact or had symptoms; therefore, even if you get a negative test you will need to quarantine for 14 days.
West Ada works with Central District Health each time we have a positive case. When it is determined that individuals have had a close contact or have a confirmed positive test the following quarantine timeline are:
- An employee or student has a positive COVID-19 test: Required ten-day quarantine from school and all school activities including athletics. The ten days are counted from the onset of symptoms.
- An employee or student has had first-hand exposure to a confirmed positive case or a probable case: Required 14-day quarantine from school and all school activities including athletics. The 14 days are counted from the last day of exposure. A probable case is defined as a person who has had exposure to a confirmed case AND is now symptomatic.
- Notify your provider or the health department if you become symptomatic while on quarantine as this will change your return to school dates.
West Ada also works with Central District Health collaboratively to investigate those who have been in close contact to a positive. Because the identity of the individual who is positive is confidential, we must rely heavily on them to help us understand who may have been exposed. Through this contact-tracing process, we want to know if there were any individuals that were within six feet for 15 minutes or longer to the individual(s) who tested positive.
Below we have included some frequently asked questions regarding quarantines:
- Q: Can I get out of quarantine early if I get a negative test result during that time period?
A: No. A negative test result during that timeframe (14-day self-quarantine) doesn’t shorten that period. If the health department or someone with COVID identifies you as a close contact, you need to quarantine for 14 days after that last exposure.
- If my child has been quarantined, why are my other children allowed to attend school and school activities? Quarantine only applies to first-hand exposure. Your other children would only be quarantined if they had first-hand exposure. This does change if your quarantined student develops symptoms. If this occurs, please call the school nurse right away.
- What happens if an adult in my household has a positive COVID-19 test? Please immediately notify the school nurse. If your children have been exposed, they will need to quarantine for 14 days from their last date of exposure to the person with the confirmed case (yes this does mean that the individual with the positive test will need to quarantine from your children while you are both home).
We want our West Ada School District community to be informed when there is a positive case, but we also want to protect the identity of those individuals, for this reason we will not be able to provide many details surrounding each incident.