As you may have heard, last evening we were notified of our first positive COVID diagnosis among our on-campus community. The individual was among the 8th grade faculty and students. As we have published, we will not be in the practice of sending an all-community letter each time there is a case, but since this is our first, it presents an opportunity to assure you of our procedures and let you know where to go for information as cases arise.
Who got notified? Because of the timing of the notification, our local department of health could not begin contact tracing in earnest until this morning. To err on the side of caution, we asked all 8th grade students, teachers, and others we determined as potential close contacts to self-quarantine until we could get more specific guidance from the DOH. As contact tracing progresses, we expect this list of official potential close contacts to decrease, and individuals will be notified as they may discontinue quarantine. Likewise, those who are determined to be close contacts will be notified as well, with specific instructions about quarantining and watching for symptoms.
How did you notify them? Last night around 8pm, parents/guardians of 8th grade students received an email and a text message about the case and let them know that today the whole grade, including all faculty, would be in Distance Learning. If they are determined to be official close contacts, they will receive a phone call and email with further information. If they are determined as cleared to discontinue quarantine, they will be notified by email.
Does anyone else need to quarantine? Per the CDC and Department of Health, siblings and other household members of potential close contacts do NOT have to self quarantine when cases arise. Only those determined to be close contacts themselves (closer than 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes, masked or unmasked, within 48 hours of the date of the positive test) are required to self quarantine.
What about cleaning campus? Our policy is that certain areas of campus where the diagnosed individual was present may be closed for up to 5 days for deep cleaning and investigation purposes. Because of our comprehensive school-day and evening protocols, all spaces where the individual was present had been deep cleaned and disinfected before we were even notified of the case, thus, no shared spaces in the Middle School required closure.
Among our many cleaning protocols, a Housekeeping team member disinfects high touch surfaces like door handles and light switches multiple times per day. Classrooms and dining areas are disinfected between groups, and every room is fogged at the end of each school day. You can review the full list of cleaning procedures on page 13 of the Shorecrest Health & Safety Statement.
How can I get more information? As you know, we publish a weekly Community Information Dashboard in PowerSchool that includes COVID cases, Flexible Learning info, and numbers of students in quarantine. The graphs of those numbers will remain weekly, but the overall COVID stats in the overview slide will be updated in real time as cases arise. Login to PowerSchool here and you will see the case number and date have been updated. This will be updated again with full information in each graph by 3pm this afternoon.
Though perhaps inevitable given the size of our community, a first confirmed case can understandably cause concern and raise questions. Please know that our first priority continues to be the health and safety of our community. We intend to share as much information as possible while preserving the privacy of those affected.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or School Nurse Donna Conroy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions or concerns.
Thank you for your continued flexibility and support as we adapt to an ever-changing environment while offering students the best possible education.
All the best,
Nancy L. Spencer Head of School
Donna Conroy School Nurse
5101 First Street Northeast St Petersburg, FL 33703 Phone: (727) 522-2111 | Fax: (727) 527-4191 [Map]