Contact Tracing Puts 100 Weber County Students In Quarantine
ROY, Utah – Just one person’s positive COVID-19 test at Sandridge Junior High School in Roy has left 100 students under quarantine.
Health officials said this is an example of how quickly the job of contact tracing can pile up, and now the Weber-Morgan Health Department is sending more help to the schools.
This is not the scenario parents and students were hoping for after just one week of school.
“The reality is we’re trying to protect the health of everyone in the school,” said Weber School District spokesman Lane Findlay.
Findlay said as soon as they got word of the positive test results, they started working back over two days, reaching out to parents of students who were in close contact with that positive case.
“You have seven classes, then you have to take into consideration any time where kids could be exposed and that could be lunch, transportation, those situations,” Findlay said.
Each school has a point of contact whose job is to monitor COVID-19 cases and handle contact tracing.
Public health nurse Lekelsi Talbot is one of those points of contact.
“They will identify anyone that was within a 6-foot radius for more than 15 minutes,” said Talbot.
She and six others make up the team that is dedicated to schools at the Weber-Morgan Health Department.
“We know how quickly contacts can develop and how many cases can develop so fast, so we’re anticipating that to happen here,” Talbot said.
That’s why the health department wants to get one more staffer into each school, to help with contact tracing part-time. They will first need the approval of more federal CARES funding to make that happen.
“We want to make sure that we have plenty of help for our nurses and our points of contact at our schools,” Talbot said.
In the meantime, Talbot said they need help from parents and students to slow the spread by wearing face masks and social distancing.
“If you’re sick, please stay home,” she said. If you’ve been tested, please stay home until you get those test results.”
Those 100 quarantined students will be allowed to return to school after 14 days — if they don’t show any symptoms.
In the meantime, they are watching closely for symptoms and will have to get tested if any symptoms do flare up.
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