Risk Assessment and Close Contact Clarifications From Stamford Public Schools - Stamford Moms

Message from Stamford Public School Superintendent Dr. Tamu Lucero

Hello Staff and Families,
It is week two of the school year and we are off to a great start. I ran into a few families downtown on Saturday.  Both students and parents shared how excited they are to be back in school with their friends and teachers.
However, as we anticipated, we have had a few members of our school community test positive for COVID-19, some who have had COVID-19 like-symptoms, and others who had a ‘close contact’ with a COVID-19 positive individual and are required to self-quarantine.  We appreciate that in each of these cases the established process was followed, and was effective. The individuals communicated with their schools and together with the Stamford Health Department we conducted our contact tracing and risk assessment process.
Please know that each case is different and needs to be assessed independently.
The following is very important to remember as it relates to risk assessment and contact tracing:
  1. The Stamford Health Department begins the process of risk assessment and contact tracing only when an individual in a school community or at central office has an official positive COVID-19 test.
  2. A close contact is a person who has spent 15 minutes within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed positive COVID-19 test or a direct exposure to possibly infected droplets of saliva or nasal mucus (e.g. being sneezed or coughed on in the face).
  3. A close contact of a contact is not a contact. In other words, a person must be in direct contact with a person testing positive for COVID-19 to be considered a contact.
  4. Stamford Public Schools, in conjunction with the Stamford Health Department, selected the Hybrid model because it allowed for our students and staff to remain 6 feet apart, thus reducing the opportunity for students or staff to spend 15 minutes within 6 feet of a person in a class or during lunch, thus being considered a contact.
  5. Due to privacy laws, only those individuals determined to be in contact with a COVID-19 positive individual will be notified of a necessary action such as self-quarantine.
Thank you to all of our students and staff who are diligently focused on reducing the risk by continuing to do the following:
  1. Practicing proper hand hygiene including hand washing and hand sanitizing.
  2. Practicing social distancing and avoiding any opportunity to spend 15 minutes within 6 feet of a person.
  3. Wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times with the exceptions of a mask break and eating lunch.
  4. If you are directed by a medical professional to quarantine, due to contact with a person with a positive COVID-19 test, it is important that you quarantine to limit exposure to others even if you are asymptomatic (not showing symptoms) or if you test negative for COVID-19. Quarantine refers to the practice of separating individuals who have had close contact, as defined above, with someone with COVID-19 to determine whether they develop symptoms or test positive for the disease. Quarantine also reduces the risk of transmission if an individual is later found to have COVID-19. This means you should remain in your home during the length of the required quarantine.
Together we will reduce the risk and be able to remain in-person at school.

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