News Flash

Public Health - Coronavirus

Posted on: September 7, 2021

New Health Order Reemphasizes School Implementation of Testing & Contact Tracing Programs

New Health Order Reemphasizes School Implementation of Testing & Contact Tracing Programs

To support school administrators, Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann has issued an order clarifying that State guidelines require all public, private, or charter schools in Nevada County intending to implement shortened or modified quarantine have a functioning testing and contact tracing program approved by the health officer. The order is effective immediately.

The new order:

  • Clarifies that State guidelines require all schools in Nevada County implement an effective, approved plan for testing and contact tracing in order to use modified and shortened quarantine for unvaccinated students who have had a COVID-19 exposure.
  • Clarifies that during modified quarantine, students can participate in classroom activities but not in extracurricular activities, including sports, until quarantine is over and they remain asymptomatic. No extracurricular activities are allowed under any type of quarantine.

“Schools have the relationships, the resources, and the responsibility to provide for testing and contact tracing of their students,” Kellermann said. “The administrators of our schools are committed to working with Public Health to ensure that our children receive the great benefit of in-person education while learning in an environment free of COVID-19. Testing, contact tracing, and quarantining will safeguard our children while attending school.”

Nevada County had 488 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the week of August 30th-September 3rd—the highest number of weekly cases since the start of the pandemic. There has been a rise in cases among children ages 0-17, with over 500 confirmed cases in the month of August alone. This number only includes those who have been tested.

In order to keep kids in school as much as possible, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has authorized schools to implement modified and shortened quarantine for unvaccinated students who have had an exposure to COVID-19. As today’s order emphasizes, schools must have a robust and functional testing program and ability to perform contact tracing in order to implement either of these strategies. 

CDPH provides ongoing COVID-19 guidance and resources for California’s K-12 schools and the Nevada County Public Health department works closely with schools to ensure their testing and contact tracing programs are approved and in place. State and Federal funding is available to help schools meet the challenges of providing in-person instruction during the pandemic.

“This is a partnership. All of us—the schools, the State, the health department, parents, and students—need to work together to make sure our kids have the opportunity to learn in a safe environment,” Kellermann said.

See the full text of the Order

 Additional Resources:

  • Parents are encouraged to contact the administration at their child’s school for questions about COVID-19 testing and contact tracing protocols.
  • The State’s Safe Schools for All Parent Page provides information about the school safety measures that protect the health and wellbeing of students while they are on campus, and the valuable role that in-person learning plays for children's social and emotional development.
  • Learn more about State and Federal funding available for California schools to get back to in-person learning.
  • All California residents age 12 and over are eligible for free COVID-19 vaccination. Schedule your appointment at MyTurn.ca.gov or learn more about COVID-19 vaccines at covid19.ca.gov/vaccines.

 

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