Keeping the Community Informed

In an effort to keep students, staff, parents, and the entire community aware of how COVID-19 is impacting our district, we plan to share as much information as possible, while protecting the privacy of those affected. Please know that these efforts will be a work in progress and our district will make adjustments and improvements as we learn more during this pandemic and reopening of our school district. We share this news with you so you can make well-informed decisions for your family.

JCSD COVID-19 Status Update

If an asterisk (*) is shown, the count is six individuals or less. 

9 Student(s) currently testing positive
Students currently isolating/quarantining
* Staff members currently testing positive
* Staff currently isolating/quarantining
Classrooms/Grades moved online (affected families are informed directly of this)

(Updated: 05/07/2021 @ 1:43 p.m. Updates are made every Wednesday and Friday. Disclaimer: The information set forth above is for informational purposes only. This information is based on reports to the District from other sources which have not been independently verified.

Health Metrics

The district uses the health metrics established by the Iowa Department of Public Health to monitor county-wide positivity rates. They also provide a county-by-county percentage positive analysis for all public school districts in Iowa. The IDPH site we use to determine classroom, building, and grade Return To Learn model(s) can be accessed here:

The Johnston School Board uses a similar metric system to evaluate the status of our classrooms, buildings, and district as it pertains to keeping schools open or moving them online.

View the JCSD Return To Learn Metrics here

CDC Quarantine Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control has released updated guidance on quarantine times for persons exposed to COVID. As a reminder, if you are living with a COVID-positive person and cannot isolate, your quarantine time is 14+10 days (total of 24 days). When in doubt, please consult with your medical provider or Polk Co. Health for clarification.

CDC Updated Quarantine Guidance (English)

CDC Updated Quarantine Guidance in Spanish

Communication and Notification Process

Each time a person (staff or student) in a district facility tests positive for COVID-19, a JCSD team consisting of school nurses, support staff, and respective building administrators will work with Polk County Health Services to determine next steps.

If student or staff member was determined to have close contact with the positive individual they will receive a notification. There are two types of notifications:

  1. If proper masks were not being worn at the time of close contact you may receive a notification and order to quarantine.
  2. If proper masks were being worn at the time of close contact, you may receive a notification to simply make you aware of close contact but not an order to quarantine.

If the positive case was not in your child’s classroom or activity and your child was not a close contact, you will not receive an email.

School Nurse Protocol for COVID-19 Symptoms

As part of their efforts to keep buildings healthy, please be aware that school nurses may send a student(s) home for 10 days based on recommendations from the Iowa Dept. of Public Health and Polk Co. Health. The Iowa Dept. of Public Health and Polk Co. Health Department recommend that any person with one high-risk or two low-risk symptoms stay home and contact their medical provider for an evaluation.

One High Risk Symptoms Two Low Risk Symptoms
New cough Fever
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Headache
New loss of taste or smell Muscle or body aches
Sore throat
Runny nose

If your child should test positive for COVID 19, please notify your student’s principal or school nurse right away. Your school nurse or school official will provide information on when you can return back to school. For questions, you are directed to contact your health care provider or Polk County Health at 515-286-3798.

Free Testing Sites in Polk County

The Polk Co. Health Department has provided us with information on two COVID-19 testing sites in Polk County. Each location is offering testing windows from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturdays. *Saturday testing hours vary by location. Contact the pharmacy for details.

West Des Moines Hy-Vee HealthMarket
Address: 375 S. Jordan Creek Pkwy., West Des Moines, Iowa
Phone number: (515) 216-2796

To register for a test voucher number, visit and answer the questions/provide requested information to receive a test voucher number, testing site and appointment time. The person will then arrive at the specified test site pharmacy drive thru and provide either a printed voucher number or show the voucher number on their phone before given a test kit. The Hy-Vee pharmacy employee will provide the test kit and education on how to self-administer the test and will supervise the test. The individual will then drop off their completed kit in a collection bin. The entire test process takes about five minutes. From there, the Hy-Vee pharmacy collects all tests, which are shipped to a lab via UPS. Results will then be sent to the individual via email in three to five days.

Address: 1330 E University Ave, Des Moines, IA
(515) 299-9791

Walgreens is offering no-cost, contactless COVID-19 testing at select locations in partnership with the PWNHealth provider network.*

Testing is at no cost to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and federal guidelines. At the testing locations, Walgreens pharmacy team oversees patients’ self-administration of the COVID-19 test.

Take a quick screening survey to see if you’re eligible for testing: