Clearing Up Quarantine and COVID Case Confusion
As reported on Thursday, the number of positive cases and number of isolated/quarantined individuals in the district spiked. A local media outlet ran a story that left out a good portion of the information that was provided to them regarding the rise in numbers.
Any time there is a positive case, the positive individual works with Polk Co. Health Department to discuss who, what, where, and when they were around prior to testing positive. This is also where PCH asks about mask-wearing and who in every scenario was properly wearing a mask. Then, PCH determines who will be quarantined for 14 days and who will not be quarantined due to distancing, masks, etc. PCH gives the Johnston Community School District a list of people to contact by phone (if quarantined) and email (if not quarantined), along with additional health resources.
The act of quarantining is a safety mitigation strategy and one practiced by thousands of schools, businesses, and organizations – including JCSD. During a quarantine, one should be monitored for COVID symptoms, isolate from others, and get tested if they start to feel sick.
Seeing this rise in numbers can be alarming. While we cannot disclose the individual number of positive and/or quarantine cases at any given school (CDC/PCH privacy guideline), we can share that our 20 cases are throughout the district, from students and staff. Our 409 quarantined are also throughout the district.
What we’re also seeing are students and staff contracting the virus outside of school hours. Kids and educators are doing a great job of masking while in school, but it’s become apparent that gatherings such as youth sports leagues, fellowship or church events, family get togethers, etc. where people are not masked or distanced is where the virus is most easily spread.
We need to keep putting in the effort to slow the spread in our community. Mask up wherever you go, stay socially distanced, wash your hands, and stay home when you’re not feeling well. We can do this, Dragons!