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COVID-19 Case Response and Notification

When a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified among students or staff attending school on-site, the district works closely with Lane County Public Health officials to respond to the case, conduct contact tracing, determine and notify any persons who may have been exposed to COVID-19, and protect the health of our school staff and community.

Eugene School District 4J and all 4J schools are committed to a high standard of health and safety protocols, which greatly limit the likelihood of transmission between people at school. The district also is committed to proactive and transparent communication to staff and families

Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation

The district will exclude from schools and district sites all students, employees and others who are diagnosed with or suspected to have COVID-19, consistent with OAR 333-19-0010.

Generally, people who have COVID-19 should isolate for 10 days after their symptoms started (or if they have no symptoms, for 10 days after the first test date) and 24 hours after any fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medicine and other symptoms are improving. They are to follow all instructions from Lane County Public Health and the district’s liaison with public health. 

Close contact / exposure 

When a student or staff member is identified as having COVID-19, the district will coordinate with Lane County Public Health and conduct contact tracing for the time the person was at school or work, to identify any students, staff or others they were in close contact with. Only people who had close contact with the ill person are considered to have been exposed to COVID-19. People who did not have close contact with the ill person, including people who have been in close contact with a person who was in close contact with the ill person, are not considered to have been exposed to COVID-19.

In general settings CDC defines close contact and potential exposure as a person who has been near a person with COVID-19, within 6 feet for more than 15 cumulative minutes in a 24-hour period, starting from 2 days before the onset of illness. Under CDC and OHA guidance, in a school setting, students are not considered to be close contacts of a person with COVID-19 if they were 3 feet or more apart and both students were consistently and correctly using well-fitting masks.

Text in infographic created by Oregon Department of Education reads: "Universal and correct use of face coverings keeps kids learning in-person, which we all agree is best for students. Face coverings mean more days in school for students. When students are at least three feet apart and everyone is wearing a face covering, students who are in close contact with someone with COVID-19 don’t need to quarantine unless they have symptoms. Without face coverings and at least three feet of distance, students in close contact to someone with COVID-19 will need to quarantine and miss school days. This could include all members of the stable small group (cohort). If no face coverings are worn and students do not distance, it becomes more difficult to track down close contacts. Exposure to a confirmed case can compound when students shift to new classrooms or visit other indoor spaces in the school, such as the library or gym. This could lead to quarantining of full grades or full school closure."

Quarantine

Text in infographic created by Oregon Department of Education shows general quarantine protocols, illustrating that a person who is unvaccinated and a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 is considered to be exposed and should quarantine, but a person who is a close contact of a close contact of a COVID case is not considered to be exposed.Any unvaccinated person who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 is directed by public health officials to quarantine at home for 14 days after the latest time of exposure.

Under current public health guidance, close contacts are not required to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or have had a case of COVID-19 diagnosed within the previous 90 days. Fully immunized close contacts should still monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 during the 14 days after exposure, and if symptoms develop they should isolate and seek testing.

Extent of quarantine

4J schools’ high standard of safety protocols reduces the likelihood of transmission between people at school, and to date has prevented any significant school spread. Where consistently adhered to, the district’s safety protocols have helped keep to a minimum the number of close contacts a person diagnosed with COVID-19 has had at school, limiting the number of individuals who need to quarantine for two weeks due to exposure.

However, if a school cannot confirm that 6 feet of distancing was consistently maintained or 3 feet of distancing was maintained between students with consistent mask use in an indoor school setting, then all unvaccinated persons the confirmed case was in contact with will be considered potential close contacts and will need to be quarantined.

Students in cohorts that have had contact with a COVID case may need to stay home for a day or two while contact tracing is conducted. 

Parent and Staff Notification

The district is committed to proactive and transparent communication to staff and families, and provides three levels of notifications when a person who has been on-site at school or work is identified as having COVID-19. Our goal in sharing this information is to keep staff and families well informed, while meeting confidentiality requirements and honoring everyone’s right to privacy. The affected person will not be identified.  

Close contact notification

The district will conduct contact tracing for the time the person was at school or work and identify any students, staff or others they were in close contact with. All people identified as close contacts will be contacted directly, such as by personal phone call, notified of the exposure, and provided information about appropriate measures including recommended testing for close contacts and required quarantine for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated. In the case of minor students, the parent will be contacted.

Cohorts of students may need to stay home while contact tracing is conducted. Typically all close contacts are identified and notified within 1–2 days of first learning of the case. Certain circumstances such as complex contact tracing may take longer.

Cohort notification

The district will identify all staff and students who are in a school group or “cohort” with the affected person, and notify staff and parents that there has been a case identified in the cohort, normally within 1 day after contact tracing is completed. For elementary schools this may be a single classroom cohort; for middle and high schools, multiple course sections will be identified. Students may also be in a transportation cohort or athletic cohort.

Receiving a cohort notification does not mean that the student has been exposed to COVID-19; it is a courtesy notice for transparent communication to the school community. Only individuals identified as close contacts are considered to have been exposed to COVID-19 and directed to quarantine if unvaccinated. Once contact tracing has been completed, if a parent has not been directly contacted and informed their student was a close contact, the student is not considered to have been exposed and does not need to quarantine, stay home from school or sports, or take any other special measures.

Notification emails are sent out through the SchoolMessenger autodialer system, and parents will receive them if they have not opted out of receiving such messages.

Public information

COVID-19 cases identified in schools will be tracked in an online dashboard, publicly accessible on this website at www.4j.lane.edu/coronavirus/dashboard.

Other Protective Measures

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include being vaccinated when eligible, wearing face masks, keeping physical distance from others, staying home when ill, and practicing other good health hygiene habits. Thank you for helping to protect your family and school community by following public health officials’ safety guidance.

For more detailed information about protective measures please refer to the district’s COVID-19 Communicable Disease Management Plan, available on this district website at www.4j.lane.edu/coronavirus/healthsafety.

Learn More

COVID-19 Communicable Disease Management Plan
COVID-19 Case Dashboard
COVID-19 News and Updates

COVID-19 Exclusion Summary Guidance for K–12 Schools
ODE Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework