Parents Receive Notification Of COVID-19 Cases Via Email
On September 8th, Midlothian ISD campuses opened their doors as students returned to face to face learning. The first week was a transitional week with a staggered return. This week as kids return to a full schedule the first COVID-19 positive letters have gone out to parents.
Yesterday, a parent reached out to us with a letter they received from Dietrich Middle School. The letter states: The purpose of the letter is to inform you that (2) staff members at your student’s campus have tested positive for COVID-19. The district is taking this situation seriously and is taking all the necessary steps to address this situation.
Based on our review, it is unlikely that your student had close contact with the individuals who tested positive. The parent that shared the letter with us, pointed out that it was not unlikely but impossible they had contact as their student is a virtual learner. TEA defines close contact as being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes. Due to the layout of the building and class schedules, it is unlikely that your student had close contact with the individuals who tested positive. However, should your student begin to develop COVID-19 symptoms, please ensure that you do not send your student to campus and contact your primary care physician. You may opt for your student to receive remote instruction should this occur. It has been determined that the 14 day incubation period for anyone possible exposed on campus to the student is through 9/24/2020. (We are guessing student is a form letter typo and should have read staff members)
After being informed of the positive case, the campus closed off the areas that were heavily used by the individual and surfaces of that area were disinfected. We have also notified our local health department in accordance with TEA guidelines. Contact tracing has begun; you will be contacted by phone if your child was potentially in close contact with the individual who tested positive.
Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) the District is unable to answer any questions regarding the identity of this individual. Should you have any questions please contact Judi Fiorenzal at email@example.com or 469-856-5210.
Following this we also learned there are positive cases at Walnut Grove Middle School, and additional student cases at Dietrich Middle School. Meanwhile, other districts in the area like Mansfield ISD and Grand Prairie ISD have created COVID-19 pages and dashboards to keep families informed.
“Mansfield ISD has created a web page to track COVID-19 cases within the district. The data provided includes the number of lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and the recovery status of those cases by campus.”
Screenshot from Mansfield ISD COVID-19 dashboard
Unfortunately, we realize this is the reality we are living in, and there will be additional positive COVID-19 cases as the school year progresses. But the question remains, how does this impact your choice of where you child learns and is there a better way to communicate the news to parents?