Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2020
GCS Notification of Positive COVID-19 Cases
With the new school year almost here, it is important to understand how COVID-19 cases in Greenville County Schools will be handled. When a student or staff member in one of our schools tests positive for COVID-19, that person will be excluded from school for at least 10 days and directed to isolate. Contact tracing will begin immediately. Once contact tracing is complete, there will be three types of notification:
Close Contact Notification: Anyone determined to have been in “close contact” with the COVID-19 positive individual during the time he/she was contagious must be excluded from school 10 days (new information that was updated due to CDC and DHEC guidance received on December 3, 2020). Close contact is defined as being within 6-feet of a COVID-positive individual for more than 15 minutes (cumulative, with or without a mask), living in the same house with a COVID-positive individual, caring for someone who is recovering from COVID-19, or being in direct contact with respiratory droplets from someone who is COVID-19 positive. Those determined to have had “close contact” have been exposed to COVID-19 and will be notified directly by school personnel. When the close contact is a student, the student’s family will receive a personal phone call from a school staff member.
Not Close Contact Notification: All individuals who have been in a classroom or other area of the school (including athletic fields) with a COVID positive person will receive personal notification. Families of students will be called to let them know a student or staff member with whom they have class or an extracurricular activity tested positive. Students/staff who were not in close contact as defined by DHEC will NOT be automatically excluded from school, but should be closely monitored for 14 days for symptoms such as fever, cough, trouble breathing, or loss of taste/smell. Families should consider limiting contact between these individuals and high-risk family members.
School-Wide Notification: When a positive case is identified in a GCS school, in addition to the personal notifications going to “close contacts” and classmates/teammates/fellow club members, a notice will be placed on the GCS website. This will provide school-wide notification to those who are interested. It will also provide a historical reference and transparency for the entire GCS community.
Please note: Siblings who reside with students who test positive and the children of teachers who test positive case will be considered “close contacts” and must be excluded from school for at least 14 and up to 24 days. A negative test during this period of time does not eliminate the quarantine requirement.