Miscellaneous » COVID-19 Information » COVID-19: Student Exposure / Close Contact

COVID-19: Student Exposure / Close Contact

The Hart District continues to follow directives for county, state, and federal agencies to provide students with a safe learning environment. As such, we continue our efforts to mitigate, to the extent possible, the spread of the virus.
With a positive case of COVID-19 at a school site, we are situated to take immediate action which includes the following steps:
  • A general email notification is made to students and staff who may have been exposed. 
  • Contact tracing continues and a list of students and staff who were close contacts of the individual are contacted.
  • Close contacts are provided with information regarding testing, masking, and quarantine period, if any.
  • Students who are required to quarantine are also provided with information on how to reach out to their teachers to request classwork and access to instruction during their absence.

As we start the contact tracing process, the first step is to identify all students and adults who may have been exposed to the individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. This early email communication is to advise all potentially exposed individuals to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.
If symptoms of COVID-19 are present, the individual should be tested and self-quarantine until their results are available. For more information regarding the symptoms of COVID-19 or to complete a symptom checker for the virus, please click here.

Note: A confirmed case of COVID-19 does not mean all students in a classroom or at a school were exposed or will get sick. The contact tracing process is utilized to determine the individuals who were potentially exposed and should take precautions.

A "close Contact" is a person who has shared the same indoor airspace with someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period while they were infectious.  
Examples of indoor airspaces are homes, waiting rooms, airplanes. An example of "a total of 15 minutes or more" is being in the same airspace with the person for 5 minutes at least 3 different times in 24 hours.
Note: A different definition of a close contact is used for persons potentially exposed in very large indoor spaces. 
*A person with COVID-19 is considered to be able to spread the virus to others (infectious): if symptomatic-from 2 days before their symptoms first started until their isolation period ends, OR if symptoms never develop-from 2 days before their positive viral test was taken until their isolation period ends.
The identified groups will be notified through a general notification email sent to caregivers. The following information will be included:
  • Requirements to continue in-person instruction or quarantine instructions, if any.
  • COVID testing resources.
  • Timeline to monitor health after exposure.
  • Information on how to access coursework and assignments if a quarantine period is necessary.

Note: A student who passes by someone who tests positive for COVID-19 in the hallway, bathroom, or outdoor space does not make the student a close contact of the ill individual.

A positive COVID-19 test result is required to confirm illness. Being a close contact does not mean that your student is infected with COVID-19. A close contact is an individual who may have been exposed to the virus and may become infected and spread the virus to others before developing symptoms. Therefore, close contacts are asked to monitor their health for symptoms of the illness, wear a mask, especially indoors, and test during Day 3-5 after the exposure. If your student shows any symptoms of the virus, it is important to have your child tested.

In most cases, your student is not in what is considered by the health department to be a high-risk setting." This means if they are a close contact or exposed, they will be exempt from quarantine away from others, regardless of their vaccination status or if they have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days as long as they do not have any symptoms. 
While they are not required to quarantine away from others, they are strongly recommended to:
  • Wear a highly protective mask around others, especially indoors and when near those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease, for a total of 10 days after the last contact with a person infected with COVID-19.
    • The mask should be a well-fitting medical mask, a well-fitting respirator, or a well-fitting high filtration reusable mask with a nose-wire. (See When To Wear A Mask for details about masks with best protection); and
  • Test as soon as possible (within 3-5 days after your last exposure) to determine your infection status. If they test positive, follow all isolation requirements; and
  • Monitor themselves for symptoms for 10 days following your exposure. If symptoms develop, test and stay home away from others. If they test positive, follow all isolation requirements; and
  • Follow all other steps in the Instructions for Close Contacts to COVID-19.
Unless they meet the exemption requirements for quarantine above, they are strongly recommended to quarantine (stay in their home or another residence and away from others). This is because they have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 and may become infected and spread the virus to others before developing symptoms.
COVID-19 at-home test kits can be requested from your school's health office or they can provide an FDA-authorized antigen diagnostic test or PCR diagnostic test in the health office. Information regarding how to request any of these tests is available from your school.
For detailed information regarding quarantine instructions, COVID-19 testing, or COVID-19 vaccination, please click on the appropriate link on the right.
If your student has tested positive for COVID, please notify the school immediately so that close contacts can be identified and notified.
If your student has symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19 or if your doctor thinks* they have COVID-19, they must isolate at home until:
  • At least 5 days have passed since the symptoms first started and
  • They have not had a fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) and
  • Symptoms have improved
A negative COVID-19 test is no longer required to leave isolation between Day 6-10. (LAC DPH strongly recommends that persons test negative prior to leaving isolation between Day 6-10).  

If your student tests positive for COVID-19 but does not have any symptoms, they must stay home until:
  • At least 5 days have passed since the day the initial positive test was taken and
  • If they develop symptoms, you need to follow the instructions above
More information on home isolation can be found here.
Staff is working diligently to provide students with access to classwork and homework during isolation/quarantine. If your student is required to isolate/quarantine, please work with your child to notify each of their teachers via email for further assistance. Please find below links to each school's staff directory to assist with this process.

Junior High Schools