• What happens when there is a COVID-19 case on campus?

  • When students are attending school in-person, the school will notify parents and employees via email and text when the school is notified that someone confirmed to have COVID-19 was in the school.

    When students are not attending school in-person, the school will notify the entire school community of positive COVID-19 cases only in the following instances:

    • When individuals cannot be readily identified through contact tracing;
    • When health officials determine two or more positive cases likely resulted from an exposure at school.

    We will not notify the school community about suspected or confirmed cases in individuals who have not been on campus or in close contact with anyone on campus.

    How will the school or district notify the campus community about COVID-19 cases?

    Even with thorough measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on school campuses, everyone in the community could be exposed to the virus through everyday interactions with others on-campus or off-campus.

    WCPSS is required to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 to Wake County Public Health and work with them for follow-up and contact tracing. If a person with COVID-19 was in a WCPSS facility while infectious, WCPSS will coordinate with local health officials to notify anyone who was in close contact with the infected person, while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with FERPA, NCGS 130A-143, and all other state and federal laws. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of someone confirmed to have COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes within two days of the infected person experiencing symptoms or testing positive.

    What if one of my students or co-workers tests positive for COVID-19?

    Wake County Public Health will determine through contact tracing who, if anyone, will need to quarantine. WCPSS and Wake County Public Health will work together to ensure that individuals believed to have been exposed to COVID-19 are notified.

    If one employee or student contracts COVID-19, will the building close down?

    NC DHHS does not require or recommend for schools to close as a result of a student or employee testing positive for COVID-19. Wake County Public Health will determine through contact tracing who, if anyone, will need to quarantine.

    How will I know if I was exposed to someone with COVID-19 and need to quarantine?

    Wake County Public Health will determine through contact tracing who, if anyone, will need to quarantine. Only individuals who had close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 will need to quarantine. WCPSS and Wake County Public Health will work together to ensure that individuals believed to have been exposed to COVID-19 are notified.

    What is the campus response to a confirmed case?

    Following NC DHHS guidelines, areas used by the infected individual will be temporarily closed until they have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Our disinfectant is EPA-approved for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

    What if a student or employee doesn’t report their case? 

    The district cannot require individuals to self-report any medical information, including a COVID-19 diagnosis. However, it is our hope that individuals will notify us so we can respond appropriately and provide support. To assist with maintaining a healthy school community, we ask students, employees, and visitors to follow notification procedures to assist with any response to positive COVID-19 cases.

    Through contact tracing, the local health department will notify individuals if they are believed to have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, even if the infected person does not notify WCPSS. We are cleaning and disinfecting our facilities daily, with more frequent cleaning and disinfection of high contact areas.

     

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the plan if my student has a fever or cough or COVID like symptom? How much school will they need to miss, and is there a plan for remote learning in lieu of absences while recovering or awaiting test results?

    If a student is experiencing a symptom associated with COVID-19, they may return to school when they (or their parent on their behalf) can answer YES TO ALL three questions:

    1. Has it been at least 10 days since you first had symptoms?
    AND
    2. Has it been at least 24 hours since you had a fever (without the use of fever reducing medicine?)
    AND
    3. Have your symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath?

    If the student has a negative rapid antigen test, they must stay home until they receive a follow-up negative PCR test, have no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medicine), AND they have felt well for 24 hours.


    If the student has a negative PCR COVID-19 test, they must stay home until they have no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medicine) AND they have felt well for 24 hours.


    If the student has a confirmed diagnosis other than COVID-19 (like a stomach virus, ear infection, etc.) from a healthcare professional to explain the COVID-19-like symptoms, they must stay home until they have no fever for 24 hours.

    What circumstances would require an entire school to shut down? How many positive cases in a building before the building shuts down for any period of time?

    NC DHHS does not require or recommend for schools to close as a result of a student or employee testing positive for COVID-19. Wake County Public Health will determine through contact tracing who, if anyone, will need to quarantine. Wake County Public Health will instruct WCPSS to close a facility, if needed.

    If a teacher tests positive, will you close their room for deep cleaning?

    Following NC DHHS guidelines, areas used by the infected individual will be temporarily closed until they have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Our disinfectant is EPA-approved for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

    If a child is sent home sick with fever and potential symptoms of Covid, do they need to be home for 10 days unless a neg test is provided or can they return fever free under the existing 24 hr fever free rule? 

    Students can return to school once they meet the criteria outlined here: wcpss.net/domain/17057


    If a student experiencing a symptom associated with COVID-19, they may return to school when they (or their parent on their behalf) can answer YES TO ALL three questions:

    1. Has it been at least 10 days since you first had symptoms?
    AND
    2. Has it been at least 24 hours since you had a fever (without the use of fever reducing medicine?)
    AND
    3. Have your symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath?

    If the student has a negative rapid antigen test, they must stay home until they receive a follow-up negative PCR test, have no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medicine), AND they have felt well for 24 hours.


    If the student has a negative PCR COVID-19 test, they must stay home until they have no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medicine) AND they have felt well for 24 hours.


    If the student has a confirmed diagnosis other than COVID-19 (like a stomach virus, ear infection, etc.) from a healthcare professional to explain the COVID-19-like symptoms, they must stay home until they have no fever for 24 hours.


    Have all ventilation systems in building been checked for efficiency? 

    All systems are designed in accordance with the NC mechanical code and ASHRAE recommendations. All have 4-6 air changes per hour. Systems are controlled automatically. Filters are monitored and changed when dirty. We are in the process of evaluating the feasibility and cost of installing different filters.

Questions?

  • Have a question about positive exposures on campus? Ask us! We'll update this blog post with an FAQ.

Health Information is a Private Matter

Each individual’s health information is a private matter. No one should publicly declare another employee or student as sick. In the event others need to be notified of a suspected or positive case of COVID-19, local health officials will notify them and provide them further instructions. Do not notify colleagues, students or families of positive cases. 

To protect individual privacy, notifications will not identify anyone by name or contain information that could be used to identify them.