Harmony Grove Public Schools has published an announcement on Monday to detail the District’s procedures, should a student or staff member become infected with Covid-19 after the start of the new school year.
The short version:
- If staff or a student tests positive, they should contact the school nurse.
- The nurse will have your close contacts notified and told to quarantine for 14 days.
- The Department of Health will take over from there.
The full announcement:
August 17, 2020
Dear Harmony Grove Students and Parents,
We understand there are many uncertainties during this time and some of you may be feeling apprehensive about the return of students to school. It is natural to feel concerned when facing a challenge like this. We want to reassure you that we are following all guidelines and taking steps as outlined in our Ready for Learning plan. While we are doing our best to provide a safe environment for our students and staff, we are also realistic and know that because everyone is susceptible, more than likely after school begins there will be students and staff members within our district testing positive for Covid-19.
This message is intended to inform the HGSD community of the procedure in the event of a positive case of Covid-19 within our district. The district has a Point of Contact that will be notified when a student or staff member has tested positive for Covid-19 or is being tested for Covid-19. Nurse Allison Callahan is the point of contact for Harmony Grove School District. If a student or staff member tests positive or is awaiting the results of a test, contact Nurse Allison Callahan at 501-443-6350 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or email: [email protected]
In the event that our district Point of Contact is notified of a student or staff member testing positive for Covid-19, the district Point of Contact will notify the AR Department of Health and determine a list of probable close contacts within the schools. The district Point of Contact is not a contract tracer, so any contact tracing outside of the schools will be done by the Arkansas Department of Health. Probable close contacts are individuals that have likely been within 6 feet for 15 cumulative minutes or longer, within a 24 hour period, to a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 during the infectious period.
The probable close contacts will first be notified by the district that he/she is a probable close contact of someone that has tested positive for Covid-19 and will be told to quarantine for 14 days. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will then contact probable close contacts for further guidance and directions. Due to HIPAA/FERPA requirements, the ADH, the point of contact or any other employee of Harmony Grove School District may NOT disclose the name of the student or staff member that tested positive. Again, if you are notified of being a probable close contact you will only be informed that you came in probable close contact with someone that tested positive, but you will not be told the name of the individual that tested positive.
The district will continue working in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Health and will assess and determine the appropriate level of response for onsite learning. We can also use your help prior to the start of school. Practice mask wearing and proper handwashing with your student.
This school year will be challenging, but working together, we can provide a safe and secure environment. We look forward to seeing our students back on campus. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your student’s principal or the statewide Ready for School Resource Call Center at 1-833-353-6050.
Heath Bennett, Superintendent