SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – It’s just a matter of days until Sioux City students and staff head back to the classroom for the new school year.
The district provided details about the protocols that will be used to respond to COVID-19 infections.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman tells KCAU that when on district grounds, everyone will be required to wear a mask.
When it comes to students and how the district plans to go about responding to COVID-19 cases, he said the identity of the person who tests positive will remain confidential.
Only individuals identified as close contacts will be notified of positive cases in the district.
“Those questions determine who they’ve been around and for how long they’ve been in close proximity to that person, were masks worn, were other protocols in place and based on that specific situation we make decisions with the help of Siouxland District Health on who to notify and recommend quarantining,” Dr. Gausman said.
After being exposed to the virus, a student or staff member will need to remain off school grounds for at least 10 days while also being fever free for 24 hours and off fever-reducing medications.
Dr. Gausman said because contact tracing is being used, some students may be asked to quarantine and others in the same classroom may not.
He said without a vaccine or significant changes, it’s not only possible but it’s probable the district will handle classrooms and buildings on a case by case scenario.
“There may be times during this year where it’s safe and appropriate to have school in this building or series of buildings, yet it is most safe to close this classroom or this hallway or this building for a period of time. So I sense that will be much of what we’re dealing with as we head into the fall,” Dr. Gausman added.
He said additional decisions will be made after watching student attendance and the community positivity rate.
If metrics stay low after a couple weeks of classes, the district plans to move from the hybrid model to traditional instruction.
Dr. Gausman said the district wouldn’t move to full virtual learning unless Woodbury County hits a 15% positivity rate and the Iowa Department of Public Health is consulted.
He adds that the district is relying on parents to alert district administrators when they become aware of exposure to the virus.
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