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Getting Answers: What is LPSS protocol for reporting COVID-19 cases?

Posted at 11:01 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 00:01:46-04

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is currently reporting three COVID-19 outbreaks tied to schools in Louisiana that led to 17 cases.

This week, the Lafayette Parish School System confirmed at least one person has tested positive for COVID-19 at Carencro Middle School. Administrators say the appropriate people have been notified.

But with that news, we were curious - have there been other infections? What is the school system's protocol for reporting?

We found out that the school system does have policies in place to notify people who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. We're told that those individuals will be called by the school system. During school year, LPSS will have an automated recording set up to let parents know if a child has been exposed. If a child needs to quarantine, the family will get a phone call from a nurse or school administrator.

According to LPSS, that information will also be reported to LDH.

What about everyone else? Will the school system be notifying the public when there are COVID-19 infections in schools? That answer is unclear. Why?

After we were notified about the Carencro Middle School infection earlier this week, we've heard about other new cases at schools. So we reached out to the school system again to see how many employees have tested positive at each school since August 1.

We were told, "No, we will not be sharing that information."

The Department of Health is releasing information on outbreaks in primary and secondary schools, but the data is vague and only provides how many outbreaks and the number of cases tied to them. Right now, the department is not releasing the locations of the outbreaks.

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