LAFAYETTE, La. — KATC is getting answers after been getting calls from parents of students about why the Lafayette Parish School System stopped its contact tracing program to track potential exposure of COVID-19 for students and staff over the Thanksgiving break.
One parent KATC spoke to was told the Sunday after Thanksgiving that her child was exposed before they went on the five-day break.
She says that after hearing that nurses that typically made the calls to parents were given the days off, she made a public records request to learn more.
What she got was an email sent by the supervisor of nursing health services to school nurses.
KATC Investigates has obtained an email from the LPSS supervisor of nursing health services, to school nurses of LPSS dated Tuesday, Nov. 24, which states that there was no contact tracing Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday of that week, and that situations would be addressed on Sunday if needed.
KATC asked LPSS did they stop alerting parents to positive cases during the Thanksgiving break from Nov. 25 - 28.
LPSS responded with a statement saying that although the school nurses didn’t contact trace the Nursing Health services department did:
Although the school-based nurses did not contract trace during school closure for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Nursing Health Services Department continued to trace all reported cases of COVID-19. We are only aware of two instances in which such tracing did not commence until Sunday, November 29, 2020. The demands which COVID has placed upon the school districts across our state are enormous, and the Lafayette Parish School System continues to work diligently to meet those demands. We appreciate our parents and the community as a whole for the support which they continue to provide us.
KATC reached out to the Louisiana Department of Health and asked if they cease their contact tracing over major holidays.
An LDH spokesperson responded by saying that it only halts contact tracing on major holidays such as Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
KATC tried to get further clarification, but were told this would be the only statement issued on this matter. We’ve also sent questions about this and nursing vacancies to every school board member and the superintendent.
KATC Investigates has multiple public records requests out to LPSS about its contact tracing program.
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