Clark County Public Health has launched an online dashboard for COVID-19 cases in local public and private K-12 schools. The webpage will be updated every Thursday.
The dashboard gives Clark County a one-stop site to check for COVID-19 cases that have been linked to area schools. Public Health works closely with local schools whenever a positive case has been on a school campus when they were possibly contagious, according to the Public Health webpage.
The Columbian covered the concept of school dashboards in an early October story. Before the dashboard, families had to rely on district officials for a COVID-19 case notification or be alerted by local media.
When Public Health learns of a coronavirus exposure, Public Health identifies all students and staff who may have been exposed and asks them to quarantine for 14 days, the same as they would do for close contacts of cases in other situations.
Potential exposures have been discovered in schools since the pandemic began, but so far transmission of COVID-19 in Clark County schools has been “minimal,” according to Public Health.
Local public schools still have not fully reopened, and it seems likely that it will be weeks to months before any kind of hybrid learning begins to take place.
Some in-person instruction is happening in small groups for kids with higher needs.
For each school with a COVID-19 case, Public Health will provide the following information on its dashboard:
- The date of the positive lab result.
- Whether the case is a student or staff member.
- Whether the case was likely exposed to the virus causes COVID-19 at school.
No further information will be provided, in order to protect privacy, according to Public Health.
So far, only Prairie High School has had a possible exposure in school, according to the dashboard. That happened in late September.
In an interview with The Columbian from earlier this month, Bill Beville, president of the Evergreen Education Association, said he supports the idea of local school districts having coronavirus data pages.
But he also said he doesn’t want complacency to set in for teachers and families if a case isn’t reported. Public Health has consistently cautioned that coronavirus is in the community, and that you must take proper precautions in public.
“I need my members and the staff and the (administration) to treat every day like there’s an active case in their building,” Beville said.