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Public information for Quarantine, Contact Tracing and Close Contacts

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As we continue to try to navigate through the challenges of the coronavirus and the beginning of a new school year, we want to share information on how certain situations will be managed. Hopefully, knowing how the process works and how information is shared will make events and actions more clear. The overall goal is to keep students as safe as possible, while allowing them to have as close to a traditional classroom/learning environment as possible.

The Estill County School System works extremely closely with the Estill County Health Department. There is a constant open communication between both to achieve the best care and management of any and all coronavirus cases or situations. The information provided below explains how the process and decisions are made. These are all based on guidance from the CDC, KDPH and other health agencies.

Student or staff tests positive for Covid-19
If a student or staff member tests positive, we ask them to notify the school as soon as possible. They must remain at home and follow the guidance from their doctor and/or the health department. The school will follow guidance from the health department and assist in any contact tracing efforts. The positive case person will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least 24 hours have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms. The guidance for these steps will be provided by the physician and/ or theEstill County Health Department.

What does it mean to quarantine?
Being told to quarantine means you have been identified as a close contact with someone who has Covid-19. People who are fully vaccinated do not need NOT need to be quarantined, unless they have symptoms. Quarantine means you will need to self isolate at home for 10 full days from the last contact with the infected person. This means you will not be able to attend school, church, sports, outdoor activities etc…

Failure to follow this order can result in legal proceedings against the individual or in the case of a minor child, action can be taken against the parents or legal guardian.

Protocol for Contact Tracing
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS (e.g., student has self-contained classroom through the day):

  • The covid lead person in each building will contact the Estill County Health Department for guidance.
  • A message or letter will be sent to families in the teacher/student’s class (cohort) informing them that there has been a positive test.
  • Students who are identified as “close contacts” needing to quarantine will be notified individually.

MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL (e.g., no single contained classroom):

  • The school will identify the student’s or staff member’s possible “close contacts” based on the assigned seating charts and any other activities.
  • The lookback period should begin two days before symptoms appeared (or two days prior to the date of the positive test if there were no symptoms) and include up until the time the student or staff member was isolated.


  • Once notified of a positive test result for a student or staff member, seating charts are used to determine those who would be identified as “close contacts” and who would be required to quarantine. These individuals will be notified individually. All other individuals present and not identified as a close contact will be notified by a letter or similar action that a positive person was on the bus.

What is a Close contact?
Close contacts are identified as students or staff that have been within either a 3 foot or 6 foot distance (depending on criteria determined by the CDC) of the positive person for a collective 15 minutes. This is the criteria considered when deciding whether a person will need to quarantine. Again, this determination is made with guidance and direction from our local health department and based on information from the CDC.

Current guidance from CDC and KDPH for students or staff identified as close contacts need to be quarantined for 10 days and are encouraged to test after 3-5 days or if symptoms occur. Testing earlier does not allow enough time for the viral load to be measured if present.

If a vaccinated person is exposed to covid and would be considered a close contact, we are asking that a mask be worn by the close contact for the duration of 10 days after exposure to the positive person. This person is NOT required to quarantine unless symptoms were present. It is also recommended by the CDC that vaccinated close contacts take a covid test 5 days after exposure.

Helpful Information

  • Determination of quarantine is based on exposure to a positive person. If the person is within 3-6 feet for a collective 15 minutes or longer within a day they may be considered a close contact.
  • Once we are notified of a positive result, the school health team with guidance from our local health department look back at the 2 days before either the person became ill with symptoms or recieved a positive test; whichever comes first. We then notify students, parents or classrooms with the necessary information.
  • Sometimes there is confusion due to these timelines and when test results become available and when notification occurs. We act as promptly as possible with the information given and with the guidance we receive.
  • Please note that parents and siblings of students who have been identified as “close contacts” are NOT required to Quarantine as well.
    • Remember, a child quarantining due to a close contact is not positive, but they have been around someone that has tested positive.
    • That is why the “close contact” does not impact anyone else in that household.
    • Only close contact with someone that has a positive test will impact others.
    • Closely monitor the quarantining child for symptoms. If symptoms do occur, have them tested immediately.
    • If the COVID test is positive, at that time anyone in the household should be quarantined for at least 10 days and until at least 24 hours have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.

The school district and health department will continue to follow all established protocols concerning this issue, and if any major changes occur, these guidelines will be revised.

August 21, 2012

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