What to Expect if the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) Notifies the District of a Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Case
The Manheim Township School District has a communication plan in place to notify our staff and families when we have individuals in our school buildings who have tested positive for COVID-19. The communication plan follows recommendations provided by the PA Department of Health (DOH).
- Positive cases with exposure: If you or your student are identified as a “close contact” of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case, you will be notified by the school district and/or the PA DOH with next steps.
- Positive cases without exposure: If you or your student are not identified as a “close contact” of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case, or if there has been no confirmed exposure within our district, you will not be notified by the school district and/or PA DOH.
For a more detailed accounting of the notification process that will be followed, please continue reading the steps listed below.
Communication Plan Details:
The following is an overview of the notification process which will occur when there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case (staff or student) which includes exposure within our district, and what information you should expect to receive:
- The PA DOH will notify the district of a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result of an individual who was present in our schools/facilities.
- The PA DOH will ask administrators and MT Health Services staff for information to begin “contract tracing” once a positive test is confirmed (“confirmed positive case”). PA DOH staff will be seeking information regarding individuals who were considered to be in “close contact” with the confirmed positive case.
- MTSD administrators will assist by generating a list of individuals who were considered to be in “close contact” and therefore may have been exposed to the confirmed positive case. “Close contact” determinations will be made in accordance with the PA DOH guidelines.
- PA DOH or a MTSD administrator/health service staff member will contact individuals deemed to be in “close contact” to alert them of the possible exposure and to notify them to follow up directly with their primary care physician to discuss details, including recommended quarantines.
- If you do not receive direct communication from a MTSD administrator, health services staff member, or the PA DOH, that means that the PA DOH did not consider you or your student to be a “close contact” or at risk of exposure to the confirmed positive case.
- Once all individuals who are deemed “close contacts” have been notified by MTSD and/or the PA DOH, the District will communicate with faculty, staff, and families of those attending the impacted building to communicate the following:
- that an individual has tested positive for COVID-19, as confirmed by the PA DOH;
- that families or individuals who may have been exposed to the positive individual (“close contacts”) have been notified by the District and/or PA DOH;
- any additional information related to quarantine or health/safety that we have been advised to share by the PA DOH.
The District WILL NOT release the name or any identifying information associated with the confirmed positive COVID-19 case in compliance with state and federal laws related to privacy of healthcare information and privacy of student and employee records/information.
Please note that there may be circumstances where an individual has tested positive, however there was no building exposure (i.e. individual has not been in the school building during exposure times). When this occurs, the PA DOH recommends that communication is not provided to families because there was no exposure to our students and staff.
We appreciate the continued opportunity to communicate with our families and community on this topic. We are committed to ensuring that you receive timely and meaningful information related to COVID-19 so that you can take appropriate measures for the health and safety of yourself and your family.