NJ-SP Superintendent shares contact tracing protocols

North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin has announced that school officials were informed today (Friday, Oct. 15) that another positive COVID-19 case has been reported, following the case involving a separate student that was identified on Thursday. Both cases involve Jr./Sr. High School students. 

According to Dr. Zupin, NJ-SP officials have followed protocols from the local Board of Health in contract tracing and isolation/quarantine directives. Contact investigating is complete and all individuals who were in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer) have been notified directly.
 
Zupin continued, "Fall Break will offer us an opportunity to take extra precautions to help mitigate the spread. Please be vigilant in keeping a distance from people outside your normal, family circle. Please take care of your health by washing hands frequently, cleaning regularly used surfaces, and wearing face coverings out in public."
 
During NJ-SP Fall Break, which runs from Monday, October 19 through Friday, October 23, the schools will be cleaned thoroughly to ensure a clean and safe school environment upon return on Monday, October 26.
 
Dr. Zupin included the following information in a letter to provide some insight into how contact tracing is conducted: 
 
"As you know, COVID-19 has made its way into our schools. While we knew its coming was inevitable, we feel fortunate to have had so few cases thus far. 

I want to take this opportunity to provide an explanation of how we work with the local health officials in identifying "close contacts" within our schools. "Close contacts" who are not NJ-SP students or staff members become the responsibility of Starke County Public Health Officials. 

When we are informed of a positive COVID-19 case involving one of our students or staff members, we begin a case investigation. During this investigation, in conjunction with Starke County public health officials, we work with the person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 to discuss interactions and review the activity history to indentify people (contacts) who may have been exposed to COVID-19 within our school. Once identified as a close contact, students and/or staff members are given instructions for self-quarantine and for monitoring symptoms. 
 
In the context of COVID-19, the definition of a close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more.
 
As the Superintendent of NJ-SP School Corporation, I will provide general and public information with each new positive case. Information shared will adhere to privacy laws, including HIPAA and FERPA. This information will be shared after our investigation is complete, as accurate dissemination of news is crucial." 

If you have any question, contact NJ-SP Administration Office at 574-896-2155.