Dozens of Turlock students and school employees have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 since school began this month.
The Turlock Unified School District reported 60 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 since Aug. 11 on campus during their infectious period, which resulted in over 500 close contacts (i.e., closer than 6 feet, longer than 15 minutes, cumulative within a 24-hour period).
The are multiple options available to families if their students have been identified as close contact. If a student is vaccinated, no quarantine is required if a student is asymptomatic. Students who are unvaccinated but wear a mask have to participate in TUSD testing program, test two times over 10 days and if they test negative in first seven days, they can modify quarantine on day 8 but not for sports or extra-curricular activities.
Unvaccinated and unmask students, or parents not wanting school testing, have to test negative on day six or seven at a community facility and with negative results return to school on day eight but not sports or extra-curricular activities. Finally, all students have the option of quarantining at home for 10 days and return to school on day 11. Options to modify quarantine are only for school exposures.
Students will still receive instruction and continuing learning throughout their quarantine.
“Students who are on quarantine will continue learning through Short Term Independent Study. Students in grades K-6 are given standards aligned paper/pencil assignments focused on reading, writing and mathematics. Students in grades 7-12 are accessing assignments through Google Classroom,” said Marie Russell, Chief Communication Coordinator for TUSD.
The district does have measures in places to help mitigate the spread of the virus and asks parents to do their part to limit exposure among students and staff, said Russell.
“We’re following all CDPH guidelines including a robust contact tracing and testing program, masking policies, upgraded HVAC filters, increased air circulation in the classrooms and an increased focus on hand sanitation,” Russell said.
“We need parents’ help in keeping students home from school who are exhibiting symptoms of illness, especially if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or have a confirmed infection. Each school site has a ‘Keep Schools Safe’ Illness/COVID-19 Reporting Form on their website for parents to complete with this information,” TUSD stated in their release.
TUSD serves over 14,000 students and 1,500 staff members. Per California Department of Public Health Guidance (CDPH), the district is working to support full, in-person instruction by providing free, on-campus testing to students who meet approved criteria.
TUSD updates information regarding exposures to COVID-19 every Monday by 5 p.m. on the COVID-19 Dashboard located on the TUSD website. Parents should be expecting an email with additional information about the District’s COVID-19 testing program from email@example.com.