Dear Bulldog Families,
We are emailing today to update all families on the new Ohio Department of Health Order Requiring Reporting and Notification Regarding COVID-19 Cases in K-12 Schools issued late last week by Governor DeWine. Olmsted Falls City Schools has been working closely with our local Cuyahoga County Board of Health in reporting and communicating as directed about any COVID-19 positive cases since extracurricular activities resumed and staff returned to our buildings back in August. This new order now provides specific directives for how Ohio schools are required to communicate to parents, staff, and the community in the event of positive COVID-19 cases.
The goal of this new public health order is to help prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the State of Ohio and in our local community. The order includes requirements for families of students in our schools as well as our staff members.
Please take a few moments to review this important information about the new order and about how Olmsted Falls City Schools will be reporting and making notifications regarding any positive COVID-19 cases moving forward.
HOW DO WE FIND OUT ABOUT POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES IN OUR SCHOOLS?
Effective Tuesday, September 8, 2020, the order asks parents or guardians of students as well as school staff members to notify their school within 24 hours of receiving a positive COVID-19 test or a clinical diagnosis. In Olmsted Falls City Schools, we are asking parents or guardians to make this notification through each building’s existing attendance line. Parents and guardians should plan to include the following information:
- Student’s name
- Student’s grade
- Date the symptoms first appeared
- Date the positive COVID-19 test result or clinical diagnosis was received
The numbers for the attendance lines are as follows:
Early Childhood Center 440-427-6363
Falls-Lenox Primary School 440-427-6411
Olmsted Falls Intermediate School 440-427-6511
Olmsted Falls Middle School 440-427-6211
Olmsted Falls High School 440-427-6111
PLEASE NOTE: Timely notification by parents or guardians and school staff members expedites the ability to quickly track and inform regarding positive COVID-19 cases in our schools. Therefore parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to help stop the potential spread of COVID-19 through timely notification directly to the school within 24 hours.
Once the school becomes aware of a case through a family or staff member reporting it, the school is required to notify the local health department within 24 hours of receiving the notification of a positive COVID-19 case. This can help expedite the contact tracing conducted by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
HOW WILL WE COMMUNICATE WITH FAMILIES ABOUT POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES WITHIN OLMSTED FALLS CITY SCHOOLS?
Within 24 hours after receiving the notification of a positive COVID-19 case, the school will notify parents or guardians about that case in writing, providing as much information as possible without releasing protected health information. Our schools will use our existing email notification system to send out this information. Effective immediately, Bulldog families will be notified if there is a positive COVID-19 case as follows:
- All parents/guardians who have students in the same school as the positive case will be notified via email.
- Parents/guardians who have students in the same classroom, same extracurricular activity, and/or ride on the same school bus with the individual who tested positive will be notified via a separate email.
Olmsted Falls City Schools will not be sending email notifications to all families in the district for each confirmed case, however the information about all positive COVID-19 cases district-wide will be updated daily and available 24/7 on our website via our new OFCS COVID-19 Case Dashboard.
Additionally, beginning September 15, 2020, local health departments will report the number of newly reported and cumulative cases in schools to the Ohio Department of Health every Tuesday. The Ohio Department of Health will then publish this data, including a breakdown of students and staff, every Thursday. The website where this data will be published by the state is www.coronavirus.gov.
Finally, the new order also requires each school district to identify a COVID-19 coordinator to facilitate the reporting of positive case information. In Olmsted Falls City Schools, our District Nurse, Kristie Patton, RN, will be the point person coordinating COVID-19 reporting efforts.
Working together with our families and staff members to maintain a safe and healthy environment that minimizes the spread of COVID-19 is our top priority. It is important that we all continue to follow the face covering guidelines, practice proper hand washing, keep appropriate physical distance, NOT come to school if you have any symptoms, and report positive cases promptly.
Thank you for your ongoing support and help in our efforts to keep our school buildings open.
Dr. Jim Lloyd
Superintendent for the Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138