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contact tracing

Posted

Specializes in School Nursing, Public Health. Has 30 years experience.

Are any of you doing contact tracing? I assist the local health dept. if a case is confirmed in my school.  My administration wants the health department to make all decisions regarding contact tracing and quarantining.  My biggest hurdle is some teachers, parents, admin. doesn't believe quarantining is necessary. I have even had some teachers bring their own children to school after being quarantined. I have to get admin. to step in and send students home. I am asked what is the point of quarantining when there are asymptomatic cases. Can you please help give me rationale for this? I know but I don't seem to be communicating it efficiently.  We live in a very rural red state. I feel like I am talking to a brick wall. 

JoJoGo

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 28 years experience.

I did it all Summer with the health department, and now I'm doing it for our school. Our health department is so overwhelmed that I've started putting our students into quarantine and telling them they can't return since it is taking almost a full week after I send in the spreadsheet for them to be contacted by the HD. Thankfully, administration has completely supported all our efforts. It is exhausting. We have seen zero cases transmitted inside our building that we can document, but we have also not seen any of our quarantined students develop disease, either. Is it overkill? Maybe, but I'm following those recs to the letter because that is what we have to work with right now. We do have a strongly enforced mask policy in our purple-ish area. All my family lives in one of those red states, so I know what you are up against. Virtual air hugs for you. Keep on, keeping on!

GdBSN, RN

Specializes in School Nurse. Has 6 years experience.

I highly recommend completing the John's Hopkins contact tracing course. It is free online. It will help you explain the difference between the isolation period versus the quarantine period.

We are contact tracing but in a limited manner.  We only do contact tracing for our students/staff  with on campus/school sponsored events interactions.  We have district written protocols to follow/enforce for reported cases, close contacts and those experiencing symptoms. 

Parents can gripe all they want - they are not getting out of the required quarantine if exposed/positive....unless of course they don't tell us they are positive, close contact or experiencing symptoms.

laflaca, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

The purpose of quarantine is to remove people from social contacts during the highest risk time for development and transmission of disease.  

Doesn't matter if some cases are asymptomatic, doesn't matter if we don't test at the end of quarantine to make sure an asymptomatic person is uninfected (though if they can get tested and want to, go for it!).  We can't let "perfect" be the enemy of "good."  Quarantine is proven to break a lot of links in the chain of disease transmission, and each broken link saves many lives down the line.  That's why we do it. 

Aaaaaand yes.  I have this conversation all day too.  We've just gotta keep hammering away.   Sometimes I show them this visual (attached) - "if you stay home and prevent one person from getting infected, look what happens down the line.:

stop transmission.jpg

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 10 years experience.

There are days I wish we had a "test out" option - as in, we all agree that if you test negative x number of days after potential exposure, that's a good test. Unfortunately some outliers apparently are testing positive around day 11 or 12. Hard to tell if that's from the initial exposure or some other kind of community exposure. So....14 days for anyone within a six-feet radius of the infected person it is!

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I am helping my health dept with some of the contact tracing as they are so far in the weeds that notifications would never get out.  Plus I can use things like our Honeywell message system to contact classrooms worth of kids.  

FixerofUhohs

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 45 years experience.

We have not been back in school in our district (at least not the public schools) since March 13. We've had several "go" dates, and they've all been cancelled. Our latest one is in January, but who knows? Our area is red, red, red and our governor just closed restaurants and bars again. And asked the churches not to meet in person. And closed targeted services in the public and closed the private schools. I'm going to be helping in the clinic at the HD until the Christmas holiday. I'm glad, because you can see the tumbleweed blowing down the halls. The school is like a ghost town!

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience.

We are doing it all...good times

SchoolNurseK, BSN, RN

Specializes in Geriatric Home Health, High School Nurse. Has 18 years experience.

I collaborate with the HD and our district nurse when it comes to contact tracing.  Well, actually I do the contact tracing then they verify that my decisions about q'ing are correct.  The issue I am having is that all the teachers WANT to be q'd or something!  When I don't q what the determine to be enough, they send a million emails asking why it doesn't include them. There is no winning.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 28 years experience.

10 minutes ago, SchoolNurseK said:

I collaborate with the HD and our district nurse when it comes to contact tracing.  Well, actually I do the contact tracing then they verify that my decisions about q'ing are correct.  The issue I am having is that all the teachers WANT to be q'd or something!  When I don't q what the determine to be enough, they send a million emails asking why it doesn't include them. There is no winning.

So all of your teachers are doing in-person instruction now? If that's the case, I can certainly guess why they want to be quarantined...

SchoolNurseK, BSN, RN

Specializes in Geriatric Home Health, High School Nurse. Has 18 years experience.

Just now, Jedrnurse said:

So all of your teachers are doing in-person instruction now? If that's the case, I can certainly guess why they want to be quarantined...

Yes, all but two teachers are in person and 45% of our kids are on-campus.  There seems to be genuine panic and an overall distrust of the process of determining close contacts.  I've gone over how this will work one meeeelion times, but when it happened it real life, they freaked.  It was insane.