• Q & A for COVID Close Contacts In the School

     How Will I Know If My Child Is Considered a Close Contact Due to School Exposure?

    • A text and email will be sent to you
      • The text will alert you to check your email*
      • The email contains information about:
        • the last day your student was exposed to a known positive case in the school
        • quarantine requirements
        • testing options 
        • signs & symptoms of COVID
        • possible return to school dates and more
    • You will likely be contacted by the Missoula City-County Health Department for follow-up instructions.  Depending on overall county COVID case volumes, this contact may take a few days to several days. 

    * Please ensure your contact information is listed correctly in Infinite Campus so you receive these notices.  

    What Are the First Things I Should Do After I Receive a Notification My Student Is a Close Contact?

    • You will likely need to pick up your child from school
      • Note:  people who have had a positive COVID test in the last 90 days or are fully vaccinated for COVID and are asymptomatic (no symptoms of COVID) do not need to quarantine.  Contact your school nurse or school secretary/attendance clerk if this is the case.  
    • Review the email notification for additional next steps 

    Does Everyone in the Household Need to Quarantine?

    • No.  Only the identified close contacts need to quarantine.  Everyone else in the household or friend group is considered a secondary contact (a close contact of a close contact) and do not need to quarantine.  
    • This changes if the person identified as a close contact becomes symptomatic for COVID and/or tests positive for COVID.  The people who are close contacts to the now-ill person will need to quarantine once that happens. 

    How Are Close Contacts Determined?

    • The close contact definition in the school setting is:
      • students WITH masks on seated less than 3 feet away from COVID+ student for 15 minutes or longer (time is cumulative per day)
      • students WITHOUT masks on seated less than 6 feet away from COVID+ student for 15 minutes or longer (cumulative)
      • students less than 6 feet away from COVID+ adult (with or without masks) for 15 minutes or longer (cumulative)
      • or any other type of interaction that would fit the categories above, such as work groups, study groups, etc., and other extenuating circumstances that may increase exposure risk
    My Child Is A Close Contact Due to an Exposure Outside of School.  What Do I Do?
    • Contact your school secretary or attendance clerk to let them know your student is a close contact and what date they are cleared to return to school.  The absences are considered excused.

    I Received a COVID Exposure Notification from the School.  What Does This Mean?

    • These notifications are sent when it is likely your student is not a close contact but their exposure was higher risk than typically occurs in school.  Common situations where this occurs are team scenarios where the physical distancing and minutes of exposure do not meet the criteria for close contacts but the physical exertion or other factors may have increased the exposure risk.
    • If your child is asymptomatic for COVID, there is no need for action or quarantine.  We ask that you be extra diligent about keeping your child home if any symptoms of illness do occur. 

    What About Homework?

    • Each classroom is handling extended absence schoolwork independently.  Refer to your student's classroom teacher absence plan or contact the teacher to determine how to continue with schoolwork while in quarantine.  Email is typically the best way to communicate with teachers.