CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau Public Schools is adding a full-time position dedicated to contact tracing throughout the district.
“We want to help parents and the community understand the things that we are doing here at Cape Public Schools to make sure that we minimize risks as much as possible and that we keep students and staff safe, as well as families,” said Christa Turner, Deputy Superintendent of Elementary Education.
According to Turner, if a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, it will be the contract tracer’s job to notify anyone who may have come in contact with that person and possibly been exposed to the virus.
“If we hire our own contact tracer and work with the health department on training and making sure that they’re following the health department protocols, then we can alleviate some of that burden off of the health department and do our part within our school district,” said Turner.
The contact tracer will work during the 2020-2021 school year.
“We felt like this was a position that would not only help the community at large and our local health department, but would also take some of those contacts off principals and administrative assistants,” she said.
Plus, Turner said having someone fully dedicated to contact tracing and staying up to date with health department guidelines will let teachers focus on their students’ needs in the classroom.
“Our staff already has a lot on their plates as far as trying to prepare for possible school closures, to make up for the time that students weren’t with us in the spring,” she said.
This is one of many new safety protocols the district’s implementing for the upcoming school year to help keep everyone safe.
“It provides some just ease to our thinking that we’ll have another layer there to help make sure that we’re doing those things that we need to do. Somebody whose primary responsibility is this part of exposure, contact tracing, communication with the health department, just to make ensure that we don’t miss anything,” said Turner.
The district is taking applications for the position.
According to Turner, parents should look for version one of the district’s re-entry plan for in their email inbox on Thursday, July 9. Staff members received the plan on July 8th.