FAQ: Reporting COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions: Reporting Positive COVID-19 Cases


What actually takes place immediately after a case has been identified and CCHHS or the WCHD, i.e., has been alerted to a new or active case?

Upon identification of a confirmed positive test case, the health department begins the contact tracing process. Persons who are identified as having close contact with the confirmed case are notified by the health department and advised on the steps to take. 

How does CCHHS (or WCHD, etc.) help to identify those close-risk contacts to minimize the spread once active cases have been identified?

CCHHS and WCHD reach out to every positive case and conduct a thorough investigation. Throughout these investigations, cases are asked questions about where they have been, what activities they have engaged in, and who they have been in close contact with for the 48-hours prior to their test or symptom onset. Furthermore, if the positive case is a student, CCHHS and WCHD will collaborate with school officials to ensure close contacts are identified through the review of school district tools to include, but not be limited to, seating charts. For staff, CCSD assists by providing the names of persons employed at the school district who have reported a positive test result to Human Resources and reside in another county to CCHHS.  Anyone who is identified as a close contact, using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition, is then contacted by contact tracers, given direction about isolation/quarantine, and provided information about testing recommendations and options. The school district also reports levels of absenteeism associated with COVID-like symptoms in the schools. These logs are submitted on a daily basis to the health department.


If this has an impact on the schools, at what point can or would a school be actually being shut down?

CCHHS monitors the level of infection, absenteeism rate and prevalence of symptoms reported within the school community. Should any of these levels warrant closure of a classroom, school or the district, CCHHS will consult with the Superintendent and a decision will be made. 

How quickly can this take place…is this done by the principal, by the board via emergency board meeting or is this dictated by the local department?

These decisions can be made as quickly as the information becomes available and the Superintendent is vested with the authority to make that decision.

What does this procedure look like? How are parents notified at this point?

CCHHS would simply contact the Superintendent, make the recommendation and the District would notify parents through its emergency communications platform. 

When is the school district notified there is a case that potentially impacts school and staff at which point the media can be made aware, as in the case of the Washoe County School District where we have been hearing of these recent cases occurring at its schools when we had six reported this past weekend?

The school district is notified of a case potentially impacting schools through three points of contact:

  1. The employee notifies Human Resources of a test having been administered and their need to isolate awaiting results, or a positive test result and their need to quarantine.
  2. A parent notifies the school of the same protocol for their child and/or household. Both of these notifications are reported to the health department daily.
  3. CCHHS notifies the District of a positive case that may impact the school as identified through the investigations process.

Public information such as data on the number of employees and/or students who are absent due to Covid like symptoms or confirmed cases should be obtained from the health department after it has been reported to them by the school district and collated. The school district is not in a position to infer that such exposures took place in school as students and employees alike have many contacts outside of the school community, such as family gatherings and visits to other public places. 

Are there any immediate follow-up steps afterward?

Assuming this question is in regards to the follow up steps taken after a closure, the school district will follow the protocol for cleaning and disinfection of the classroom, school or entire district as the case may be, in accordance with the Quad County Outbreak Response Plan. Reopening would occur at the recommendation of CCHHS.


September 3, 2020