COVID-19 Case and Outbreak School Reporting
Dear School Superintendent/Administrator/Principal/Educator,
As many schools have returned with on-campus classes, we have already seen a significant impact from cases of COVID-19 among teachers, staff and students. In order to have awareness of and provide guidance around your school and school district’s current status, we are asking schools to report to the Mississippi State Department of Health on a weekly basis.
MSDH has developed a survey tool to be completed and submitted by each school weekly by Monday at 12:00pm, for the preceding school week, reporting the number of cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 impacting your school. The expectation is aggregate data for both the preceding week and total for the school year to date. No named data or personal identifiers will be reported in the survey tool. The schools will not be required to report individual cases of COVID-19 to MSDH.
The first report will be due Wednesday August 12 at 12:00pm for the week of August 3-7, and for the school year to date. Subsequent reports will be due every Monday at 12:00pm to report on the prior week. We are asking for a report from each school even if there have been no cases in the prior week or in the school year.
The link for the reporting survey is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MSDHData. Please designate an individual in your school to be responsible for the weekly report. For questions regarding the survey and reporting, contact the MSDH Office of Epidemiology at 601-576-7725.
Please see the MSDH Guidelines for K-12 Reopening During COVID-19 available at https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/9917.pdf . In addition to guidance for reducing transmission in the school setting, this document provides recommendations for the school response to cases and outbreaks. As a reminder, MSDH guidance dictates a 14-day isolation and school exclusion period for COVID-19 infected persons and a full 14-day quarantine and school exclusion period for contacts to COVID-19 infected persons. MSDH does allow earlier return after 10 days for COVID-19 infected essential employees and allows continued work during the quarantine period for essential employees who are contacts to COVID-19 infected persons, if certain criteria are met. Please see the full guidance.
MSDH is available and willing to provide guidance and recommendations and answer questions around COVID-19. MSDH has established local teams as each school’s MSDH primary point of contact to answer questions and provide support. Each school will be contacted in the coming week by the local team to provide contact information. Also, schools may reach out to the MSDH Office of Epidemiology at 601-576-7725 for guidance and to answer survey and reporting questions.
Paul Byers, MD