What Are The Protocols For COVID-19 At Sunrise Mountain?


Soon after the hybrid schedule was added to Sunrise Mountain, the news that someone had tested positive for COVID-19 at our school was announced. 

Luckily it did not extend to a greater danger for more students, but it was shocking for most students to find out. 

However, what actually happens when a COVID-19 case occurs at our school. How does the school’s administration handle the situation?

“First if the student/parent notifies us, we contact the district’s Health Services immediately,” said Sunrise Mountain principal, Mr. Adams. “They will reach out to the student/parent to receive written documentation from a health care provider that states the student did test positive for COVID.”

This is a good strategy to follow, however, this would also only work if the student realizes they are sick and decides to get tested. 

“They then ask questions about contact tracing (who were they around, if they were on campus for extended periods of time,” said Adams. “Where are their classes? When was the last time they were on campus?, etc..). Once they have that information, then that will determine if other students or staff need to be quarantined and it will also determine if the district’s operations department needs to come to school that night to disinfect the entire school.”

In the case that someone does contact COVID-19, how would the school track a student or staff’s movement?

Simply put, how does the school identify who the student/staff was around? What classes they attended? Who became in close contact with them? 

“Whether it be a student or a teacher or another person who has been on campus, even a visitor (they all register in the main office),” said assistant principal Ms. Shive. “We have seating charts and reduced movement in the building, one way halls, locked restrooms during passing, must have a pass so we can track who went where and when, etc…”

If a student was in close contact to the person with COVID-19, how does the school go about in notifying them?

“The Communications Department,” said Shive, “will provide guidance for parent/guardian letters and ParentLink messages and/or phone calls to households to report exposure of a confirmed COVID-19 case without breaching medical confidentiality.”

Now, what happens for those students/staff who were not in close contact with the infected person. Are they also notified?

“I am required to notify our staff and also the community that we had a positive case of COVID-19,” said Adams. “There are a lot of other ‘behind-the-scenes’ things that we have to do.”

So it seems that all those involved, whether a close contact or not, are notified of a positive COVID-19 case occurring in school. 

However, what happens if a student/staff begins to experience symptoms while in school? Are they immediately escorted out of the building?  

“Parent/Guardian will pick up the exposed or sick student promptly,” said Shive. “If a student or staff experiences symptoms during the day, rather than go to the health office, we send them to a “sick room” that has special air filtering installed and only a few staff have access to assist by wearing specialized PPE (personal protective equipment – gown, masks, gloves, etc).”

Thankfully our school has a well thought out system to protect students and staff just in case it is needed. 

Now students have a better understanding of how this system works and they can feel a bit safer at school knowing their administration is trying their hardest to protect them.