Contact tracing takes team approach: Nation Ford attempts to identify numerous close contact students
By Carly Jacobson
Due to all the hard work of the nurses at Nation Ford, students have been able to stay in school this year. Nurse Annin and the rest of the contact tracing team have been able to keep students safe through contact tracing.
According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, contact tracing is “ a disease control measure utilized by public health officials worldwide for many decades . . . for preventing further spread of communicable disease within a community.”
At NAFO, students who have tested positive for Covid-19 are asked to complete a form from the contact tracing team.
This form gathers the names of people the infected student was within six feet of for 15 minutes or more, with or without a mask. NAFO has had a total of 43 cases and 674 students and staff quarantined this school year as of March 3.
“We have a team here in school,” said Annin. “We just all work together, and we go off the CDC and DHEC guidelines on how to set up the contact tracing.”
The process can be intense for students. “When I was first pulled out of class I was scared that I would have Covid-19,” said freshman Dhanvi Gude “ Once I knew I was negative, I was very glad the contact tracing team was proactive so I couldn’t have spread it to all my friends.”
The contact tracing team tries to give students peace of mind that they are safe at school.
The contact tracing team has “been amazing, everyone has pitched in, and now it’s down to a science,” said Assistant Principal Pam Pittman from the Contact Tracing team.
At press time, however, Nation Ford has far more students in quarantine than any school in the district, according to the district COVID-19 dashboard.
“It’s important to continue to keep your hands washed, and out of your face, and continue wearing a mask,” Nurse Annin explains.