Tracing Potential COVID-19 Cases In Ithaca Schools

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TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY (WSKG) – In-person learning in the Ithaca City School district reopened this week.

After a student in the Groton school district tested positive for COVID-19 last month, some parents and teachers in Ithaca are asking who gets notified when someone tests positive for the virus. Groton is also in Tompkins County.

Ithaca City School District

Photo courtesy of the Ithaca City School District.

Students in the Ithaca schools are organized into groups called cohorts. The cohort stays together for the whole school day.

Frank Kruppa, Director of the Tompkins County Health Department, said keeping students in cohorts is intended to limit exposure if someone contracts COVID-19.

“Every case is unique so we start by interviewing the case to find out – did they have contact with anyone outside of their cohort?” he said. “If they did not, then likely it would just be those within the cohort that are considered a contact and would need to be quarantined.”

Kruppa also said that the fact that students are in cohorts does not change the contact tracing.

“Perhaps the person changed a classroom and joined another cohort or maybe cohorts were joined together for a learning activity,” he explained. “There’s a myriad of different things that might occur, that we would find in our investigation and then we would consider if different people needed to be close contacts,” he explained.

Kruppa said that the school principal and the district superintendent are also notified when there is a case of COVID-19 in one of their schools.