Shelby Co. Health Dept. amends directive to require school virus reporting

Breaking down SCHD health directive

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department has amended a health directive that will require schools to report COVID-19 cases.

The health department says schools that have learned of positive COVID-19 cases are required to notify parents, families and other students at risk of contracting the virus within 12 hours -- a requirement that applies to all schools in the county.

Schools must also keep them updated on a weekly basis, at minimum. The updates should include any changes being made to operations meant to help reduce the risk of transmission.

While these requirements are aimed at all child care facilities in Shelby County, the health directive does not state that colleges and universities are obligated to follow the requirements being issued.

Shelby County Health Dept. issues new requirements for reporting COVID-19 in schools

Instead, the health directive states: “Colleges and Universities, through their governing boards and presidents, retain sole responsibility in making decisions on providing instruction to their students while protecting the health and safety of their students, faculty, and staff.”

The health department recommends colleges refer to guidance from OSHA, the CDC, the State of Tennessee as well as the American College of Health Association.

SCHD will also begin to report case numbers of children who have contracted the virus by school district lines. This will be done on a regular basis.

“The Shelby County Health Department will continue to expand the information that is reported out to the public, and in particular, its communications with communities and families at risk,” said health department director Alisa Haushalter. “These amendments ensure that critical information is shared with at-risk individuals so that they can take appropriate action to protect themselves, their families, and their loved ones. Also, these changes to the Health Directive will put us on the path to creating a more uniform approach at the various schools around Shelby County.”

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.