The Irvine Unified School District and our schools are committed to providing accurate and transparent information regarding COVID-19 cases on our campuses, while maintaining privacy and confidentiality for our students and staff.
About the Dashboard:
- The dashboard represents the number of students and staff, who have been on our campuses or at District facilities with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case within the last 10 days (in-person instruction only).
- While confirmed positive cases remain on the dashboard for 10 days, students and staff may return before this time, in accordance with national, state and local health guidelines that have established five to 10 day isolation periods.
- According to state and local health experts, schools are safer than most other community settings and have less transmissions due to layered mitigation measures such as masking, enhanced ventilation, standalone air purification units, case tracking, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
- Dashboard data is updated on Wednesday each week (excluding non-school days and holidays).
While COVID-19 tracking and notification processes at schools and District facilities remain in place, the dashboard will now be updated Wednesdays each week. This change from daily reporting is in accordance with recent guidance from the Orange County Health Care Agency for Orange County school districts. According to the county, posting daily metrics during earlier months of the pandemic were designed to help policy makers and health agencies set thresholds for when to close or open social institutions and schools. However, this year, the state eliminated those thresholds for schools, making the staff intensive daily reporting process no longer useful for this purpose.
This transition in dashboard reporting, which is in line with both state and county guidance for schools, will enable IUSD to keep our community informed, while reducing the time and resource intensive burden on staff. IUSD staff remain committed to the critical mission of safely keeping schools open, while focusing on high-quality instruction and social, emotional and wellness supports for students.
Notifications and Contact Tracing
In the event of a positive case, as defined by the California Department of Public Health, school communities are notified directly by their principals or school staff.
As of January 2022, the California Department of Public Health updated contact-tracing guidelines for TK-12 schools. Citing “the shorter incubation period and increased transmissibility of variants,” the California Department of Public Health stated that an alternative approach to contact tracing is warranted. Rather than tracking down close contacts, schools are directed to send a notification letter to those who spent more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes within a 24-hour time period in a shared indoor airspace with someone who had COVID-19 and would have been contagious. This group-approach to notifications represents a departure from previous contact tracing guidelines that targeted specific individuals and interactions. To read IUSD’s Jan. 6 update for more information about contact tracing in our District, click here and scroll to the “Transition in Contact Tracing Practices” section.
Schools Remain open
The California Department of Public Health, the Orange County Health Care Agency and health experts across the nation continue to reinforce that schools can and should remain open as they are safer than most other community settings and are typically not the source of transmissions due to layered mitigation strategies such as masking, enhanced ventilation, standalone air purification units, case tracking, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols. As one of the first school districts in the state to open for TK-12 in-person instruction in September 2020 and to remain open since that time, our experience supports the science and the guidance of health experts.
In planning for the 2021-22 school year, the state’s top priority has been to safely keep schools open. As part of the robust California Department of Public Health guidelines for TK-12 schools, the focus has been on implementing successful mitigation strategies that have and continue to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19 on campuses. In keeping with this priority and recognizing that schools can be some of the safest places for students, the state eliminated previous thresholds for when to close a school. Additionally, last June, the California Legislature also passed a law to make it difficult for districts to close schools. According to state officials, “Alternatives to in-person learning leave many students unsupervised or in environments without robust safety measures, in addition to losing the benefits to mental health, social-emotional well-being, and academic progress of in-person learning.”
COVID-19 Reporting instructions for IUSD families
If your student(s) is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, it must be reported to your school through your secure account in the Parent Portal. Please follow IUSD reporting instructions. IUSD schools and staff will maintain confidentiality and protect student privacy, following all FERPA protocols.
Help prevent and limit covid-19
It is going to take a concerted effort to help keep our students, staff and families safe and healthy. Please continue daily home screenings, keep students home when they are sick, and immediately report any positive or suspected positive cases through our Parent Reporting System. For more information and resources, visit iusd.org/covid19. Schools will work with students and families to maintain confidentiality and to help continue your student’s education.
Resources and information
- Click here for the California Department of Public Health guidelines for TK-12 schools.
- For additional questions about the coronavirus, visit the Orange County Health Care Agency website, which also includes a COVID-19 health line https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/.
- Throughout the school year, please continue to check your email and other sources of communications from your schools, which provide school and class specific information. For ongoing updates and information from the District, visit our 2021-22 Safety and Planning Guide, which includes updates, information about our protocols and procedures, links to expert agencies, contacts, supports and other resources.