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District suspends contact tracing per KHDE and KSDE guidelines

District suspends contact tracing per KHDE and KSDE guidelines

On January 18, 2022, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas State Department of Education announced that contact tracing in schools may be suspended for a 30-day period starting today due to the unsustainable impact of this practice in light of surging COVID numbers across the state.

In light of this guidance, the Wichita Public Schools will be changing our COVID contact tracing work effective tomorrow (Wednesday, January 19). Specifically, WPS will no longer identify nor provide notification to close contacts of positive cases, as the volume of notifications is simply unsustainable. 

This means two things to our school communities:

  • Nurses will be able to focus on care for those who need care. Nurses and school administrators have spent an extraordinary amount of time with the contact tracing work, sacrificing time with those who are ill and need care. This change allows our nurses to focus their efforts on those who need them most.
  • Parents and staff will need to be vigilant about regularly monitoring students/adults for symptoms. It is critical that if you/your student feel sick and have symptoms of COVID, you STAY HOME and seek testing to confirm COVID status. You can find more information about testing options on our web site at usd259.org/WPSadvance.

Our district will continue the proactive measures currently in place to provide the safest-possible learning environment including:

  • Face masks required inside all district facilities
  • Practicing strong personal hygiene habits in school
  • Enhanced cleaning and air handling procedures
  • Testing options (learn more at usd259.org/WPSadvance)
  • Vaccination clinics for students, staff and family members (learn more at usd259.org/WPSadvance)

Click here for the COVID protocol.