Close Contacts Triggered Mandatory Quarantines

Empty classroom due to close contact during COVID-19 protocols
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Empty classroom due to close contact during COVID-19 protocols

With school back open, there were dozens of safety procedures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between those in the school. Face coverings were required for everyone in school buildings, classrooms were set up to maintain social distancing of 6 feet, and student groups limited the number of students who could be exposed to a positive case.

When a family notified the school nurse that their child had tested positive for COVID-19, the school worked with health officials from the State Department of Health and the county Public Health Department to do contact tracing to identify the close contacts they needed to notify. Close contacts were defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of the ill person for more than 15 minutes, even if both individuals were wearing face coverings. The bottom line was that if the person next to your student tested positive for coronavirus, you would get one of these emails:

Hello Parents,

Your child has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid. Your child last had contact on November 16, and we require a 10-day quarantine.

As a close contact, your child should stay home and not take part in any activities/sports for 10 days, which is through November 26. Your child can return to school on Monday, November 30, so long as they do not develop symptoms or test positive during this time. 

Take care,

School Nurse

It was a frustrating policy for many students. Because a single student had a positive test, any other student near them in class, a whole classroom, or even the entire school could be shut down, depending on contact. If the masks that the kids were required to wear all day worked, wouldn’t that prevent transmission? Instead, it was yet another disruption to the learning for the students, and another example of how the play-it-safe policymakers hurt the students.

"This book will make you laugh and feel ALL the feelings."

Five star rating

"One of the most delightful reads of this year! I highly recommend."

Five star rating

"A great coffee table book. Easy to pick up read."

Five star rating

"Great coffee table conversation starter."

Five star rating

"Funny and fun to read. What a fun way to put the pandemic in perspective."

Five star rating

Picture of author Anthony Faust

About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

Tony signature