BCSC to hold back COVID-19 details to protect privacy

Bartholomew Consolidated Schools superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts says that the schools will not be making public announcements for each individual outbreak of COVID-19 in the school staff and students.

That decision is being made as a way to protect the privacy of those students and staff members.

Roberts explained that as cases come up, the schools will then identify those who have had close contact with the infected person and require those people to also quarantine for two weeks before returning to school. Close contact would be anyone who spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of the infected person, Roberts said. That would include classrooms, cafeterias, school buses and other contacts.

BCSC has not included the actual number of cases in the school system as one of the indicators it is using to determine whether schools should remain open or not and it does not appear on the community dashboard as a decision making tool. But internally, those numbers will be tracked and if a significant outbreak occurred, the district is prepared to close an entire class, wing, team or school, as needed to stop the spread, Roberts said.

Roberts said that the district is not opposed to providing COVID-19 numbers as an aggregate that would shield the identities of students and staff. But as long as the person who is ill is easily discernible, the district does not plan to release that information.

He added that the state and county are tracking infections by age, so the raw numbers are available to the community.