A flaw in contact tracing? One Copenhagen parent thinks so

A flaw in contact tracing? One Copenhagen parent thinks so

COPENHAGEN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Earlier this week, Copenhagen’s middle school moved to fully remote learning after positive COVID-19 cases popped up in the district.

One middle school parent says contract tracing didn’t work fast enough where some students live.

“It’s confusing and that’s the struggle," said Mauranda Simmons.

Simmons has a son in 7th grade at the Copenhagen Central School.

Earlier in the week, she and the other parents in the district got a couple letters informing them of three positive cases in the district and possible exposure for 11 students and 6 teachers.

The letter also brought up the issue of contact tracing and Mauranda says it told parents:

“Those folks who had been exposed had been contacted. And if we hadn’t been contacted then there was no reason to quarantine,” said Simmons.

So, for Simmons and her family it was business as usual, her son went to hockey practice and visited his grandparents. But two days after receiving a letter from the school a call came. That was on Thursday.

“We received a call from a New York State contact tracer that let us know that our son had been exposed,” said Simmons.

Her son is still in quarantine, but did receive a negative test result this week.

So why did it take a couple days to receive that information?

Simmons believes the lag is because she and her family live in Jefferson County just over the Lewis County line.

Copenhagen Superintendent Scott Connell says he only talks to the school’s county public health.

“Because our building is physically in Lewis County. So we meet about every other day, pretty much, talking about things that they’re wanting us to do. We are having questions about things we should do, so I only communicate with Lewis County Public Health,” said Connell.

County officials say that if a possible exposure occurs in a county outside of where you live, public health submits the information to the New York State system. Then, it is the job of the public health in the county you live in to reach out.

Simmons says she understands no one meant for this to occur, but she just hopes shedding light on the issue can prevent it from happening again.

No one wants to place blame. We are all one community and we need to work together to keep our kids and our community safe so that that we can all move forward with a better plan and path to communication," said Simmons.

The middle school has gone fully remote through November 20th as the district continues to try and stop the spread of COVID-19.

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