Close Contact Information

Posted by Tracy Jentz on 10/9/2020 7:00:00 PM

GFPS Families and Employees:

During Governor Burgum’s news briefing on October 1st, the ND Department of Health announced a change in guidance regarding close contacts. Individuals identified as close contacts would not need to quarantine if both parties were wearing a mask during the time of exposure. Instead, those individuals would be directed to self-monitor and only quarantine if they become symptomatic, and it is recommended they have a COVID-19 test 7-10 days following close contact. Close contacts who remain onsite will NOT be able to participate in athletics, choral and instrumental music, or other activities where high levels of respiration occur. This is an impactful change for the entire state and school districts in particular, as it now allows for healthy students following proper mask-wearing protocol to stay onsite and continue their education unless they begin to exhibit symptoms.

Grand Forks Public Schools will continue to work with Grand Forks Public Health to conduct contact tracing in the school setting every time we are notified of a positive case. Close contacts (those that were within six feet for longer than 15 minutes) will be informed of their status and encouraged to self-monitor. If one or both of the parties is not wearing an appropriate face covering (a cloth reusable/washable or manufactured disposable mask that covers both the nose and mouth), identified close contacts will be required to quarantine.

This guidance is retroactive and voids the quarantine order for anyone that public health identified as close contacts through the school setting. School administration will contact students and employees who can return to school/work starting Monday, October 5. Those who are not contacted should continue to quarantine.

The aforementioned is an adjustment to the overall guidance on close contacts; all other provisions previously employed will continue (ie: physical distancing, mask-wearing, handwashing, hand sanitizer use, etc.).

Please know that this change may also impact our Smart Restart Plan. Modifications to that plan on the website will be made the week of October 5th. 

If you have questions about your ability to return to school/work or about the new guidance, please reach out to your building administrator.

Thank you.

Guidance for Quarantine and Mask Use” from the North Dakota Department of Health.