Lakota Updates, Expands COVID-19 Dashboard

Lakota Updates, Expands COVID-19 Dashboard
Posted on 09/21/2020
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New this week: COVID-19Beginning Monday, Sept. 21, Lakota Local Schools will expand the information displayed on its novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) dashboard. The dashboard, which launched on Sept. 8, initially presented the number of staff and students who have tested positive for COVID-19, or are presumed positive by the Butler County Health Department (BCHD) or their doctors. The number of quarantined individuals related to in-school cases is also displayed. The data provides a weekly snapshot of new cases by school.

The updated dashboard has expanded to show all students and staff who are quarantined regardless of whether it is related to a positive case in-school or out. The BCHD quarantines those individuals classified as high-risk for the spread of the virus. High risk means a person has been named a close contact of a positive case either in-school or out-of-school. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of the person who has tested positive for a total of 15 minutes or more. 

The dashboard was created in response to the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) recent order on reporting positive school-related COVID-19 numbers to the community. The order states that schools must share the news of any positive cases with their parents within 24 hours of being notified. The order also encourages districts to share this information with the community. “Since school began on Aug. 17, we have notified our families of positive cases within 24 hours,” said Robb Vogelmann, Lakota’s assistant superintendent and leader of the district’s COVID Response Team. “We know that many people are concerned with how many cases will occur in schools now that we are back to in-person learning,” he continued. “By expanding the number to include quarantine cases related to out-of-school cases and travel, our community will have the same information we have.”  

“We are keeping a detailed database of our students and staff who are identified as positive, presumed positive and are under quarantine,” said Lauren Brown, manager of healthcare services for the district. “We work very closely with the Butler County Health Department and rely on them for their expert guidance.” The district reports all positive cases directly to the BCHD within 24 hours of being notified. The health department shares this information with ODH.

Lakota nurses assist the county with contact tracing, speaking to students, teachers and parents to determine who will qualify as high or low-risk. Those identified as high-risk must immediately quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure. “Knowing that a person can be contagious up to two days prior to symptoms appearing is important in identifying anyone who might have been exposed,” said Brown. “It’s crucial that our parents and staff alert us if they are under quarantine because of an out-of-school case. It’s one way we can all work together to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The updated dashboard will include not only those quarantined as high-risk, but also those who are following the recommendations of Gov. DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to stay at home after traveling to high-risk locations. This includes international travel as well as domestic travel to states considered high-risk by ODH. An updated list can be found on the department’s website

The community will be able to view the breakdown of quarantined cases by in-school versus out-of-school on the updated dashboard. The dashboard will also show cumulative data by month and year-to-date. Click here to view the new COVID-19 dashboard.