MERRILL, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Merrill Area Public School (MAPS) District started working on their COVID-19 response plan back in the early part of summer, to ensure preparedness for the current in-person school year. Safety protocols in place are in conjunction with the Lincoln County Health Department.
Some protocols in place include the district asking parents to do at home screenings with their child every morning, which would consist of things like temperature checks and determining if the child has potentially been exposed to anyone who has the virus. Parents are also asked to check for any potential symptoms each morning.
If a child shows potential symptoms or has a fever, parents are instructed to call it in to the school and keep their child at home. If a child is already at school and starts to develop symptoms throughout the day, screening measures are in place to determine if they need to be sent home.
"We would also look back to two days prior to symptoms, and at that point that is when a person is most contagious," Merrill Area Public Schools Director of Pupil Services Karen Baker said. "Then we would obtain the contact tracing from the places that person has been."
The district is also doing building-level attendance tracking documents daily to monitor any possible COVID-19 symptoms, along with the Lincoln County Health Department's daily review of this data.
If a positive case arises among a staff member or a student in the district, parents will be notified. However, no names or specific grade level will be given due to confidentiality.
"We would like parents to feel confident that they are able to send their student to school and that they will be in an environment where they are safe," Baker added. "Where all precautions are being taken to the best of our ability and a student then is able to learn which is the most important part."
Baker said the protocols are changing and being updated daily as each day goes on, and they will continue to over communicate with parents as the school year progresses.