Central fights pandemic with new pass system and safety protocol

Mackenzie Coughlin, Staff Writer

Within the Omaha Public Schools district, every school has been assigned building COVID Designees and Contact TracersFor Central those people are deans Dr. Amy Andrews and Jessica Anderson.  

When a parent/guardian calls with a students’ symptoms/exposure/positive test, the designee(s) ask a variety of questions to determine when the student was last in the building, the dates of contact/exposure/symptoms/testing, and any other student/staff contacts that might need to be notified,” Anderson said.  

The main technique used around the district to limit the spread of COVID is contact tracing, recording where each person in the building sits and goes in order to track who has come in contact with someone who has tested positive.  

Central has worked to build a new pass procedure that is becoming a building wide routine, this year, with the QR codes,” Anderson saidIt takes the effort of students and staff to help make this a new Central norm. It is regulated by both staff and students in ensuring that it is done with fidelity. The QR codes are collected on a spreadsheet for any tracing needs that occur. The QR codes limit the number of surfaces that students and staffs touch throughout the building.  

To keep students engaged in maintaining safety guidelines while at school, the acronym “SHOW” was put into place.  

By “SHOW”ing the Eagle Way, students support COVID safety measures with social distancing, hand washing, obeying safety rules, and wearing masks, Anderson said. Along with SHOW”ing the Eagle Way, students should only attend school on the days they are assigned, follow hallway protocol, and only eat in designated areas.  

As we follow guidelines from local and national medical/health professionals, we see that the possibility of spreading the virus can be quite high, in this pandemic, so it is important that Central is doing its part to limit that as much as possible to keep all students, staff, and families safe and healthy,” Anderson said. Contact tracing is part of that process of eliminating spread as much as possible and communicating what is occurring within our building.  

A large reason for Central having a low number of positive cases is due to the fact that students and staff respect the guidelines put in place and are willing to do whatever it takes to beat this virus.  

Along with the new QR code system for passes, many other rules have been put in place. “Daily, in person, class sizes have been reduced, in the Family 3/2 plan, to help support social distancing in the classrooms,” Anderson saidMasks must be worn properly by students and staff. Hand sanitizer should be used upon entering and exiting the classrooms and before eating lunch. QT3 sanitizer spray should be used on surfaces throughout the day, in between class periods.”  

With the constantly changing state of the country, Central is working right along with safety protocol to provide a safe school experience for students. “In any new unique challenge that alters and impacts the school environment and people’s lives, such as a pandemic, there is always room for learning, growing, and improving, Anderson said.