Sycamore Community Schools

September 11, 2020 Update

Week One of Healthy Back to School In The Books

It's Great to Be Back to School!

Identifying Suspected, Probable, Confirmed COVID-19 Cases & Contact Tracing

Sycamore Community Schools will work closely with Hamilton County Public Health to properly identify suspected, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 cases, as well as close contacts. The district will adhere to the guidelines set by Hamilton County Public Health. Please watch this video with Sycamore Lead Nurse Julie Ferron, MS, BSN, RN NCSN for more information.
Sycamore Schools Protocol For COVID-19 Cases

What is the difference between suspected, probable, and confirmed cases of COVID-19?


  • A suspected case of COVID-19 is defined as an individual who is ill with symptoms but no known exposure to an individual positive for COVID-19.
  • A probable case of COVID-19 is defined as an individual exposure to a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case and has symptoms.
  • A confirmed case of COVID-19 is defined as an individual who has a positive COVID-19 test result.

What makes someone considered close contact?

  • A close contact is defined as any contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 case within 6 feet for 15 minutes cumulatively with or without a mask.

Who has to quarantine and for how long?

  • If an individual is assessed as a probable case, they will need to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days from their symptom onset.

  • Students or staff who are confirmed cases of COV-19 must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days from the first symptom onset, and must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and their other symptoms are improving, before they can return to school.

  • If an individual is identified as a close contact, they must quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure to the individual who tested positive.

  • Suspected cases must stay home if sick and follow the existing illness guidelines for school exclusion (i.e. fever free for 24 hours without medication).

What happens when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at school?

The individual who is confirmed with COVID-19 will be isolated immediately and sent home. Designated school staff will begin the process of contact tracing to identify any close contact individuals within the school setting. These close contacts would also be removed from school to quarantine for 14 days.


Any area that has been determined that a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case has been engaged in will be closed, deep cleaned, and remain closed for three hours. Students will be relocated to another location to continue academic instruction.

Will you notify the school every time there is a positive case?

Yes, if there is a positive COVID-19 case in the school building, all staff and parents of students in that building will be notified within 48 hours, per Hamilton County Public Health guidelines.


If your child is determined to be a close contact, they will be sent home with a letter within 48 hours indicating the close contact status and a date to return to school if your child remains asymptomatic, per Hamilton County Public Health guidelines.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the COVID-19 Tracing Frequently Asked Questions page on our website for more answers to your questions regarding our COVID-19 Cases Protocol.

Data Assessment Risk Team (DART)

The Sycamore Data Assessment Risk Team (DART) is comprised of district membership along with the Board of Education, local public health & medical professionals:

  • Andrew Beck, MD, MPH
  • Dr. Karen Jerardi, MD, MEd
  • Matt Clayton, Public Health Commissioner

The group is assessing the following data to determine the safety of our schools remaining open:

  • State Data
    • # tests performed and % of positive cases
    • Risk level of Hamilton County (Sycamore Schools would transition into Remote Learning if Hamilton County goes to Purple level)
  • Hamilton County Data
    • New cases per 10,000 people per day
  • Core Zip Code Data (45242, 45249)
    • New cases per 10,000 people per day
    • # tests performed and % of positive cases
  • School Data
    • Daily attendance data
    • Daily temperature data
    • Random mask audit
    • Daily nursing data

DART meets each Thursday to assess the 7-day trends of these data points and determine if a shift in learning model is needed for the following school week. If the group determines a change is needed, we will communicate this to staff and families on Fridays.

Big picture