COVID-19 Communication Process
This page is intended to be a source of information about COVID-19 and provide links to the most updated information on how it is impacting our West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) community.
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UPDATE (October 1):
The West Des Moines Community Schools will continue to send messages and Polk County Health Department (PCHD) guidance to WDMCS students and staff considered close contacts of a district-related case. This will include whether or not close contacts need to quarantine.
COVID-19 information will continue to be updated each weekday on the WDMCS website, but we will no longer email families or staff who are not close contacts to announce positive COVID-19 cases at buildings. District leadership and the Board of Education will be sent daily summaries of any cases across the district.
We will also communicate with building staff and families if there is ever a need for a class or building temporary transition to online learning.
How will I know about COVID-19 cases and exposure in WDMCS?
When a student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) works with the Polk County Health Department (PCHD) to identify close contacts and determine the appropriate next steps. WDMCS also collaborates with PCHD to provide guidance and support to students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with a confirmed case.
We must maintain privacy of individuals but will share extensive communication regarding exposure or potential exposure to allow families and staff to make informed decisions. Because each case is unique, WDMCS communicates through our Blackboard email, text, and app alerts.
You may receive communication about:
- Being identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19. (Close contact is defined by the CDC as within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, regardless of personal protective equipment.)
- Your school nurse or another district staff member will reach out to you by phone to share that you have been identified as a close contact. They will provide next steps regarding school or work and health information from PCHD.
- You will also receive an email and app alert from WDMCS with the same information and a letter for close contacts from PCHD attached.
- Then, a Polk County nurse will follow up with you by phone to review the information and provide more specific guidance.
- Your class transitioning to virtual learning.
- If an on-site class needs to transition to virtual learning, families and staff will receive a notice by email, text, and app alert. The email will include what day the transition is starting; your building principal will provide more information about how long the transition may last.
- Families and staff will receive a similar notice when a class can transition back to on-site learning. The email will include what day on-site learning will resume and other information specific to your situation.
For more information about positive cases and close contacts in WDMCS, you can follow our COVID-19 dashboard, which is updated daily. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please follow our COVID-19 exposure guidelines.