Tallmadge District dashboard keeps track of COVID-19 cases in the schools

Laura Freeman
Kent Weeklies
Tallmadge schools posts any COVID-19 cases among its students and staff members on its dashboard on the district's website.

TALLMADGE — School district residents can keep track of the number of COVID-19 cases among students and staff members.

The Tallmadge City School District has a dashboard system posted on its school website, https://www.tallmadgeschools.org, to provide information on positive COVID-19 cases. To access the dashboard, visit the website and the dashboard is listed under the yellow tab “2020 reopening” and is listed under “COVID-19 DASHBOARD.”

It lists active cases in each of the three school buildings. As of Wednesday, Sept. 23, there were no cases listed. According to the website, active cases are "those in which the student/staff has received a positive test/diagnosis and has not been cleared to return."

Director of Student Services Roy Zeman said the district is committed to updating the information once a week but tries to do it daily.

“If there was an active case, it would be updated and date stamped,” Zeman said.

If a case is reported in the school district, there are a couple of components, Zeman said.

Summit County Public Health is ultimately responsible for making the calls, he said. They asked the districts to partner with them to contact trace.

“If we receive word of a positive case, then we have an internal process with our district administration and building level administration where we collect data to help determine who is in close contact of the positive case whether it is a student or staff member,” Zeman said.

The Summit County Public Health department defines a close contact as someone within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes two days before the onset of the illness or two days prior to the test date if asymptomatic.

“Even with a mask on, we’ve tried to establish that distance with seating,” Zeman said.

The school district is looking for close contact within the schools, he said. They don’t investigate personal contact outside of the schools.

“We have a responsibility to look at close contact within the schools,” Zeman said. “We help Summit County Public Health track that information, and they contact individuals who have been in close contact. We also reach out to families if we know they are a close contact.”

Through Summit County Public Health, the district has a decision-making framework, he said. 

“If someone presents with symptoms, we have a process on how we respond,” Zeman said. “That funnels through our health services department.”

The superintendent will send out letters depending on the scenario, he said. The classroom may be contacted if it is in a classroom or it may go out to the entire district. That information will be reflected also in the dashboard if active cases come up.

The schools maintain a separate medical area in each building for those who have COVID symptoms.

“We contract our health services through Akron Children’s Hospital,” Zeman said. “We are already partners, and they are following Summit County Public Health instructions, so we’re all working in this together.”

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman may be reached at lfreeman@recordpub.com