NPR: A Principal and His Tape Measure: Schools Are Helping Do COVID-19 Contact Tracing


Shortly after one of his students tested positive for COVID-19, Chris Hodges, the principal of Gaylord High School in Otsego County, found himself working closely with the local health department with contact tracing. The school-age population in Michigan has accounted for a growing share of recent COVID-19 cases. Hodges’ day-to-day work at school now involves walking the almost empty halls with a laptop and a tape measure, making a list of students who sat close enough to their sick classmate/s followed by calling teachers with the hopes that they can precisely describe the student/s’ position over the phone. These efforts prompted other nearby school districts to run similar operations, establishing a rather uncommon, but very important relationship between schools and health departments. As schools and colleges are preparing to reopen their doors in Fall 2021, their help with contact tracing remains of utmost significance to protecting the communities and containing the spread of the virus. Read the full article here

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