Seating charts have always been a valuable tool for teachers, helping them learn all their students’ names and minimizing disruptions in the classroom.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, these charts have also become essential for contact tracers tasked with limiting the spread of the virus and determining who needs to quarantine.
PubSEG strongly recommends that schools maintain up-to-date seating charts at all times and share them with principals and other administrators, so the information is immediately accessible to contact tracers in the event a student tests positive.
“If you keep seating charts and they’re updated, we can quickly identify close contacts and can also avoid sending whole classes home if we don’t have to,” says Kerry Dougherty, PubSEG’s Head of Sales. “For the school districts we work with, having seating charts has made a huge difference. It’s not the only way to identify close contacts, but it’s an important method of making sure we’re finding them all.”
The CDC recommends that students sit in the same assigned seat every day for that very reason.
Seating charts are especially crucial when contact tracing among young children, because detailed case investigations are nearly impossible at that age. But they are also important at the college level.
“Without seating charts, contact tracers would have no way of knowing who remained within 6 feet of an infectious case for 15 minutes or more, unless the case was able to name their close contacts,” Darlene Bhavnani, chief epidemiologist for COVID-19 contact tracing at the University of Texas, recently told The Daily Texan. “Close contacts may not know of the exposure, when to test, and may inadvertently spread the virus to someone else if infected themselves.”
If you’re looking for more information about ways to slow the spread of COVID in your school system, give PubSEG a call. Our team is always ready to help.