• Dec. 3, 2020

    On Nov. 23, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) released Recommendations for Pre-K to 12 Schools Following Identification of a Case(s) of COVID-19. As previously announced, the School Board approved an Attestation in order to continue in-person instruction, which requires the District to comply with these guidelines. 

    As a result of the revised PDE Order, the USCSD COVID-19 Dashboard has been modified and will track three components:

    1. PDE COVID+ Cases - Rolling 14 Days 
      The District has updated the COVID-19 Dashboard to correlate with the new metrics established by PDE and DOH, which is based on the number of cases in a school setting within a rolling 14-day period. These changes to the Dashboard are designed to provide greater insight into the District’s cases and decision-making for any modifications to the instructional model. 

      Per guidance provided by the PDE and Allegheny Intermediate Unit, “A case in a school setting includes any confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 when the individual was physically present in the school setting during the infectious period, including but not limited to, instruction, work, sports, or extracurricular activities.” 

      These data are represented on the Dashboard in the “red” portion of the bar graph. The data are updated in real time once a case is reported and documented.

    Important notes and changes regarding the new PDE/DOH Guidelines and Dashboard:

    • The District has adopted PDE/DOH’s newly prescribed reporting methodology, which is the date of symptom onset or the date of a positive asymptomatic COVID-19 test, whichever is earlier. 
    • The graph depicting the weekly case count reflects when cases are reported to the district. 
    • The 14-Day case count includes both student and staff cases of COVID-19.
    • The 14-Day case count resets to zero following a building closure.
    • PDE/DOH methodology now groups schools and corresponding recommendations based on student enrollment:
    • Large (900+): Upper St. Clair High School
    • Medium (500-900): Fort Couch MS, Boyce MS, Eisenhower Elementary
    • Small (less than 500): Baker Elementary, Streams Elementary
    • PDE has provided a number range for cases, based on school enrollment, that correlates to recommended guidelines for change in instructional model. The data for each school will be closely examined in collaboration/context with medical experts from the Allegheny County Health Department as part of the decision-making process.  
    • The thresholds for each school are outlined in the COVID-19 Dashboard Q&A.
    • COVID-related school closures can be shortened if the prescribed mitigation steps are completed.


    1. Total USCSD COVID+ Cases - Rolling 14 Days
      To provide ongoing transparency, the COVID-19 Dashboard will include data for ALL staff/students who have tested positive within a rolling 14-day period, but were not necessarily present during their infectious period (including fully remote individuals) – represented in the “gray” portion of the bar graph. These cases are total counts that do NOT directly correlate with the thresholds for the PDE 14-day rolling count. The data are updated in real time once a case is reported and documented. Unlike the PDE case count, this graph will not reset to 0 following a closure. Instead, it will provide the total case count within the two-week time frame - regardless of whether individuals were present in the respective school.

    2. Total USCSD COVID+ Cases - Most Recent 12 Weeks
      The District’s revised dashboard will continue to provide the total weekly case count throughout the 2020-21 school year adjusted for the most recent 12-week period. The data are designed to provide transparency for trending purposes. The data include case counts for ALL staff/students who have tested positive within the most recent 12-week period, but were not necessarily present during their infectious period (including fully remote individuals) – represented in the “black”  portion of the bar graph. The data are updated at the beginning of each week.
  • NEW: Our county has no longer been in the "substantial" level of COVID-19 transmission for at least two consecutive weeks. Does the attestation process still apply?

  • What is the number of cases that will trigger a building closure?

  • What are the PDE/DOH guidelines for each school during moderate and substantial community transmission levels?

  • If/when a school transitions to fully remote for a COVID-related issue, what happens to the case count, does it reset?

  • Will every closure be the same length?

  • What is the starting date for a new case for the purposes of the 14-day rolling count?

  • When is the Dashboard updated?

  • How does the number of students/staff per building factor into PDE/DOH guidelines?

  • Why doesn’t the Dashboard include quarantine numbers?

  • There are more cases than I knew about. Why are notifications not sent for every case?

  • When will USCSD communicate a positive COVID-19 case?

  • What happens if an individual tests positive for COVID-19?

  • Who is considered a close contact?

  • What is the infectious period for COVID-19?

  • Who needs to quarantine?

  • What is contact tracing?

  • What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

  • Daily Health Check

  • When should students/staff members stay home from school/work?

  • How are individuals cleared to return to school/work from isolation or quarantine?