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Sixth thru 12th graders return to campus on Monday; tier changes won’t impact schools

There will be classroom quarantines imposed this school year.

“It’s not a matter if we will have quarantined students and classes but when,” noted Manteca Unified community outreach coordinator Victoria Brunn.

Brunn is not being an alarmist. That is simply the reality of a pandemic.

The district has just hired a sixth nurse that is dedicated fulltime to contact tracing so when a student or staff member tests positive they can determine who they have been in contact with and if the potential for exposure requires others to be quarantined.

“Whether an entire class gets quarantined or just a student or two depends upon a lot of variables, “ Brunn said.

Those variables include whether social distancing was kept, if all students wearing the mandatory face masks, and  the size of room  among other things.

There are a lot of different possible outcomes of a student testing positive based on what contact tracing reveals.

*A teacher and an entire class could be quarantined.

*It could be determined that only the teacher and not the class needs to be quarantined. In that case a substitute teacher may be brought in.

*One or several students may need to be quarantined.

In each case, a quarantine period lasts 14 days.

Once Manteca Unified sixth through 12th graders return to campuses on Monday, the only COVID-19 dashboard statistics that matter in determining whether they will continue in-person learning can be found on the district’s website.

The state COVID-19 reopening guidelines won’t apply to Manteca Unified if San Joaquin County on Tuesday — or at some point in the future — ends up going back to the more restrictive tier as has neighboring Stanislaus, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties.

That’s because under health orders once a school reopens for in-person learning with COVID-19 protocols and measures in place, the only positive case numbers that will matter in terms of campuses or individual classes being shut down are those involving students in specific classes and then collectively as a school site.

The proportion of school population that tests positive for the virus is critical as it is used to determine if a specific school campus has to close under county and state health orders.  If 5 percent of a school’s population has confirmed COVID-19 cases within a rolling 14-day period, the school has to be closed.

The threshold to force the closure of an entire school district is if one out of every four campuses has closed due to COVID-19 cases within 14 days of each other.

Manteca Unified

COVID-19 dashboard

Manteca Unified has taken an additional step that few other districts have done. Although county and state health officials have not required it, Manteca Unified has created their own COVID-19 dashboard.

It can be accessed at

All current and confirmed COVID-19 cases involving Manteca Unified student or staff member are reflected on this page. The numbers will be updated at a minimum once per week and will reflect statistics for the previous 14 days from time of posting.

As of Wednesday, there were six student and five staff positive cases spread throughout 33 campuses.

All 11 are external meaning tracing shows they did not contract COVID-19 in a school setting.

Those with symptoms will be reflected  on the dashboard for 14 days after they were first detected. That dovetails into CDC guidelines that indicate a person is no longer contagious are 14 days of the first symptom appearing. The exception is those who become severely ill and require hospitalization. Once the 14 days lapse for that person, they will be taken off the dashboard count.

The dashboard lists every campus along with the total number of students and staff, number of confirmed cases involving students, the number of confirmed cases involving staff, and the proportion of school population.

If a partial, total school closure, or District closure is warranted, families will be contacted via email and/or phone and a swift transition to Phase 1: Off-Campus Learning will occur for the school(s) affected. The email and/or phone call will disclose as much information as possible relating to the events. MUSD will maintain confidentiality as required under HIPAA and FERPA and state law related to privacy of educational records.

Once the District learns of an individual who has tested positive at a school site or office, these steps will be followed:

*Isolate individuals if present and advise of any required self-quarantine.

*Contact MUSD Health Services Department.

*Contact trace within MUSD to determine close contacts. Close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

*Immediately notify anyone within MUSD determined to have had close contact and advise of any required self-quarantine.

*Follow any additional recommendations from the San Joaquin County Department of Public Health.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email