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It seems like many places, including my daughter’s school and my workplace, are going to discontinue informing us of any Covid-19 cases in the building. How would you suggest we go about being notified of any cases within our school and work areas?

Needs More Info in New Orleans

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Meghan Stroh

Meghan Stroh is an award-winning high school science teacher, instructional coach, and school leader. When she’s not navigating for New Orleans families, she can be found getting crafty and sewing handmade quilts.

Dear Needs More Info,

This is a great question—and a tough one. A recent “Ask A Navigator” covers similar ground, so it’s worth checking that one out too, but it doesn’t exactly answer your dilemma.

In my experience, I think parents want more information—not less. At the same time, we’re all dealing with information overload, and I (kind of) get why schools are trying to trim down on the number of emails and notifications. Regardless, I think organizations owe their communities transparency, but whether that always happens is a bit out of our control. Louisiana schools are supposed to be reporting cases to districts and the state, but that process has also been riddled with errors and some non-compliance. Additionally, institutions have to be sensitive to privacy when it comes to health issues, and I know that can be tough in smaller schools and organizations where it’s harder to keep Covid-19 data anonymous. So all in all—a tough situation.

To actually answer your question, I would suggest a few things:

  • Review your school’s and workplace’s updated Covid-19 protocols and safety measures, so you’re clear on what’s happening and what information you are or are not receiving.
  • Get really clear on why they are suspending communication around Covid cases, if they haven’t shared this already. Is it a privacy issue? Do they think it’s unnecessary? Do they think families don’t want this information?
  • With this information in hand, ask if there is any way you can initiate getting information if you want it. (For example, you could ask if there’s a person on staff that can answer your questions when you call, or a monthly report that’s published on their website. This might not feel quite as good as getting real-time updates, but it might also give you enough information to feel confident.)
  • Finally, consider talking to your school director or employer about why you’d like to get that info in some form or another. (For example, “I’m not trying to leave the school or not come into work. I just want to be informed to feel a little less stressed about the whole situation. Is there any way we can work out some type of COVID communication plan?”)

I hope you’re able to get access to enough information to feel safe. These are tough times with so any challenges for families, schools, and employers alike. We’re here if you need us!