Recording attendance at events, meetings, or other gatherings can help with contact tracing, where allowed by law.
Some educational institutions are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic by formalizing guidelines. Furthermore, these guidelines are relative to indoor gatherings and events. For example, concurrent with the writing of this article, Harvard University published guidelines that apply to “sponsored and supervised events (by a School/Unit/department/manager); to non-sponsored events (informal gatherings); and to private events.
One of those guidelines states:
“Hosts of gatherings within residence halls and dormitories must monitor attendance and cooperate with contact tracers in the event of a positive case.”
With this in mind, how can the hosts “cooperate” with contact tracers? The CDC published an article about contact tracing in schools titled, “Considerations for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in K-12 Schools and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs).” As of the writing of this blog article, the CDC article was last updated on Aug. 5, 2021.
Reporting cases to the health department:
“K–12 school and IHE officials should ensure timely reporting of COVID-19 cases to the health department, consistent with applicable federal, state and local privacy and other laws. To aid in the investigation, K–12 school and IHE officials can establish mechanisms, in advance, to quickly assemble information and records to aid in the identification of people who have potentially been exposed and close contacts of people with COVID-19 at K–12 school or IHE facilities or events.”
Likewise, directly notifying those exposed:
“As soon as possible after they are notified that someone in the K–12 school or IHE has tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19, K–12 school and IHE officials should notify close contacts (and families of close contacts in the K–12 school setting) of exposure, in accordance with applicable privacy and other laws.”
In addition, in the United States, the CDC publishes a list of local health authorities on its website.