KETCHIKAN (KDN) —  Effective Thursday, official notifications reporting COVID-19 cases in Ketchikan School District schools will no longer be sent out by district principals, according to an email sent to the Daily News by KSD COVID-19 Communications and Public Relations Director Linnaea Troina.

"Staff/students who are considered close contact will be notified by contact tracers," Troina wrote. "The number of COVID-positive individuals who are in schools during a portion of their infectious periods will be shared each weekend and posted on the district website."

In a follow-up email to the Daily News, Troina wrote that the decision was made by KSD Interim Superintendent Melissa Johnson.

Troina continued, "It's been coming for a while, and there are many reasons that factored into the decision, including but not limited to (and in no particular order):"

• "Aligning with how other districts are reporting their in-school COVID cases to their stakeholders."

• "Responding to stakeholder complaints about excessive communication (phone calls, emails and texts) from the KGBSD district office as well as from individual schools."

• "Ensuring that employee and student HIPAA rights are upheld."

• "Freeing up administrator time."

The district's case dashboard was launched this past week, and is posted on the KSD website and social media on Sundays.

The KSD also sets the district's Start Strong risk level each Sunday afternoon.