This webpage contains information and resources for school leaders and staff who have questions related to contact tracing and COVID-19 outbreak management in their school community.
For more information and resources about COVID-19 and schools, visit the State of California's Safe Schools for All Hub.
What Is Contact Tracing?
Contact tracing is a public health intervention that involves identifying and notifying individuals who have tested positive for an infectious disease or who have possibly been exposed to someone who tested positive while they were infectious.
Public health contact tracing staff will contact these individuals to let them know what to do next to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Public health departments have used contact tracing for decades to fight the spread of infectious diseases. Contact tracing is a core tool for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
When an exposure to a person with COVID-19 happens in a school setting, school staff may be asked to help their local public health department with some parts of the contact tracing process, in accordance with California's privacy laws and in compliance with Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Resources for Schools
Reporting Cases and Contacts
CDPH provides technical assistance (TA) to school leaders and staff seeking specific guidance and support on COVID-19 in school.
Portal for School Leaders: Start your request for technical assistance
Schools are required to report positive COVID-19 cases to their local health officer. You may be directed to use a "Line List" which is a document used for gathering information about cases and contacts, or you might be asked to input the information directly into an online portal called the Schools Portal for Outbreak Tracking (SPOT), which connects to the state's CalCONNECT contact tracing data system.
Find your School Specialist contact for reporting, including information about SPOT usage in your local health jurisdiction.
For an overview of SPOT, watch this short SPOT Introduction video.
CDPH is working with experts to create webinars and short videos on topics related to contact tracing and exposure management in schools.
Information about these videos and other available trainings can be found at the CA Safe Schools for All
Virtual Training Academy website.
School Liaison Toolkit
School Specialist Contacts
This toolkit provides school personnel with information and resources to support the school's response if there is a COVID-19 exposure in the school community.
- Getting started
- Key terms/glossary
- Decision tree
- Printable contact form
CDPH has compiled sample resources from school districts across the state.
While not an exhaustive library, there are examples from a variety of districts: small and large, urban and rural, up and down the state.
Your Local Health Department (LHD) School Specialist can help with local contact tracing requirements and other resources. If your LHD is not listed or you need help getting in touch with your School Specialist, please submit a request through the
School Specialist Contacts
How Is the State Supporting Schools with Contact Tracing?
Contact tracing in schools is driven by local policies and conducted in collaboration with each school's local health department (LHD). Local public health departments will be the primary point of contact for schools to obtain more information about local contact tracing requirements and resources. CDPH will support local health departments and schools regarding contact tracing with technical assistance, tools, training and staff.
CA Safe Schools for All
California's Safe Schools for All Plan provides the support and accountability to establish a clear path to minimize in-school transmissions. It enables, first, a phased return to in-person instruction, and then ongoing safe in-person instruction.
The Safe Schools For All Hub consolidates key resources and information related to COVID-19 and schools. New resources will be added to the Hub on a routine basis.