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 e-Decision Tree Helps Schools with COVID-19 Protocols

​For nearly two years, school staff members have had to become COVID-19 health experts and contend with ever-changing COVID-19 protocols. Do students and staff need to quarantine if they have COVID-like symptoms or if they have been exposed? For how long? To make it easier for schools to determine what to do, the San Diego County Office of Education teamed up with San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California San Diego (UCSD) in collaboration with the UC San Diego School of Medicine Division of Child and Community Health to create an online e-Decision Tree.

The e-Decision Tree is a digital representation of the San Diego County COVID-19 K-12 Decision Trees, which were created and are maintained by the SDCOE and County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services. The trees assist county schools in determining the appropriate actions for when students or staff exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or are exposed to COVID-positive individuals, and what testing procedures to follow.

“As an executive director, I have used the e-Decision Tree because it’s makes it easy by answering a few questions online and then it tells me the proper protocols,” said Empower Language Academy Founder and Executive Director Demi Brown. “I can share the link to the e-Decision Tree with my team, so we know we are using the latest information and we aren’t looking at old, printed-off PDFs.”

The e-Decision Tree was developed by San Diego Supercomputer Center researcher Ilya Zaslavsky working with UC San Diego undergraduate data science student Alice Lu. Users answer six brief questions. It is updated as needed and when the original decision tree is updated.

“We are thankful for the support of the San Diego Supercomputer Center in building the e-Decision Tree,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “This new tool helps simplify the multiple quarantine options with differing testing requirements, relieving a burden on school employees so they can concentrate on the important work of educating our students."