Infection control strategies

Signs are placed throughout the building, reminding students and staff of the importance of social distancing, wearing masks, washing/sanitizing hands, etc. There are also hand sanitizing stations throughout the district. Additionally, disposable face masks are available to students and staff who do not have one. 

Students remain socially distanced while in classrooms, with desks being appropriately spaced. In a situation when social distancing does not occur, students must continue mask use. This has required class sizes to be adjusted. Class size now ranges in size as the social distancing mandate allows. Classes will remain in a single room as a cohort to prevent traffic in the hallways. 

Due to space restrictions with the revised class sizes, elementary classes now overflow into the Junior/Senior High School with students attending four days a week. The remaining portion of the Junior/Senior High School is utilized by secondary students. Grades 6-8 attend in-school classes four days a week, while students in grades 9-12 attend in-school classes twice a week. 

Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring

The district requires students, faculty, or staff members who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day to report to the nurse’s office. If there are several students waiting to see the school nurse, students must wait at least 6 feet apart. The district has a designated area to separate individuals with symptoms of COVID- 19 from others until they can go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on severity of illness. One area is used to treat injuries, provide medications or nursing treatments, and the other area is used for assessing and caring for ill students and staff. These areas are inside Room 515. Both areas are supervised by an adult and have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies. 

In the Elementary School, the isolation room is the family restroom adjacent to the green door and the nurse’s office. In the Jr./Sr. High School, the isolation is Room 515. 

PPE requirements for school health office staff caring for sick individuals includes both standard and transmission-based precautions. In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, eye protection (e.g., goggles or face shield) should be added. When caring for a suspect or confirmed individual with COVID-19, gloves, a gown, eye protection, and a fit-tested N-95 respirator will be used, if available. If an N-95 respirator is not available, a surgical face mask and face shield will be used. 

School health office cleaning will occur after each use of cots, bathrooms, and health office equipment (e.g., blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes). Health office equipment will be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions. 

Disposable items will be used as much as possible (e.g., disposable pillow protectors, disposable thermometers, disposable thermometer sheaths or probes, disposable otoscope specula). Areas used by a sick person will be closed off and will not be used until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred. 

Aerosol Generating Procedures 

Respiratory treatments administered by nurses generally result in aerosolization of respiratory secretions. These aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) potentially put healthcare personnel and others at an increased risk for pathogen exposure and infection. The district requires the following PPE to be worn during AGPs: gloves, N-95 or a surgical mask with face shield, eye protection and a gown. PPE will be used when: suctioning, administering nebulizer treatments, or using peak flow meters with students who have respiratory conditions. 

Treatments such as nebulized medication treatments and oral or tracheostomy suctioning will be conducted in a room separate from others with nursing personnel wearing appropriate PPE. For nebulizer treatments, if developmentally appropriate, the nurse will leave the room and return when the nebulizer treatment is finished. 

Cleaning of the room occurs between use and cleaning of the equipment is done following manufacturer’s instructions after each use.