COVID Health & Safety Plan
Current CDPH guidance recommends a multi-layer strategy used to manage COVID-19 and serves as a general prevention framework to reduce the spread of multiple types of infections, including COVID-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and norovirus. Strategies are guided by the principle that safe, in-person learning, and care are critical to the well-being and development of children. SCUSD aligns our practices with Sacramento County Public Health (SCPH) and California Department of Health (CDPH) guidance which is based on current scientific knowledge and anticipated trends. SCUSD will remain flexible in responding to changing public health conditions. We will revise our plans as needed in accordance with the most current orders or guidance provided by SCPH and CDPH.
Many of the strategies used to address COVID-19 can protect school communities from other diseases and support healthy learning environments. We remain committed to doing all we can to support the health, safety and well-being of our schools and surrounding communities.
Screen for Symptoms and Stay Home When Sick
Staff and students must self-screen for symptoms at home daily. If a person is sick or exhibits any symptoms of COVID-19, they may not come to school and must follow the Stay Home Sick and Return Guidance.
Symptoms of illness include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea per CDC guidelines.
Allergies and other Chronic Conditions
Allergy symptoms are the same as early COVID-19 symptoms. Many people who test positive for Covid remark, “I just thought it was my allergies.” If a person has new or worsening allergy symptoms they should test to rule out COVID-19. If the test is negative and symptoms improve they can come to work or school. Similarly students with other chronic conditions that have symptoms included in the Covid list are encouraged to test with a new onset and may return to school when symptoms improve.
Identifying Sick or Exposed Persons on Site
Any student or staff with symptoms of COVID-19 may not enter the school site. Individuals found to have new onset of COVID-19 symptoms will be given an OTC test, advised to return home and test for COVID-19.
Used in combination with other mitigation strategies, COVID-19 testing is a valuable tool to support the health of our community. Testing may allow for early identification of cases and reduce transmission. Individuals are encouraged to stock a supply of over-the-counter (OTC) tests in their home in the event of an exposure or symptoms. Subject to availability through CDPH, Over-the-counter (OTC) Tests are available from the school office.
As long as available, an OTC test kit will be provided when individuals become sick at school or work, or learn of a close contact exposure
Contact Tracing & Reporting COVID-19 Cases
The district follows Cal-Osha requirements for employers and CDPH guidance for schools for conducting contact tracing investigation and notification of exposed individuals.
- Any staff member or student who tests positive for COVID-19 must immediately notify their school office, school-site administrator or supervisor.
- The office, administrator or supervisor must immediately email the District COVID Response Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. A contact tracer will call the individual or their parent/guardian to provide guidance for isolation and return to work/school. And will conduct an investigation to determine if there were any exposures requiring notification.
- When there is an exposure on a school site or school activity, exposure notices will be sent per Cal Osha requirements and CDPH recommendation
- Isolation and quarantine guidelines for staff will follow CDPH and Cal/OSHA requirements.
See Basic Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for Families, Students and Staff for further details and guidance.
CDPH strongly recommends that all persons eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine receive them at the first opportunity. COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA have been shown to be safe and effective.Vaccines help our immune system fight infections in the future. COVID-19 vaccines protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to get the illness.
SCUSD operates an Immunization Clinic through the Vaccine for Children (VFC) program and is able to provide recommended vaccines, such as the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible students.
Face masks are an effective measure to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases including COVID-19. Face masks, particularly high-quality and well-fitting masks, are effective, inexpensive, and easy to implement tools to protect oneself and others. All sites will maintain a supply of masks for staff and students at entrances and in classrooms.
No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a venue or business including schools, unless wearing a mask would pose a safety hazard.
- Face Masks are recommended in the following situations:
- Students that return from isolation on or after day 6 are recommended to wear a face mask through day 10.
- Employees that return from isolation on or after day 6 must wear a face mask through day 10.
- Individuals who have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 are recommended to wear a face mask for 10 days after last exposure.
- Individuals at increased risk or who live with those at high risk.
- See the CDC Guide Get the Most Out of Masking, for further information.
SCUSD is ensuring there is sufficient ventilation in all school classrooms and shared workspaces per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air- Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
- HVAC filters are replaced per manufacturer recommendations. HVAC units that can be retrofitted to accept MERV-13 filters have been; portable HEPA filtration systems are available and shall be used in all other spaces and are designed for the size of the space.
- HVAC units are programmed to turn-on and run continuously for a minimum of 2 hours before and for a minimum of 2 hours after classrooms are occupied.
- The HVAC system is designed to maximize the circulation and filtration of air. Windows and doors may be opened so long as it is deemed safe to do so.
- Portable HEPA filtration units have been provided for spaces
that need additional filtration considerations such as cafeterias
and other school/work spaces. Portable HEPA filtration units
provided to spaces MUST be plugged-in and utilized
- Work with your SPOM for filter changes when a red light appears.
- Portable HEPA filtration units should be placed in an area where air flow is not obstructed.
Poor Air Quality
Schools must balance the COVID-19 prevention benefits of ventilation and outdoor activity with the outdoor air quality. On projected poor air quality days schools will monitor Air Now and Spare the Air websites for air quality readings. When the Air Quality Index (AQI) is poor schools are advised to close windows and doors.
When you can visibly see or smell smoke or AQI is 151 or over:
- Close all windows and doors
- Adjust HVAC systems to prevent outdoor air from being pulled into the building when possible
- Ensure all portable HEPA units are properly in use
- Eat in the multiple purpose room, other available spaces, or the classroom
- Move outdoor activities indoors
- Follow all guidance issued by CDPH or SCPH about air quality and COVID mitigation
Hand Washing & Respiratory Hygiene
All students and staff should wash hands frequently. Soap products marketed as “antimicrobial” are not necessary or recommended. If soap and water are not available, use district-approved greater than 60% ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Training on effective hand washing and use of sanitizer must be provided to all students and staff. Children under age 9 should only use hand sanitizer under adult supervision. Call Poison Control if consumed: 1-800-222-1222.
The following guidelines are recommended for school settings:
- Upon arrival to the school site
- Before lunch
- Before leaving the site
- Upon entry to any new classroom
- When using the restroom
- When visibly dirty
- After using a tissue, coughing into hands
- Upon arriving home
Use cold, cough/sneeze etiquette at all times on site. Once a tissue is used, throw it away in a waste container and then wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. Do not touch the face. Reinforce cough/sneeze etiquette, including use of tissues and elbows by using signage, training, and lessons.
Supporting Mental Well-Being
The Covid pandemic has deeply impacted the mental health and well-being of our entire community. Impacts to economic stability, housing, education, access to physical and mental health care, basic needs and the loss of loved ones continue and are exacerbated in many communities facing systemic inequities and health disparities. Coping strategies are taxed or exhausted, leading to a range of emotional and behavioral responses for adults and children. The uncertainty of evolving variants coupled with constantly changing conditions and requirements has led to an increase in anxiety and depression symptoms.
SCUSD remains committed to meeting the needs of our staff and students during this time of collective crisis and is working to expand mental health support to all school sites. SCUSD’s Student Support Centers provide a spectrum of integrated support to all students and families that spans the areas of youth development, family services, academic enrichment, health and mental health services and supports.
- To find the most current listing of Student Support Center staff assigned to schools – visit https://www.scusd.edu/supportcentersites.
- All families, students and staff may also access Care Solace – a complimentary and confidential service to find mental health or substance use care available regardless of your insurance status. Care Solace’s team is available 24/7/365 and can support you in any language.