COVID Health & Safety Plan

COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan


Evidence from around the world shows that schools can safely remain open utilizing layered mitigation measures of safety.  School supports our students’ academic progress and addresses educational inequities exacerbated by the pandemic and access to distance learning.  As the CDC advises, the most important actions for districts and school administrators to take in keeping schools open is planning and preparing. 

The following Covid Health & Safety Plan serves as the SCUSD COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP) for in-person instruction and meets the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) COVID- 19 Prevention Program (CPP) and the COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist requirements. The SCUSD Covid Health & Safety plan provides our operational strategy to support K-12 schools providing in-person services, support and instruction, and remaining open through an integrated package of mitigation measures.

As newly evolving variants continue to prolong the pandemic and impact our community, we remain committed to doing all we can to support the health, safety and well-being of our schools and surrounding communities.

Public Health Recommendations

This plan was developed using recommendations from Sacramento County Public Health (SCPH), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to meet the unique needs of our school community.  SCUSD will remain flexible in responding to changing public health conditions and will continue to revise our plans in accordance with the most current orders or guidance provided by the CDPH.

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 (100.4 or higher) 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

Individuals may return to school when:

5 days have passed, at least 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms are improving.


Present a negative COVID-19 test and at least 24 hours has passed since a fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications free and other symptoms are improving.


Present a note from a healthcare provider that confirms that current symptoms are from a chronic condition or other disease process.

Chronic Conditions

Chronic conditions: Individuals with documented non-infectious chronic conditions can return to school when symptoms have improved. A doctor may diagnose an illness other than COVID-19 and provide a note for return to school earlier than 5 days. Individuals with unmanaged, new Covid-like symptoms (such as congestion, coughing, runny nose) may be sent home until symptoms have improved. If there are questions about individual cases, contact your school nurse or health services.


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. 

Identifying Sick or Exposed Persons on Site

Any student or staff with symptoms of COVID-19 or who are required to isolate per CDC guidelines may not enter the school site and will be advised to return home. 

A list of health screening reminders will be provided upon entry to the school or work site.

Any individual experiencing symptoms of illness must be sent home and will be offered an OTC test kit for at-home testing, or site Covid testing if available with parent/guardian consent.

COVID-19 Testing 

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 reduced transmission. Subject to availability through CDPH, testing is provided for free on a voluntary basis to all staff, students, their families and other community partners or volunteers.  

For testing completed in a Care Room or Testing Center, parent/guardian notification and consent for minors is obtained via registration on the testing software platform. 

Over-the-counter (OTC) Testing is also available for self-use during school/district hours.  

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.

Community members are encouraged to stock a supply of over-the-counter (OTC) tests in their home in the event of an exposure or symptoms.  OTC tests may be ordered for free through  Health insurance companies also provide access to OTC tests.

Self-administered Over-the-Counter/At-Home rapid antigen test

  • Swab sample collected from the nostril – self administered
  • Processed at-home by the individual or parent/guardian
  • Self-reported and resulted tests uploaded through the Primary Health website, Primary App or call 1-855-970-3223
  • May be used for anyone experiencing symptoms, or exposed to COVID-19

Contact Tracing & Reporting COVID-19 Cases

Expecting and planning for the occurrence of one or more cases of COVID-19 helps the district respond immediately to mitigate the impact, minimize spread of COVID within the school/work site, and allow the school/work site to remain open.  

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community,  SCUSD Health Services will conduct COVID-19 contact tracing within the district.

  • Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 must immediately notify their school office, school-site administrator or supervisor.  
  • If an Over the Counter test was taken – remind the individual to upload results to Primary Health 
  • Administrators/supervisors must immediately email the District COVID Response Team at 
  • Contact tracers will contact the individual or their parent/guardian to conduct contact tracing as it impacts district staff and students.
  • When there is an exposure on a school site or school activity, exposure notices will be sent to the entire classroom/activity.
  • For exposures outside of school or in households the district will follow SCPH guidelines.
  • Isolation and quarantine guidelines for staff will follow CDPH and Cal/OSHA requirements.

See Basic Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for Families, Students and Staff and SCPH Decision Tree for further details and guidance.

COVID-19 Vaccine

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.  SCUSD is committed to working closely with SCPH to provide access to COVID-19 vaccine to all educators, education support staff and students.  As long as Covid vaccine is available SCUSD will continue hosting vaccination clinics with health partners to do our part in stopping the spread of COVID in our community.

For more information about how to register for a clinic visit

Face Masks

  • Face masks are recommended during low, medium and high CDC Community Levels
  • SCUSD will provide face masks at no cost to all individuals who want them. 
  • Face Masks are recommended in the following situations:
    • Individuals who return to school after having Covid symptoms are recommended to wear a face mask through day 10.
    • Students  that return from isolation on or after day 6 are recommended to wear a face mask through day 10.
    • Staff: Per Cal/OSHA, employees must wear face coverings around others for a total of 10 days
    • Individuals who have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 are recommended to wear a face mask for 10 days after last exposure.
  • Individuals are recommended to wear a well-fitting face mask of their choosing that meets CDPH recommendations
  • See the CDC Guide to Masks 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 correctly.  
    • 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.
  • Specific practices to avoid:
    • Classrooms or buses with no ventilation or additional airflow
    • Classrooms or buses with increased airflow across occupants (e.g., oscillating or box fans blowing into the classroom

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 Hygiene & 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 respiratory hygiene 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  respiratory hygiene or cough/sneeze etiquette, including use of tissues and elbows by using signage, training, and lessons. 

COVID-19 Response Team

District Response Team

  • The district shall routinely revise and update plans and procedures for ensuring all public health measures are implemented and for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Designated department leads are identified for ensuring public health mitigation measures are implemented and followed.

School Site Response Team

  • The school site safety plan will incorporate plans for ensuring all public health measures are implemented and for responding to COVID-19 concerns. School sites will designate staff to serve on the COVID-19 Response Team and these members will regularly communicate the importance of following these safety measures.  
  • In the event of a COVID-19 concern,  staff should know who to contact. Accurate phone numbers and emails will be updated for all employees, agency contractors and students to enable contact tracing in case of exposure.
  • In the event of a site exposure, a member of the team will be responsible for distributing exposure notices to staff and to parents/guardians.
  • When a positive Covid test is reported - Administrators/supervisors must immediately email the District COVID Response Team at

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  
  • 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.
    • Call 888-515-0595 available 24/7/365
    • Visit and either search on your own OR click “Book Appointment” for assistance by video chat, email, or phone.