COVID HCS Safety Protocols
July 28, 2020
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced July 28, 2020 the State of Tennessee’s recommendations to reopen schools for the 2020-2021 school year.
“Providing parents a choice in their children’s education is incredibly important,” said Gov. Lee. “In-person learning is the medically sound, preferred option. Our state is doing everything we can to work with local school districts and ensure that in-person learning is made available in a way that protects the health and safety of our students and educators, and this plan helps us accomplish that goal.”
“Leading health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and National Academies of Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering, have all stressed the importance of in-person learning for students,” said Tennessee Commissioner of Health Dr. Lisa Piercey. “The Department of Health has worked with Department of Education to establish a protocol to keep school buildings open safely and cause minimal disruption when positive cases occur.”
“Tennessee is prioritizing health and safety of our school communities,” said Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn. “Ensuring schools, teachers, families, and students have the critical resources and supports they need to start the new school year strong is paramount, and I am thankful to Governor Lee for continuing to support education in Tennessee as schools reopen across the state.”
The safety and health of our students has dictated various operational adjustments at each of our school facilities. Each administrator has developed facility-specific operational practices. The following offers an overview of the guidance provided after safety and health-focused staff members reviewed resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics, National School Safety Center, the National Association of School Nurses, the National Association of School Psychologists, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, the Centers for Disease Control, the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee Department of Health. The recommendations also reflect input received from the Gibson County Health Department and local medical personnel.
Definitions of CDC terms:
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
A close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
Isolation keeps someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others, even in their own home.
Quarantine keeps someone who was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine for COVID-19 should last for a period of 14 days.
Face coverings are simple barriers to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.The covering must include the nose and mouth and cannot include offensive words, graphic images, or symbols.
*Actions subject to change and availability of resources.
Entry points into school buildings will be adjusted. As a result, drop-off traffic flow will be altered. Building administrators will announce changes.
Multiple entrances will be used for student entry to accommodate temperature screening.
Hand sanitizer units will be positioned at entrances.
Face coverings are required at all times when riding a bus and at all times on any school campus.
Initial Screening Staff will be scheduled to greet students at building entrances. Normal readings will allow students to proceed to class.
The American Academy of Pediatrics supports 6 feet distance if needed (particularly with younger students). The expectation is to maintain 6 feet between students whenever possible.
Seating charts and/or lists of group assignments must be maintained to enable contact tracing.
Desks and surfaces wiped down regularly.
Staff and students are required to wear face coverings.
Socially distanced hallway travel.
Schedules will be designed to result in limited hallway traffic.
Water fountains will be disabled. (students may bring water bottles from home)
Schools will determine and schedule restroom to limit the number of students in one setting.
Staff must monitor student hygiene practices leaving restrooms.
Recess will use open spaces for play and physical activity.
Below are items that will be in all schools:
- Hand sanitizing stations at front entrance
- Sneeze guards in all offices and cafeterias
- Disposable masks provided for all students
- Gloves available for staff as needed
- Hand sanitizer in all classrooms
- Soap in all classrooms
- Cleaner and disposable towels in all classrooms
- Infrared thermometers in all schools
- Face shields for all staff
- Washable masks for teachers
- School nurse kits with protective gear
- Additional nurse
- Electrostatic Clorox 360 deep cleaning machine
Health and Safety Protocols
Health and Safety Protocals will be used routinely across the district in all classrooms, cafeterias, gyms, and other campus areas.
There will be strict health and safety protocols in place when school begins that include:
- Face mask requirements for all staff, students, and visitors
- Social distancing practices
- Frequent hand washing & sanitizing per CDC guidelines
- Limited student movement throughout each building
- Temperatures checks for all staff and students upon arrival
- Water fountains closed (students may bring water bottles from home)
- Rugs and student cloth furniture removed from classrooms
- Isolation room for sick students and staff
- Limiting visitors into schools
- Buses disinfected daily
- Additional building cleaning throughout the day
- Frequent high touch areas cleaned throughout the day
Daily Temperature Screening
- Staff will have their temperatures taken daily upon entering the building.
- All students will have their temperature taken each day upon building entry.
- An elevated temperature (100 and above) will result in the nurse being contacted.
- Any sick student will be escorted to the isolation room.
- Student will remain in the isolation room until a parent/guardian or designated emergency
Elevated Temperature During the Day
1. Teacher will contact office, request nurse or designee to come to the classroom.
2. Nurse or designee will escort student to isolation room.
3. Nurse will document elevated temperature and initiate contact with parents.
4. Parents will make arrangements for immediate pick-up.
1. Staff will check temperature; make arrangements for immediate class supervision; verify reading with nurse.
2. Upon reading being verified by nurse, arrangements for classroom supervision for the remainder of the day will be made.
3. The nurse will ask questions related to current known COVID-19 symptoms and exposure.
4. Teacher will leave campus.
Note: If a student or staff member is seen by a physician upon leaving school, and if a specific diagnosis is given (sinus infection, strep throat, etc.) the individual may return to school after being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
If student or staff become ill and no specific diagnosis is provided, staff and students are asked to be tested for COVID-19 and quarantine at home.
10-Day Sick Window
Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate themselves at home for 10 days from the onset of their symptoms or 10 days from the date their test was done if they never developed symptoms. Fever must be gone and they must be feeling better for at least 24 hours.
Anyone who has been within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more must quarantine themselves at home for 14 days from the last time they were with that person. These time periods do not change with a doctor’s note or with a negative test.