20-21 | Health and Safety
measures and procedures
- Physical Distancing Measures: Students and staff must maintain 6 ft distance at all times, including in classrooms, recess times, and movement within the buildings;
- Face coverings required at all times: Students and staff will receive education and training on proper use and the importance of this step;
- Hand-washing and Hygiene: Soap and/or hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and in hallways;
- Daily Health Screenings: Parents will be required to check their child’s temperature daily before leaving for school and report the temperature with the confirmation of lack of symptoms through a digital form before the students’ arrival on campus;
- Ill persons must remain at home, including any student, teacher or staff member;
- Health Isolation Room: Each campus has a dedicated room for students and staff who demonstrate COVID symptoms.
- Flu vaccination encouraged for students and employees.
WHAT IS A CLOSE CONTACT? WHAT IS COVID-19-like ILLNESS?
A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
COVID-19-like illness is defined as: New onset cough or shortness of breath OR At least 2 of the following: fever of 100.4◦F or higher, chills, shivering, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, loss of sense of taste or smell, and gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting or diarrhea). NOTE: This definition was adapted from the clinical criteria in the CDC case definition of a probable case of COVID-19.
The following examples will illustrate our protocol.
- If a child wakes up with COVID-19-like illness (see above definition) all household members stay home.
- If a family member is awaiting COVID test results, is positive, or in isolation, all household members (staff/students) must stay home.
- If a staff/student has COVID-19-like illness during the school day and is sent home, we will send all household members home.
In the event that a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19
We will cooperate with county health officials who will undertake contact tracing steps. Depending on the contacts within the school, some number of individuals may need to isolate from on-campus instruction for a period of time. This could be limited to a specific class group, to a specific grade, whole building, or whole school community, depending on the contacts in the unique situation. In this, as in all determinations, we will be following the advice of our local health authorities with whom we are already working closely. Students who are not able to attend on campus instruction due to required home isolation will have access to distance learning materials and support. Any school closure or isolation of student(s) or staff member(s) will not be undertaken lightly.
type of COVID-19 test needed
The Montgomery County Health Department currently requires a RT-PCR molecular test for Covid-19. A rapid antigen test result would need to be confirmed with a PCR test. The FDA has a good explanation of this: