COVID-19 Student Health Procedures

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USD 475 Families

This document has been developed based on the most up-to-date guidance from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), KSDE (Kansas State Department of Education) and KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment), in collaboration with the Geary County Health Department.

As we look ahead to the 2020-2021 school year, it is anticipated that COVID-19 will continue to spread. This is a situation that is ever changing and evolving, and we will work to provide our families with the most up-to-date guidance. We recognize that we have students that meet the guidelines of being more susceptible to the virus, as well as students that live with family members that are high-risk.

Objectives throughout this pandemic are to optimize education, promote health and safety, and mitigate risk for everyone who is part of the school community.

Based on current guidance:

Wearing Cloth Face Coverings & Face Masks

Students will be required to wear face masks while in school facilities and when appropriate social distancing of 6ft cannot be achieved. This is mandated by the Geary County Health Department. Face masks will be recommended for students when outside, example: recess, when social distancing is not possible.

Face shields are not recommended at this time as they do not provide the same protection against droplet and airborne illnesses. Face shields do not form a correct seal around the face as compared to face masks.

Face masks will not be provided by USD 475. It is the expectation that all students have one at the beginning of the school year. Masks should be washed and replaced as necessary.

Face masks and coverings should not be placed on students who are under the age of 5 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

If your student has a medical condition or disability and cannot wear a face mask, contact your building principal and school nurse. Those students will be handled on a case by case basis. Written documentation from a physician will be required for medical conditions.

Handwashing

Handwashing is very important to the prevention of spread of COVID-19. Students will be required to wash their hands when they arrive at school and once every hour with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. If hand washing is not feasible, it is recommended that students use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitization stations will also be placed throughout the school buildings.

Temperature Monitoring  

Daily temperature monitoring of students should be conducted by parents prior to arrival at their school building. Students with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should not attend on site school. If teachers suspect a student has a temperature they will be sent to the nurse for assessment. The district will use no-touch (infrared) thermometers to conduct temperature screenings. Temperatures and symptoms of students will be documented on a log form that will be submitted to the Geary County Health Department weekly.

School nurses are available to screen and monitor students, however, are not able to test for COVID-19 or diagnose students.

Medical Inquiries:

Given the nature of the pandemic, a school district will make additional medical inquiries of students than they otherwise would have in the past. Please note that federal law typically limits the type of medical inquiries that can be made, but given the nature of the pandemic, more leeway has been given by federal agencies in this circumstance. If a parent tells the school that a student is ill, the school may ask the parent whether the student is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19. School nurses will be in contact with parents of students prior to school beginning and throughout the school year to determine if it is safe for your student to return. If your student is on a healthcare plan, it may need to be revised to minimize the risk of illness.

Parent Notification: (USD 475 Parent Handbook)

Emergency Accident/Illness Notification

The Parent/Guardian will always be the first contact. In case a Parent/Guardian is unable to be reached, other individuals listed as emergency contacts will be contacted. If no one can be reached, an ambulance will be contacted, and the student will be transported to the nearest hospital/ emergency room. A member of staff will accompany the student. Additional staff will continue to attempt to reach the student’s Parent/Guardian. Parent/Guardian(s) are held responsible for any costs involved in seeking emergency care.

 Non-Emergency Notification

If the student does not require immediate medical assistance and the parent/guardian or emergency contact has not responded to any calls after 30 minutes, the building administrator will be informed. If there is still no contact made by the parent/guardian or emergency contact after an hour, then the school nurse and building administrator may make the decision to contact local law enforcement or Military Police (for active duty parents only) to do a welfare check. If law enforcement or Military Police are unable to get in contact with the parent/guardian, a report may be made to DCF to report a child in need of care. Parents/guardians are expected to pick up their child as soon as possible, within the hour as schools are not equipped to provide medical care in an isolated setting for the remainder of the day.

Symptoms of Coronavirus:

Students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 without other obvious explanations are prohibited from coming to school, and if they do come to school, they will be sent home immediately. Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • Fever (100.4 or higher)
  • Chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Lower respiratory illness : (cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing)
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea

When to seek EMERGENCY medical attention.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

USD 475 school nurses will continue to follow the districts exclusion policy for all other illness.           

Screening & Management of Students:

Student is healthy, no symptoms of COVID, no known exposure:

Student has been EXPOSED, but has NO symptoms:

Student has a POSITIVE diagnosis of COVID, but has NO symptoms:

Student has at least 1 symptom, as listed above:   

If a student has a NEGATIVE COVID-19 test, they can return to school once there is no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and they have felt well for 24 hours.

If a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but does not have symptoms, they should remain out of school until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.

If a student has been determined to have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, they should remain out of school for 14 days since the last known contact, unless they test positive. In which case, criteria above would apply. They must complete the full 14 days of quarantine even if they test negative.

USD 475 will collaborate with the Geary County Health Department regarding student symptoms, testing and contact tracing. USD 475 cannot require any student to be tested. Students will have to comply with the above guidance for exclusion from school. USD 475 will continue to follow our exclusion policies for other illnesses as well. Decisions on when to close classrooms or schools will be made in collaboration with the Geary County Health Department on a case-by-case basis.   

Appendix A: Releasing Cases and Contacts from Isolation and Quarantine

Appendix B: USD 475 Exclusion Guidelines

Appendix C: Cold vs. Flu vs. Allergies vs. Coronavirus