Currently, information indicates that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Those at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are people aged 65 years and older and people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility. Those at high risk include people of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised −Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
The district will identify persons at high risk utilizing the following procedure:
- The district will distribute a “Back to School Employee Health Survey” to determine the number of employees who may be at high risk for severe illness.
- Employees identified as high risk as defined above and employees who are seeking accommodations under ADA will be required to provide documentation from a health care provider specifying the nature of the illness. This information will be collected utilizing the district’s “Request for Workplace Accommodation” form.
- The district will engage in the “interactive process” with the employee and, where possible, develop “reasonable accommodations” that will support the employee so they can continue to provide the instructional program for students.
- Where “reasonable accommodations” are not possible, employees will be informed of leave options available under state and federal laws and other leave options available within the negotiated contractual agreements with our bargaining units.
To screen building occupants prior to their arrival at school, the district will implement the following screening procedures:
Staff will be encouraged to stay home if they are sick and parents to keep sick children home.
- Daily temperature screenings of all students and employees, along with a daily screening questionnaire for all employees and periodic use of the questionaries' for students must be completed prior to entry into school buildings.
- Parents/guardians will be requested to provide assurance that they have taking their child’s temperature prior to sending them to school and have agreed not to send their child to school if their temperature is over 100.0.
- Employees and parents/guardians will be instructed in screening at home for signs of illness by multiple means which may include written communication, short videos and parent forums.
The questionnaire will consist of the following:
1. Are you currently experiencing, or have experienced in the past 14 days, any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.0 or greater
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Head or muscle aches
- Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting
2. Have you had a positive COVID-19 test in the last 14 days or are presently waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test?
3. Have you had close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 case in the last 14 days?
4. Have you traveled internationally or to any state that requires you to quarantine, in the last 14 days.
If any employee, student/guardian answers yes to the above, they will immediately be prompted to stay home and contact their health care provider as soon as possible. In, addition, they will be asked to contact the school nurse in his/her building to make them aware. If they are district wide employee, they will be asked to contact their district nurse coordinator. All district nurses name and phone numbers will be provided in the district website and in a link below the health screening questionnaire.
If staff or student responds yes, the information will be routed to the health office of the employee/students building. The nurse/ trained health aide will follow up with a phone call to assess and guide the employee or student/parent and assess for the need to contact the DOH. If necessary, the health office trained staff will assist with contact tracing as per DOH instruction.
If employee, student/parent fail to respond to the health screen questionnaire. These nonresponses will be sent to assigned staff who will follow up to the extent of practicality
If staff was not able to take their temperature at home. The building will provide a place where the temperature can be taken equitably and privately. The staff will also be provided an area where they can complete the health questionnaire if they cannot do it at home.
Every attempt will be made to encourage parents to take temperatures on their children prior to the arrival at school. If a parent/guardian is not able or forgot and they contact the school, the health office will take the child’s temperature.
If the parent is not able to provide an electronic health questionnaire response. The district will send a paper questionnaire once a week.
All information sent by paper will be kept by the health office in a confidential file and separate from their educational record.
If an individual presents with a temperature of 100.0 or greater, the individual must be denied entry into the facility, or sent directly to a dedicated area prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home.
- The district will use email automation software to manage screenings as follows:
- Employees, student, parents/guardians and regular contractors will be entered as contacts into the email automation platform.
- All contacts will receive the above email each school day at 5:00 AM.
- At 6A.M. Those who have not responded will get a second reminder text/email to respond.
- Contacts will be required to certify “No” to all of the above questions with one click.
- Assigned staff/Nurses office will be sent a report via e-mail of all contacts that do not respond prior to the start of school to follow up with the contact.
- Contacts that reply “Yes” will be immediately prompted to stay at home and detailed health instructions emailed to the contact.
- The nurse’s office will be notified via email with a subject line that will include the contact name and “YES Response to Screening”.
- The nurse/ trained health aide with nurse’s supervision, will follow up with the contact and appropriate actions taken. See also:
In the event a student or district employee reports testing positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to a person who tests positive for COVID-19:
- The student or district employee should immediately notify the district by contacting:
- The nurse’s office at the school which they attend or work in
- If not assigned to any one school building, the employee should contact: Nurse Coordinator, Maggie Racioppo in the district administration office – 914-422-2011
- If a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19, the district will immediately notify state and local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, such as workers or visitors who had close contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations.
2.04 Management of Sick Persons
In the event a person becomes ill with COVID-like symptoms while at school, the following procedure will be followed:
Staff have been provided training on how to identify signs of illness in students and staff and the procedure to send symptomatic students to the school nurse or other designated personnel in each building.
- The person will be moved to a predetermined isolation room or area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms.
- The person will be assessed by a registered nurse at the school.
- Transportation arrangements will be made to transport the sick person home or to a healthcare facility.
- Areas used by a sick person will be closed off and not used before cleaning and disinfection. All remaining staff members will wash their hands and be sent to a clean area within the school for the remainder of the day if possible or at least until the room is aired out and disinfected.
- When possible, custodial staff will wait 24 hours (or as long as possible) before cleaning and disinfecting the area in accordance with procedures contained in this plan. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. See also the Cleaning and Disinfecting section 3.12.
- Persons who had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be advised to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms and to follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. If a person does not have symptoms, they will be instructed to follow appropriate CDC guidance for home isolation.
- Sick staff members and children will be advised not to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation.
In the event that the school is notified that an employee or student has been exposed to COVID-19 and are quarantined, or if a family member has been diagnosed with or presumed to have COVID-19 and/or is being isolated, the following procedure will be followed:
- Personnel and students with known exposure to someone with diagnosed or presumed COVID-19 will be instructed to self-quarantine at home for 14 days
- If a student is excluded from school due to COVID-19 symptoms or has had a positive COVID-19 test, his or her siblings or other students living in the same household will be questioned, and if they exhibit symptoms, they will also be excluded from school. If they do not exhibit symptoms, they may still be excluded from school and asked to self-quarantine.
- The custodial staff will be informed so that all desks, lockers, and workspaces of the person are thoroughly disinfected. If the school is not open when notification occurs, the custodial staff will wait 24 hours or as long as possible prior to disinfecting and instead will block off the area so that others do not have contact. However, if that is not possible or school is in session, the cleaning will occur immediately
- If student/employee present with asthma symptoms, they will be assessed by a registered nurse.
- Assessment will include Checking of lungs for wheezing, temperature check , O2 saturation, and will include ,assessment for any COVID-19 symptoms.
- Isolate student/employee if experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
- If student/employee is experiencing coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath administer Inhaler with spacer valve holding chamber to maximize the effectiveness of the medication if prescribed by their medical practitioner.
- Nebulizer treatment will be used only if: Inhaler medication with spacer valve is not effective and student/employee is experiencing continued shortness of breath. O2 sat is 90 or below or when nurse assesses that nebulizer treatment is imperative.
- When nebulizer treatment is needed it must be done in a vented isolation room.
- The nurse giving the treatment must have proper PPE: fitted N95 mask.
- Once the treatments are completed. The room must be closed down for 2 hours and disinfected after the 2 hours before the room can be reused.
- Applicable notification letters regarding exposure or illnesses will be utilized to communicate with employees/parents/guardians in consultation with the local health department.
2.05 Contact Tracing
Contact Tracing Assessing and informing those with potential exposure is a fundamental control strategy for minimizing spread within a group or camp population. CDC defines close contact as interactions within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes.
In an effort to determine the potential or confirmed case’s contacts with other students or staff members over the previous two or more days, the district will assist the local Department of Health including notification of potential contacts, such as students, staff or visitors who had close contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations.
- School health staff will utilize general principles of contact tracing to begin closely monitoring other potentially exposed individuals.
- Health staff will receive awareness contact tracing training.
- If a student/employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, the nurse in the building will call DOH and inform the nurse coordinator. Trained staff with be assigned to contact trace with the direction from the DOH. All positive cases with be tracked by the district health office. If there is an increase of positive cases within a building, classrooms may be shut down for 1-2 days or until properly disinfected. Decisions to shut down parts of the school or the entire school will be decided in consultation with the health department and in consultation with the District Superintendent.
Once a student or employee is excluded from the school environment, they may return if they satisfy the recommendations of the CDC and their return is coordinated with the health Department. Currently, those guidelines are:
1. Untested: Persons who have not received a test proving or disproving the presence of COVID-19, but experience symptoms may return if the following three conditions are met:
- They have not had a fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers); and
- Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved); and
- At least ten (10) calendar days have passed since your symptoms first appeared and a negative COVID test; and
- A doctor's note prior to return to work/school.
2. Tested: Persons who experienced symptoms and have been tested positive for COVID-19 may return to school if the following three conditions are met:
- They no longer have a fever for 72 hours, (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers); and
- Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved); and
- They have received a negative test.
3. Tested with no symptoms: Persons who have not had symptoms but test positive for COVID- 19 may return when they have gone ten (10) calendar days without symptoms and have been released by a healthcare provider.
Students may also return if they are approved to do so in writing by the student’s health care provider.
2.07 Healthy Hygiene Practices
The following healthy hygiene practices will be in place at all district buildings:
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not available/practical, including throughout common areas of all school buildings.
- Signage will be installed inside main entrances in accordance with CDC guidelines near hand sanitizer stations.
- Training will be provided in the proper use of Healthy Hygiene Practices through videos, written communication, signage, etc.
- Employees, students, and visitors will be required to perform hand hygiene as follows:
- Arrival at the building
- Departure from the building (visitors will be encouraged)
- Before and after eating or handling food
- Before and after administering medication
- After using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom
- After encountering bodily fluid
- After playing outdoors or in sand
- After handling garbage
- Sharing of equipment will be limited as practical signage describing handwashing steps will be installed near sinks.
- Additional receptacles will be placed around the facility for the disposal of soiled items including PPE.
- Additional practices are listed in each applicable section in the Operations section of this plan.
- The district will remind individuals that alcohol- based hand sanitizers can be flammable and may not be suitable for certain areas in school facilities and on school grounds.
2.08 Facial Coverings/Masks
The following procedures regarding face coverings will be in place at all district buildings:
- Face coverings to be worn by staff and students (particularly older students) at all times where feasible.
- Face masks will be required by age-appropriate students at arrival and dismissal, during hallway transitions and other building movements, on school buses, and where distancing is not possible.
- The district will provide employees and students with up to 3 reusable cloth face masks at no cost if needed.
- Supplies will be maintained in the event that staff or students forget their face coverings.
- Face coverings must be cleaned or replaced after use or when damaged or soiled, may not be shared, and should be properly stored or discarded.
- Cloth-based face coverings or disposable masks shall not be considered acceptable face coverings for workplace activities that require a higher degree of protection for PPE due to the nature of the work. For those types of activities, N95 respirators or other PPE used under existing industry standards should continue to be used according to OSHA guidelines.
- The district will obtain and maintain adequate supplies of PPE for the school health care professionals.
- Face shields and smocks will be utilized by staff when required to be in close contact with students and when there is a high risk of transmission of bodily fluids.
- Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering, including students where such coverings would impair their physical health or mental health will not be subject to the required use of face covering.
- Mask breaks will be provided as needed.
- The district will train students/employees how to put on, take off properly discard PPE and clean non disposable face coverings.
2.09 Stop the Spread of COVID-19 Signage
Instruct building occupants on the proper way to wash hands. The district will install CDC-provided signage at multiple locations around each school building to:
- How a face mask should be properly worn. How to engage in good daily hygiene measures.
- Social distancing requirements
- Stopping the spread of COVID-19
2.10 Social Distancing
All building occupants will be required to maintain social distancing of at least 6’ from one another. In those instances where social distancing is not possible, face masks will be worn. Additionally, Personal Protective Equipment may also be necessary.
In order to determine how many students can fit in instructional spaces, the district will utilize the following method:
Measure and record the room dimensions (width x depth)
- Subtract any square footage taken up by furnishings
- Divide the available space by 44 square feet per person to allow for students to have 3 feet of personal space and 6-foot perimeter of socially distanced space
Reserve one of the available spaces for a teacher and another for an instructional aide if necessary (Check with DOH, some guidance is total number of students not including the teacher.)
In order to accommodate social distancing in each school building, the district will take the following General actions, which are detailed throughout the Operations section of this plan:
Some large common areas such as auditoriums and gymnasiums may be repurposed as instructional spaces to accommodate a larger number of students in the same class.
- Furnishings may be removed from rooms to maximize capacity.
- Outdoor or off-site spaces may be utilized as appropriate new line-specific isolation rooms will be designated in each school building for health screenings (see Health and Safety Section).
- District will ensure distance of twelve feet in all directions is maintained between individual while participating in activities requiring projecting the voice (e.g.. Singing), playing wind instrument, or aerobic activity resulting in heaving breathing (e.g., participating in gym classes).
- The District will limit gathering in small spaces (e.g., elevators, supply rooms, faculty offices) by more than one individual at a time, unless all individuals in such space at the same time are wearing acceptable face coverings or are members of the same household. however, even with the face coverings in use, occupancy will not exceed 50% of the maximum capacity of the space, unless it is designed for use by single occupant.
 Council on School Facilities and Cooperative Strategies