(LFC Comments: Thanks to Kirsten for this article on the State’s changes for schools opening in the Fall.)
“In the draft, the state board gave the following daily precautions recommended by the Ohio Department of Health for schools to practice:
- Daily Health Assessments which require students and staff to take their own temperature before reporting to school, and have them stay home if their temperature is above 100 degrees, or they are experiencing other symptoms.
- Showing symptoms of COVID-19 at school should be treated by wearing a face mask while being placed in a separate isolation room overseen by a school personnel who is also wearing a mask until the ill person goes home.
- Physical/Social Distancing will have all persons on school grounds and school transportation remain at least 6 feet apart. This could be done by placing markings on floors for visual cues and creating transition schedules that minimize the number of students and staff in common spaces, like hallways and the cafeteria.
- Face Masks would be required for all persons on school grounds and utilizing school transportation. School nurses and personnel who care for the sick should utilize the appropriate PPE. However, the guide puts in question if the face masks should be provided by districts/schools, or if employees will be expected to have their own. The guide also questions what standard should the face masks have to meet.
- Good Hygiene Practices should be implemented by making hand sanitizer with a 60-95% alcohol base and sanitizing products available to personnel and students, especially in high traffic areas like each school entrance and every classroom.
- Clean and Sanitize surfaces frequently with extra attention to high-touch areas like books, chairs, computers, counters, desks, door handles, lavatories, stair handrails, and tables. Cleaning and disinfecting should be done after each group of students leaves the classroom or facility, such as class changes, between cafeteria groups, and after each school day. Supplies should be limitedly shared.
- Student Learning about age-appropriate COVID-19 control strategies for students should be taught. This includes on-going reinforcement on the importance of appropriate use of face masks, cough and sneeze etiquette, hand washing, physical distancing, and importance of staying home when sick. Schools should also have posters promoting infection control strategies.
- Employee Training must be provided on how to properly put on, take off, and dispose of PPE. The district should also adequately educate all school personnel to know and recognize the most likely symptoms of COVID-19 and how to protect themselves and students from transmissions.
- Visitors should be prohibited or limited to emergency situations and enrollment. Those who are granted access must have their temperature checked and have symptoms checked.
- Diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19 requires families and staff to notify the school and are quarantined or presumed positive. Personnel and students with known exposure to someone diagnosed or presumed positive for COVID-19 must self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
- Traveling out of state or to a location with known community spread will require the personnel or student to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
- Returning to school following quarantine means you met the following conditions: persons with a confirmed COVID-19 case may return after fever is resolved without the use of fever-reducing medication and respiratory symptoms improve and they have two negative COVID-19 test results. Those with a presumed positive case of COVID-19 ay return after at least seven days have passed since symptoms started and 72 hours after fever resolves without the use of fever-reducing medication and respiratory symptoms improve.
The State Board of Education and Ohio Department of Health also recommended that no field trips take place.”