Educating During A Pandemic

Effective Mitigation Strategies

While it is impossible to completely stop the advancement of COVID-19, PCSD has implemented several effective mitigation strategies which have been key in reducing the severity of the spread. These strategies include all of the hygiene protocols mentioned here (hand washing and hand sanitizing, face coverings, physical distancing, healthy habits, additional cleanings and ventilation, and staying home while sick), as well as the following: 

Symptomatic at School: When a teacher or staff member notices a student with visible symptoms of illness, the teacher or staff member follows school-level protocols to ensure the student is seen and screened by the school nurse. Symptomatic students who need to be picked up by their parents wait in a designated health room. The health room is dedicated for use to isolate and care for symptomatic individuals until they are able to go home. Individuals in the health room continue to be required to wear facial coverings and maintain physical distancing. Health rooms are cleaned and sanitized daily and/or after each use.

Contact Tracing and Communication: Once a positive test is confirmed, contact tracing is conducted and all affected students’ parents are notified. A letter is sent to the parents of all the students in the student’s or teacher’s class notifying them of the positive test. In the event of additional individuals testing positive, a school-wide letter is sent to all parents at the school. This process looks different at each school. 

Quarantining for 14 Days: Quarantine is for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but aren’t sick yet. Students and/or staff who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days. Close contact means the person was closer than 6 feet from someone who has the virus for 15 minutes or more. Quarantine keeps students and/or staff away from others so they don’t infect someone else without knowing it. Students/staff will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure, because it can take 2-14 days for someone to get sick.

Isolation for 10 Days: Isolation is for people who are sick or who have symptoms of COVID-19. This means a student/staff stays at home except to get medical care. If someone tests positive for COVID-19, he or she should isolate until symptoms have gotten better and are fever-free for 24 hours and it has been at least 10 days since he or she first got sick or tested positive. This means he/she did not use medicine to lower their fever.

Returning to School: Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate until their symptoms get better and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without medicine AND it has been at least 10 days since they first had symptoms or tested positive. Students, teachers and employees should not go to school or work until the health department confirms they are done with isolation.

Limited Visitors: Visitors to school campuses are limited to essentials only. Essential visitors check-in, answer symptom screening questions, and use face coverings while in the school or facility. 

For more information, please check our regularly updated COVID Exposure and Response Information page.

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