Our School » SCCS COVID-19 Communicable Disease Plan

SCCS COVID-19 Communicable Disease Plan

INTRODUCTION

This document outlines Spring Creek Community School's (SCCS) COVID-19 Communicable Disease Plan, as informed by the Ministry of Education and Public Health. For more comprehensive information, supporting data and additional resources, please click on the hyperlinks below::


 

COMMUNICATION

SD48’s Communicable Disease Plan will be updated when there are changes to provincial or health region requirements. The Plan is available for viewing on the District website here, and SCCS's school plan is available for viewing below. When changes are made to the Plan, communications will be distributed. The District Occupational Health and Safety Committee and site-based Occupational Health and Safety Committees’  support in the review, implementation, and revision of the Communicable Disease Guidelines.


THE HIERARCHY OF INFECTION PREVENTION AND EXPOSURE CONTROL MEASURES FOR COMMUNICABLE DISEASE

The health and safety of our staff and students remains a top priority. Public Health reminds everyone that vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools. Schools continue to be considered low-risk settings for COVID-19 transmission, particularly in the context of a highly immunized population The Hierarchy of Infection Prevention and Exposure Control Measures for Communicable Disease graphic below outlines the protectiveness of each measure, from the least protective at the bottom to the most protective at the top:

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The following tables outline in detail how we are addressing each measure:

Public Health Measures

Attendance & Record Keeping

All schools will:

  • notify public health if extraordinary numbers of students and/or staff absences are reported.

Communications

School or district administrators will:
  • School or district administrators will contact public health if they have concerns about
    communicable disease transmission within the school setting and require additional
    support.
  • Additional time-limited public health measures may also be implemented at the
    discretion of the local Medical Health Officer or the Provincial Health Officer in
    response to broader risk of communicable disease transmission in the community.
Vaccines
Vaccines are important tools to protect against many serious communicable diseases. Vaccination protects from serious illness due to COVID-19 and is the most effective way to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. BCCDC strongly recommends adults interacting with children to be fully vaccinated. All COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada protect against serious complications, including from the Omicron variant. See BCCDC for trusted information on COVID-19 vaccines. Schools and school districts are expected to work with their local health authority to share evidence-based information about vaccination (e.g., from BCCDC and ImmunizeBC), and to explore opportunities to establish school-based vaccination clinics when requested

Environmental Measures

Ventilation &

Air  Exchange

Air handling units in all schools have been updated MERV-13 filters. These filters will remain as the standard filter in SD48 into the future.

The COVID-19 Ventilation Plan will continue, including:

  • pre-occupancy and post-occupancy air “flush” of all interior spaces;
  • the ventilation air exchange rate increased with up to 100% outside air (dependent on outdoor air temperature), during occupancy;
  • windows opened where possible, weather permitting; and,
  • taking students outside more often is no longer necessary for communicable disease prevention.

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Principals will work with Facilities to ensure that:

  • frequently touched surfaces (those touched by larger numbers of people) are cleaned and disinfected 1x/day;
  • surfaces that are visibly dirty will be cleaned as needed;
  • practices are in place to clean and disinfect any surfaces a person’s body fluids have contacted after they have displayed symptoms of illness; and,
  • school will use regular laundering practices.

Administrative Measures

Space Arrangement

Principals will ensure that schools use classroom and learning environment configurations and activities that best meet learner needs and preferred educational approaches.

Staff Specific

Considerations

Principals will ensure that:

  • staff-only gatherings (e.g., meetings, professional development days, etc.) occur in line with those permitted as per relevant local, regional, Provincial, and Federal public health recommendations and Orders for workplace gatherings and events and any related WorkSafe BC guidance.
  • SCCS will provide hybrid means of meeting

Visitors and Community Use

Principals will ensure that:

  • normal practices for welcoming visitors and the community use of schools. Visitors, including community groups using the school, will follow applicable communicable disease prevention measures.

Curriculum, Programs & Activities

Principals will ensure that:

  • for music and physical education (and other subjects as necessary), prevention practices specific to the activity are implemented (e.g., cleaning mouth pieces and water bottles between use); and,
    • students will be using their own water bottles
  • when planning field trips, staff will follow existing policies and procedures as well as the guidance in this document. Schools should consider guidance provided for overnight camps from BCCDC and the BC Camps Association when planning overnight trips that include group accommodation.

Bus Transportation

Principals, in collaboration with Transportation, will ensure that:

  • frequently touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected at least 1x/day
  • visibly dirty surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected as necessary;
  • other general cleaning occurs in line with regular practices;
  • bus drivers and passengers are encouraged to practice hand hygiene before and after trips; and,
  • bus drivers, adult volunteers and visitors, and all students (K - 12) may choose to wear masks or face coverings while they are on the bus.

Personal Measures

Health Awareness

Principals will ensure that:

  • staff, other adults entering the school, parents, caregivers, and students are aware that they should not come to school if they are sick and unable to participate fully in routine activities. School administrators will support this practice by communicating the importance of everyone doing a health check.
    • a health check means a person regularly checking to ensure they (or their child) are not experiencing symptoms of illness (including but not limited to COVID-19 symptoms) that would limit their ability to participate fully in regular activities before coming to school to prevent spread of communicable diseases, such as COVID-19, within school settings
  • schools do not need to monitor students or staff for symptoms of illness.

What To Do When Sick at School/Work

Principals will ensure that:

  • if a staff member, student, or other person develops symptoms of illness at school and is unable to participate in regular activities, they should be supported to go home until their symptoms have improved; and,
    • appropriate infection control precautions will be taken while the person is preparing to leave the school premises, including use of appropriate hand hygiene and cleaning/disinfection of surfaces soiled with bodily fluids. They may use a mask if they are experiencing respiratory symptoms. 

Hand Hygiene

Principals, in collaboration with Facilities, will ensure that:

  • hand cleaning facilities are available and accessible throughout the school and are well maintained.
  • Everyone should practice diligent hand hygiene and schools should facilitate regular
    opportunities for students and staff to wash their hands. To learn about how to perform
    hand hygiene, please refer to the BCCDC’s hand hygiene poster. 

Respiratory Etiquette

Staff and parents can teach and reinforce good respiratory etiquette practices among
students, including:

  • coughing or sneezing into their elbow or a tissue. Throw away used tissues and immediately perform hand hygiene;
  • refraining from touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; and,
  • refraining from sharing any food, drinks, unwashed utensils, cigarettes, or
    vaping devices.

Personal Protective Equipment

Masks

The decision to wear a mask or face covering is a personal choice. A person’s choice is to be supported and respected. Schools should continue to have non-medical masks on hand for those who have forgotten theirs but would like to wear one, or who become ill at school.

Personal Protective Equipment When Providing Student
Services

Staff and those providing services to children with medical complexity, immune
suppression, receiving direct or delegated care, or with disabilities and diverse abilities
who are in close proximity to a child will follow routine infection control practices and care
plans for the child, if applicable.

Supportive School Environments

Personal Prevention Practices

Principals will ensure that:

  • Strategies are in place to routinely support students to practice personal prevention measures like hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette (e.g., signage, included in morning announcements, etc.).
    • Masks will be readily available for all students at the office; and,
    • Signage regarding hand hygiene is placed at all entrances to the school and washrooms.

Personal Space

Principals will ensure that:

  • Strategies are in place to encourage staff and students to consider and respect others personal space. Personal space is the distance from which a person feels comfortable being next to another person.

Positive & Inclusive Approaches

Principals will ensure that:

  • Positive and inclusive approaches identified to support students’ personal prevention practices; and,
    • approaches should not exclude students from participating in
      school or potentially result in stigma.