Our School » SCCS COVID-19 Communicable Disease Plan

SCCS COVID-19 Communicable Disease Plan

INTRODUCTION

For the 2021-22 school year, districts and schools are transitioning from a COVID-19 Safety Plan to a COVID-19 Communicable Disease Plan. This document outlines that Plan, and is informed by the Ministry of Education and Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance BC Centre for Disease Control. 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 will be reviewed with employees prior to the start of school on September 7, and when there are changes to the plan. The Plan is available for viewing on the District website here, and related school plans will be available for viewing on each school website. 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:

  • maintain daily attendance records for staff, students, and visitors (including teachers on call, itinerant teachers/specialists, district/authority personnel, parents/caregivers, and volunteers);
  • daily attendance records will be kept for 60 days; and,
  • maintain accurate class and bus lists.


School Exposures & Notifications

Public health will :

  • collaborate with schools and school districts on sharing public health information with staff, students, and families; 
  • provide direction on if and when exposure notifications should be sent; 
  • provide direction regarding self-monitoring/self-isolation protocols; and,
  • provide additional information, including school exposure notifications, here
Vaccines

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; and,
  • windows opened where possible, weather permitting.


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.
    • Sanitizer and disinfecting spray bottles will be available in all classes.

Administrative Measures



Gatherings & Events

Principals will ensure that:

  • school extra-curricular activities, social gatherings events (including those within and between schools) are permitted as long as they are in line with public health and safety guidelines.
  • for events with visitors (e.g., parent/caregiver spectators):
    • should not exceed 50% capacity and proof of vaccination should not be implemented while the PHO Gatherings and Events Order is in place;
    • can return to 100% capacity when the PHO Gatherings and Events Order is lifted (expected end of day April 7, 2022); and,
  • schools should make every effort to avoid venue/locations that place additional requirements that could prevent a person from being able to participate. If the trip cannot occur otherwise, principals should contact district office for review.




Space Arrangement

Principals will ensure that:

  • in indoor spaces, people have enough room to carry out intended activities without involuntary physical contact and all available space is used;
  • during breaks and other unstructured time in indoor settings, strategies are in place to ensure there is enough space available to prevent involuntary physical contact:
  • ingress and egress is divided through 4 entrance and exit points to reduce the density of students in the hallways;
  • outdoor playground area is divided to allow for the respecting of personal space (not COVID dependent):
    • primary (K-3) has been allocated the upper playground;
    • intermediate (4-7) has been allocated the lower playground; and,
    • the field is open to all students.


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;
    • The office door will remain closed to the hallway and visitors and late students will check in through the glass partition in the foyer as opposed to entering the office.

Visitors, including Itinerant Staff, TTOCs, Parents and

Others

Principals will ensure that:

  • processes are in place to ensure itinerant staff, teachers on call and visitors are aware of the school’s communicable disease plan and their responsibility to follow measures at all times;
  • all visitors are required to sign in and sign out at the office
  • a copy of the SCCS COVID 19 Communicable Disease Plan will be made available next to the sign in and out form;
  • information on communicable disease protocols and requirements for visitors are posted by the entrance to the school, on the school’s website and included in the Spring Creek Communicator; and,
  • routine pick-up/drop-off practices continue to be unchanged. Parents/caregivers and other visitors should respect others’ personal space while on school grounds, including outside.


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
  • local and international field trips occur in line with those permitted as  per relevant local, regional, Provincial, and Federal public health recommendations and Orders for local and/or international travel.






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;
  • passengers are spread out if empty seats are available;
  • windows are opened when the weather allows; and,
  • bus drivers, adult volunteers and visitors, and all students (K - 7) may choose to wear masks or face coverings while they are on the bus.

Food Services

Principals will ensure that:

  • food services (e.g., meal programs, cafeterias, fundraisers, etc.) are following regular operational and food safety practices.

Community Use of Schools

Principals, in collaboration with Facilities, will ensure that:

  • community use of school facilities are permitted as long as they are aligned with related public health guidance, recommendations and Orders.

Water Fountains

Schools will ensure that:

  • water fountain use is NOT limited. Water fountain use returns to normal.

Personal Measures


Daily Health Checks

Principals will ensure that:

  • parents and caregivers should assess their children daily for illness before sending them to school. Parents/caregivers and students can utilize the Daily Health Check & What to Do When Sick resource for daily assessment of symptoms:
    • this reminder is added to the Spring Creek Communicator on a weekly basis and included in announcements.

Stay Home When Sick / What To Do When Sick

Principals will ensure that:

  • staff and students are regularly reminded to stay home when they are sick and are provided with resources on what to do when they are sick (e.g., the BC Self-Assessment Tool app).
    • This reminder is added to the Spring Creek Communicator on a weekly basis.

Symptoms Development at School

Principals will ensure that:

  • practices are in place to appropriately respond when a staff member, student, or other person develops symptoms of illness while at school.
    • When a community member develops symptoms while in school, that community member will be taken to the Heath Room (218) in the office and arrangements will be made to return them to their home and non-medical masks are available for those experiencing respiratory symptoms who would like to wear one.

Returning to School  After Illness

When a staff, student or other adult can return to school depends on if they have tested positive for COVID-19 and/or improvement of their symptoms. See Appendix A – COVID19 Symptoms, Testing & Return to School for more information regarding what to do when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Hand Hygiene & Respiratory Etiquette

Principals, in collaboration with Facilities, will ensure that:

  • hand cleaning facilities are available and accessible throughout the school and are well maintained.

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.

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.