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ASDB COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

ARIZONA STATE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF AND BLIND

OPENING AND OPERATING SCHOOLS DURING COVID-19 

2020-2021

INTRODUCTION

Mitigation and prevention is the first phase of emergency management.  Prevention is the attempt to deflect a crisis before it can occur.  By mitigating or reducing risks, although the agency has no control over some hazards that may impact them, such as COVID-19, the agency can take actions to minimize or mitigate the impact of such incidents or emergencies.  

The mitigation plan for the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind focuses on actions the agency will take to eliminate or reduce the loss of life, injuries, and property damage from an emergency event.  Protections are provided as ongoing actions the agency will take to safeguard the schools, regional cooperatives and offices from an emergency event.  Responses to events have provided strategies to allow the agency to put their plans into place to effectively respond to an emergency event, and provide for the immediate needs of staff and students.  In the agency planning the goal is to restore educational programming; the physical environment; business operations; and promote academic success supporting social and emotional learning.

DEFINITIONS

Mitigation: “Any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from a hazard event.” (FEMA definition from Practical Information on Crisis Planning – A Guide for Schools and Communities – United States Department of Education – May 2003.) 

Prevention: Those methods that are designed to prevent crime, violence, disruption, accidents and crisis situations, and used by school officials to reduce injury, death and damage to property at schools, school events and during school related transportation. 

GENERAL INFORMATION

WHAT IS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)? 

COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people.

  • As a new (novel) coronavirus, COVID-19 is very contagious for a few reasons:
    • There is no immunity in any community.
    • It can be transmitted before a person has any symptoms.
    • COVID-19 is transmitted by droplets from an infected person’s cough, sneeze or basically anything that comes from the infected person’s mouth or bodily fluid. These droplets travel through the air to other people and to surfaces where the virus can remain alive.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COVID -19 

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea

MULTISYSTEM INFLAMMATORY SYNDROME IN CHILDREN (MIS-C) 

(Associated with COVID-19)

Although children apparently become ill less often with COVID-19 than adults, they may become ill with a rare condition: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. Children with this syndrome need immediate medical attention. Symptom include:

  • Fever
  • Rashes, especially on the abdomen
  • Itchy eyes
  • Abdominal pain and/or diarrhea
  • Skin discoloration, pale blue; may particularly affect the toes.

GOAL OF MITIGATION PLAN

The goal of planning for and managing infection during a Pandemic is twofold:

  1. Prevent the spread of infection
  2. Keep students and staff safe

As schools reopen for the 2020-2021 school year, it is important to address all methods to decrease the possibility of infection and keep the students and staff safe from infection such as:

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • School Rules and Practice to decrease the spread of infection
    • Preschool
    • Elementary School
    • Middle and High Schools
  • Plans for School Operations should there be a case of COVID-19

PREVENTION PROTOCOLS

SOCIAL DISTANCING

All schools and offices will maintain as much social distancing as possible throughout the school/work day. This will require a review of classroom set-up, recess, passing periods, meals and required students to honor these requirements.

Front offices will have a plexi-glass barrier installed at their disks for further staff protection. Hand sanitizer will be placed for easy access by the public in order to sanitize their hands. Each office should also be marked for proper social distancing as parents and students wait for assistance at the counter. Some parents/students may be required to line up outside the office in order to maintain social distancing in the office. These outdoor areas will also be marked for proper social distancing.

Because COVID-19 can become airborne by coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose; and possibly even through heavy breathing while under physical stress, it is required that site employees practice, where possible, distancing behaviors to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employees shall practice safe distancing behaviors such as:

  1. Maintain a minimum of 6 feet distance between site personnel.
  2. “Stay to the right” in hallways.
  3. Space student desks and workstations to maintain 6 feet of distance
  4. Minimize in-person interaction with parents and outside the community.
  5. Stagger arrival times when multiple crews or contractors exist on one project.
  6. Do not allow employees to gather in a group of 10 or more.
  7. Do not allow meetings of any size unless employees are able to maintain 6 feet of separation from all other employees while in attendance.
  8. Do not allow training to occur unless compliance training is mandatory or necessary to maintain safe operations, and only allow training if employees are able to maintain 6 feet of separation from all other employees while in attendance.
  9. When distance cannot be accomplished, employees shall wear appropriate PPE, such as a face mask, N95 mask, or other appropriate mask.

STUDENT COHORTS

On the first day of school, students will be instructed to maintain social distancing and to not congregate in groups. Signs will be posted in each classroom and around the school reminding students about social distancing. Each class will be considered a “cohort group” which is a group that stays together and limits interaction with other cohort groups.

FACE COVERINGS 

“Face Covering” refers to a well-fitting reusable or disposable face covering that fully covers a person’s nose and mouth. CDC does not recommend the use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings.

Use of simple cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.

Staff and students will be required to wear face coverings at all times. Each individual is responsible for providing their own face covering. Staff and students with additional disabilities and/or physical/health limitations will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Students will be required to have their face covered during daily health checks.

REQUIRED:

  • All students five (5) years and older, staff and visitors must wear face coverings. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old.
  • All employees must bring their own face covering and will be required to wear a face covering in classrooms, hallways, communal areas, while on the bus, and when entering and exiting the school premises.
  • The face covering must cover both the nose and mouth. Always keep it in place. Students and staff should not touch the eyes, nose, or mouth when removing or adjusting a face covering. Wash hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after removing or adjusting the face covering.
  • Teachers will teach and reinforce use of face coverings.
  • Students will bring their own face covering. Students will be required to wear a face covering when in the classroom, hallways, in communal areas, on the bus, and when entering and exiting the school.
  • Students or teachers who have respiratory issues are not required to wear face coverings. 
  • ASDB is supplying one communication accessible face covering to all instructional staff who work with students. 
  • ASDB is supplying one communication accessible face covering to all students who attend either PDSD or ASDB Tucson Campus. 

EXCEPTIONS 

Exceptions are applicable under the following circumstances:

  • The individual has medical or behavioral conditions or disability and cannot wear a face covering Including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacited, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance).
  • When actively eating or drinking.
  • When working at home or when in a vehicle alone or with household members.
  • An individual may temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes or medical services.
  • Children under five (5) years of age should not wear a face covering.

CONSIDERATIONS 

  • Cloth Face Coverings
    • Ideally cloth face coverings should be washed when they become wet or visibly soiled and at least daily. Have a bag or bin available to keep your cloth face coverings in until you can wash them. Launder the face coverings with detergent and hot water and dry on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching our face.
    • Discard cloth face coverings that:
      • No longer cover the nose and mouth
      • Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
      • Cannot stay on the face
      • Have holes or tears in the fabric.
  • Humanity Shields
    • ASDB is providing one humanity shield per staff member who works directly with our student population. In addition ASDBis providing a Humanity Shield per campus student. 
      • The humanity shield is not considered PPE but is an approved “Face Covering” per ADOA Risk Management. 
      • The humanity shield is intended to assist in preserving communication for ASDB student population as an ADA accommodation.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT 

This project utilizes personal protective equipment (PPE) specific to COVID-19. ASDB will utilize preferred mitigation and exposure control practices to reduce the risk of exposure prior to issuing PPE. The exposure control practices are Administrative and Engineering Controls. If critical PPE is not available to employees, the jobsite shall be shut down, or distancing shall be practiced, until such time the necessary PPE becomes available. PPE that will be utilized on this project to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Gloves:
    1. Vinyl reusable gloves
    2. Nitrile type gloves
    3. Latex gloves
  2. Face and Eye protection:
    1. ANSI approved Safety Glasses or Goggles
    2. Full Face Shields
  3. Respiratory Protection: We offer many different options for face coverings:
    1. Face coverings for staff who are able to socially distance themselves
    2. Surgical masks with the appropriate FDA clearance
    3. N95 mask
  4. Work clothing:
    1. Reusable gowns for Nursing staff
    2. Disposable gowns for Nursing staff

HEALTH AND CLEANLINESS

CLEANING AND DISINFECTING 

Before school begins, all school classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, including, but not limited to cupboards, flat surfaces, desks, and chairs. All disinfecting products used will kill most, if not all bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Cleaning will be performed frequently throughout the day by wiping down hard surfaces with soap and water or a sanitizer. This will clean dirt and many bacteria that are on the surface. Cleaning or sanitizing of door handles and push bars will also be performed throughout the day.

Disinfecting needs to be done less often, but will be performed at least once at the end of each day. This includes wiping down hard surfaces with a disinfectant provided by the school operations. 

All cleaning supplies used at individual campuses will be reviewed to assure they have adequate cleaning and disinfecting power. The goal is to effectively remove most or all microbes during cleaning/disinfecting.

ON A DAILY BASIS CLASSROOMS WILL BE CLEANED AND DISINFECTED, INCLUDING:  

  • Desk chairs
  • Desk tops
  • Cupboards
  • Door handles
  • Vacuuming or Wet mopping will be completed as needed.

ADDITIONAL MEASURES FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

  • Preschool, kindergarten, MDSSI, and all rooms used for medically fragile students will have additional cleaning as needed. 
  • No stuffed animals or any other soft or porous items, unless previously approved with Health Services and/or the site principal will be used at any school since they cannot be disinfected. Toys must be disinfected between student use. Best practice is for only one student to use a toy during a school day and for that toy to be disinfected at the end of the school day.
  • Preschool students who use blankets for naptime will use their one blanket throughout the week, with the students’ blankets stored separately in their cubbies. Blankets may not be shared amongst students. At the end of each week the blankets will be sent home for laundering.
  • Books will be used by only one student during the school day unless they are properly disinfected between use. Like toys, books cannot be shared until they are disinfected. Books can be disinfected with disinfectant spray found in every room. The disinfection process is to spray the book with disinfectant while fanning pages and letting the book dry for 30 minutes before next use.

DISINFECTING AFTER COVID-19 IN SCHOOL 

If there is a COVID-19 diagnosis of a student or staff member, the classrooms affected will be closed for disinfecting.

  • The room(s) affected will be kept closed for as long as possible, but 24 hours would be optimal before disinfecting to prevent any droplets from infecting the cleaners.
  • All areas will be cleaned and disinfected. 
  • Other areas or the school will also be assessed for the need to clean and disinfect more frequently.

INFECTION CONTROL

Each classroom and office will have the following items to maintain a clean and safe area:

  • EPA approved spray disinfectant
  • Paper towels

Note: Middle and High school classroom teachers will need to wipe down desks and chairs between each class. Extra wipes, spray bottles and towels will be provided for these classrooms.

Elementary schools will disinfect every hour.

ASDB will maintain a sufficient supply of each item so schools can order items and they can be readily replenished.

HANDWASHING 

  • All schools will require staff and students to wash their hands with soap and water or to disinfect their hands with hand sanitizer every hour (by period for MS/HS). This means:
  • Staff/students will wipe down all instructional areas (e.g., tables, desks, etc.)
  • Students will wash their hands/use hand sanitizer.

Students will be required to wash or disinfect their hands whenever they enter any classroom. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance of each building. Placement will depend on the specific set-up of each building so the sanitizer is readily available for all students. If students’ hands are visibly dirty, they will be asked to wash their hands with soap and water.

Office staff will be required to sanitize or wash their hands when they arrive at their work stantion. This includes leaving their work area for a few minutes and returning to the work area.

Staff and students will be required to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after using the bathroom and before eating any food. 

VENTILATION

  • HVAC filters are changed per HVAC manufacturer’s recommendation and CDC guidelines.
  • HVAC outside air dampers have been adjusted to meet CDC guidelines for outside air exchanges.

COVID-19 HEALTH SCREENINGS AND STUDENT TRANSPORTATION

All students will have a daily check including checking their temperature prior to boarding the school bus in the morning. Students with a temperature with a 100.4 degree F. or above will not be allowed to board the school bus. The parents/guardian will be required to take the student back home.

For students that are dropped off by parents, they will be temperature checked before leaving their vehicle and entering a campus building. Students with a temperature with a 100.4 degree F. or above will not be allowed on campus and must be returned back home. 

Staff will complete a daily health self check before leaving their homes for work. Self-check temperature stations are set up in several locations on campus for staff who wish to check their temperature while at work. In addition to the temperature check the following questions will be asked:

NY
Section 1:Do you/Has the child/children: have any of the following symptoms:Fever greater than 100.4 F or chills.Cough (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)Shortness of breath or difficulty breathingFatigueMuscle or body achesHeadache (new onset)New loss of taste or smellSore throatCongestion or runny noseNausea or vomitingDiarrhea or abdominal painIF YES to SECTION 1 + NO to ALL SECTION 2:Follow school policies on typical illness management:SchoolStay masked and isolate immediately in designated space [isolate in a non-threatening manner, within sight of adults for as short a time as possible] until they can leave/be picked upStay home unless to go to medical care, monitor symptoms, seek medical care as needed (call first)Discuss need for test with healthcare providerNotify parent/guardians, and designated school personnel about student or staff absence and health statusMay return to school when: Fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication, AND symptoms have improved, AND no-one in the household has a confirmed case or is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19
SECTION 2Have you had close contact (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes in the last 14 days with:Someone that has a confirmed case of COVID-19 case ORA person with symptoms of COVID-19 ORSomeone that traveled to or lived in an area where the local, Tribal, territorial, or state health department is reporting large numbers of COVID-19 cases ORSomeone who lives in areas of high community transmission.Other Considerations:Has a medical professional referred you for a COVID-19 test?Has a health official, from a hospital, or the health department advised you to isolate or quarantine due to a possible exposure?Since the last presence at the school have you or the student had a positive test for COVID-19?IF YES to SECTION 1 + YES to ANY SECTION 2:School Stay masked and isolate immediately in designated space [isolate in a non-threatening manner, within sight of adults for as short a time as possible until they can leave/be picked upClose off areas used by symptomatic and/or confirmed COVID-19 cases. Do not use the space before cleaning and disinfections. To reduce risk of exposure, wait 24 hours before you clean and disinfect. If it is not possible, wait as long as practicable Utilize appropriate PPE and ventilation while applying safe and correct application of disinfectants for cleaning.Keep disinfectant products away from studentsHOMEFollow guidance on isolation or quarantine according to ADHS Call healthcare provider to obtain COVID-19 viral testStay home unless to go to medical care, monitor symptoms, seek medical care as needed (call first)Separate (isolate) from other family members if possible; avoid sharing household items, clean high-touched surfaces.Wear a mask around others, cover coughs and sneezes and clean hands often using soap and water and scrubbing for 20 seconds.May return to school when: at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, AND symptoms have improved (20 days if person is immunocompromised.

STUDENTS WHO SELF TRANSPORT TO SCHOOL

Students who walk, drive, or ride the city bus or the light rail will require a student health check prior to entering the camps. 

  • If the student has a fever of 100.4 degrees F. or more, they will not be permitted to stay on campus.
  • If the student does not have a face covering, they will not be permitted to stay on campus.
  • If the student does not have temperature, they will enter campus.

LATE ARRIVALS – AFTER 8:15 a.m. 

Students arriving late by parent drop off or self-transport will require a student health check prior to entering the campus. This procedure also applies to students returning to school after appointments. Late drop offs/arrivals will require additional wait time and patience. Please stay in your vehicle and call the front office for further instruction. 

STUDENT PICK UP MID-DAY/END OF DAY 

Students being picked up by their parents mid-day will require advance notice to the front office and will be required to provide identification at time of pick-up. End of day pick will require advance notice to the front office and parents are required to stay in their vehicle.

  • The return to campus will require a student health check.

BUS DEPARTURE 

  • Teachers will escort their class to the bus loading zone.
  • Teachers and students will line up starting at the bus loading zone gates.
  • Teachers will lead their class to the front of the loading zone and release their students to board the bus (one class at a time). The line will continue until all students have boarded the bus.

STUDENT ABSENCES AND ATTENDANCE 

  • Call Student Health Center by 8:30 a.m. on the day of our child’s absence. Provide detailed information regarding the absence.
  • Do not send a child to school sick. Excessive absences will be reviewed case by case.
  • The campus principal shall keep an attendance roster for all students to track illness.

SCREENING RESULTS 

When a student or staff member has been required to stay home from school: 

  • following a positive test for COVID-19; 
  • after showing symptoms of COVID-19; or 
  • after recent close contact (closer than six feet distance for 10 minutes or more) with a person with COVID-19, the School will implement the following mitigation strategies related to re-entry on the School campus. Such individuals will be permitted to return to School for on-site support services or in-person instruction after the following mitigation strategies have been met:
SYMPTOMATIC (HAS SYMPTOMS)ASYMPTOMATIC (NO SYMPTOMS)
Awaiting TestStay home away from others until results are available.No isolation required. Take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Tested PositiveStay home away from others until you have had no fever for at least 3 days (72 hours) without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND Other symptoms have improved; ANDAt least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appearedPositive Non-Antibody COVID-19 TestStay home away from others until 10 days have passed since specimen collection.Positive Antibody COVID-19 TestNo isolation required. Take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Tested NegativeStay home away from others until you have had no fever for at least 3 days (72 hours) without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; ANDOther symptoms have improved.No isolation required. Take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Has NOT Been TestedStay home away from others until you have had no fever for at least 3 days (72 hours) without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; ANDOther symptoms have improved; ANDAt least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appearedKNOWN EXPOSURE TO A CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASENo isolation required if you are asymptomatic.Monitor your symptoms; ANDWear a mask at all times while at work until 10 days have passed from your last known date of exposure.See “Symptomatic” column if symptoms are present.

If a student begins to experience COVID-19 like symptoms, this individual should be sent to the Student Health Center (SHC) immediately. The SHC will evaluate the symptoms and communicate with the principal. The student may be sent home to seek medical care from their provider. The student may have to self quarantine for 14 days. During this time, the parents will be asked to communicate results of a COVID-19 test if administered.

  • A student or staff test positive for COVID-19: In the event of a documented positive case with a staff or student, contact tracing will be completed. Depending on whether the impact is wide spread or not, further closures of campus locations might be necessary beyond 48 hours.
    • A temporary campus closure may or may not be necessary given the status of exposure. In the event of a closure, a plan will be inplace for teachers and service providers to continue with direct instruction remotely, which will be planned for and established within the first two weeks of the school year.
  • Another member of a student’s household: If there is a documented positive case from an individual in the same household as a student (i.e., parent, guardian, sibling, family member living in the same home), the student will be asked to stay home for two weeks starting with the initial exposure and the school will remain open. Work will be provided in the form of packets and/or access to Google classroom for the student to complete at home.
  • Another member of a staff member’ household: If there is a documented positive case at home for staff, the individual staff member will be asked to stay home for two weeks starting with the initial exposure and the school will remain open. Positions will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine whether they are eligible to work remotely or if sick time through the CARES ACT will need to be utilized.
  • Symptoms without a documented positive COVID-19 test: If any student or staff report a fever or flu like symptoms, this would result in that individual staying home until they are fever/symptom free for at least 72 hours (without fever reducing medications).

CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT

CLASSROOM SET-UP

Classrooms will be set up to best miaintain social distancing. Guidelines are that whenever possible desks should be at least 6 feet apart or as far apart as possible within the space available. How this is accomplished will be decided by individual classroom teachers in conjunction with the site principal.

MEALS

Breakfast and lunch will be served in a socially distanced manner to include the following:

  • Meals served in a socially distanced food service building that maintains at least 6 feet of distance between students.
  • Meals may also be served in the classrooms per campus plan.
  • Meals served in buildings other than the food service building will have additional trash receptacles for waste disposal.
  • Students will be required to wash their hands prior and after eating
  • Assigned individuals will distribute food per the individual campus plan.

PLAYGROUNDS AND RECESS

  • Students in grades K-5 and Life Skills will be scheduled a 20 minute recess time daily.
  • Only one class will be assigned for each area at a time.
  • Teachers will be required to stand/sit near the play area and actively supervise  the class.
  • Teachers are responsible to ensure that classes do not mix with each other and that the students make an effort to stay 6 feet away from their classmates while playing.]
  • If recess items are used (i.e., balls) each item needs to be assigned to one student for that time period. Students will not be permitted to share play items. The item will be cleaned after use and put back in the bag for the next group to play with.
  • Teachers will spray down playground equipment using gallon spray containers at the conclusion of their recess time.

SPECIAL AREAS

ART 

  • Lessons will use minimal supplies; projects may be “minimalized” to teach the same concepts that are already part of the curriculum.
  • All projects and their execution need to consider Infection Control as part of the lesson planning process.

MUSIC 

  • There will be no use of any wind instruments.
  • All items used in the class will be disinfected before use by another student.

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY 

Students will be assigned their own device for classroom work and for learned technology. Minimally, the computer keyboard and mouse will be sanitized at the end of the school day.

SCIENCE 

  • Glassware and equipment will be sanitized between classes.
  • Goggles will not be shared by students in class. At the end of class goggles will be disinfected.
  • Hands will be washed or sanitized before and after using shared equipment.

ATHLETICS

Gym/Physical Education (P.E)/Athletics

  • Physical Education classes need to have the maximum space that can be provided for these classes.
  • Lessons should be adjusted depending on the amount of space available in order to provide for maximum social distancing.
  • Students should NOT wear masks while exercising since this could compromise their breathing and oxygenation.
  • P.E. activities will not include any contact sports such as basketball, football or soccer.
  • All Athletics will follow the Arizona Interscholastic Associations’s (AIA’s) “Recommended Guidelines for Returning to Athletic Activity.”

WEIGHT ROOM 

  • While in the weight room, students will practice social distancing and remain 6 feet apart.
  • Students will wipe down equipment after each use.
  • The weight room will be cleaned, mopped and equipment disinfected daily after closure.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant will be dispersed throughout the room.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

After School Activities/Clubs

  • After school activities or clubs will not be encouraged to be held in person until COVID-19 is consistently declining in Arizona as per the statistical curve reflecting this decline.
  • Any activity or club that decided to meet will be encouraged to meet via Google Meets. If there are any groups meeting in person,all students and staff must follow established COVID-19 infection control guidelines as adopted by ASDB.

STAFF RELATED PROCEDURES FOR SICK AND ATTENDANCE 

SICK EMPLOYEE POLICY 

During the threat of COVID-19, all employees shall follow the sick employee policy. The sick employee policy requires the following:

  • Employees self-identify symptoms before and during each shift, looking for signs of cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, vomiting and diarrhea, symptoms consistent with the CDC and DOH guidelines.
  • Any employee who believes they are sick, has been exposed to COVID-19, been exposed to a sick family member, or exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 shall remain home and notify their supervisor. They shall NOT report to the jobsite.
  • If an employee reports being sick while on the jobsite or is notified that they were exposed to a person who tested positive, they shall report their illness to their supervisor who will notify Human Resources for the next steps per ADOA guidelines. Any employees working in close proximity shall also be notified and work with Human Resources on next steps including being sent home or requested to get tested for COVID-19. Either Human Resources or the Operations Department will initiate the disinfection process. Depending on the extent of the exposure, a third party cleaning company may be used.
  • The Operations Department and Human Resources shall be notified immediately when an employee reports sick.
  • The sick employee shall be notified of the return to work policy in coordination with Human Resources.
  • Human Resources will maintain a confidential potential exposure list of employee tracking reports.

EMPLOYEE ATTENDANCE

  • Human Resources shall keep an attendance roster for all site employees to track illness. 

RETURN TO WORK PROTOCOL

If an employee was off work or removed from the jobsite due to illness, they shall comply with the return to work policy before returning to the jobsite.

  • The employee shall contact Human Resources to gain clearance to return to work following a COVID like illness, exposure or a positive COVID-19 test.
  • At  minimum, the employee shall wait 72 hours after all signs and symptoms have cleared before returning to work, without the use of medication to reduce symptoms.
  • An employee should be tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of the virus or are concerned about close contact with an individual who has either tested positive for the virus, or has been told by their healthcare provider that they are presumed to be COVID-19 positive. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes with someone with COVID-19.
  • An employee who  tested for COVID-19 should notify Human Resources of the results so that a return to work date can be determinedAn employee who had known close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case should quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the case regardless of negative tests results or illness where no testing was performed. However, if they test positive for COVID-19 by PCR or antigen testing, they should follow the relevant isolation guidance.  Report to Human Resources for quarantine/isolation guidance.
  • Employees who have had confirmed close contact with anyone with COVID-19 may need to stay home, stay away from others and monitor for symptoms for at least 14 days after your last close contact with the individual who is ill.  Please contact Human Resources for quarantine/isolation guidance. 
  • An employee exposed to sick family members or household members shall remain home, even if symptom free, until 72 hours after that person’s symptoms have cleared.
  • If an employee is sick with an illness other than COVID-19 they shall remain home until the illness clears, without the use of medication to reduce symptoms.
  • If an employee seeks medical evaluation for their illness, they may need to provide a doctor note which allows them to return to work.

ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES

STUDENT HEALTH CENTER OPERATIONS 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student Health Center must establish some parameters in order to properly separate sick children from healthy children. SHC operations include:

  • Teachers will be given a packet of bandages and small gauze pads in order to wash small cuts or scrapes and put on a band aide instead of sending students to the SHC.
  • Students who need to be examined following an altercation, will wait in the disciplinary area until SHC staff are free to do the examination.
  • Staff will notify SHC prior to sending a student to the SHC to prevent overcrowding. To allow for disinfection between students. 
  • Due to health concerns the SHC bathroom may be used by students in the SHC, students who have had a toileting accident or any student who has special permission to use this bathroom on an ongoing basis. Visitors and students waiting for transport after school must use another public restroom.
  • The SHC door will remain closed throughout the day.
  • Since dehydration may present as an upset stomach or headache, students who show no other distress should be given 2-3 glasses of water, allowed to rest their heads on their desks and use the bathroom.
  • Any student who appears to be in acute distress or about whom the teachers have a serious concern, will be sent to the SHC only after the teacher has called the SHC so staff can make appropriate arrangements to receive the child. Children with diabetes or asthma may go immediately to the SHC.
  • Medications will usually be given in the SHC as has been the general practice. If there are potentially infectious students in the SHC, the SHC staff will give the student medications at the SHC entrance, asking students to wait outside.

To decrease traffic of healthy students going to the SHC, these situations should be handled by teachers, school administrative staff or through the disciplinary process as appropriate. Parents of students prone to bathroom accidents will be asked to send an extra set of clothes in a bag placed in the student’s backpack. 

It is important to note that release from isolation DOES NOT require a provider’s note and DOES NOT require repeat testing or a negative test. Verifying that a student or staff member meets criteria for release from isolation will be up to the school medical staff or administration. The following dates should be collected for verification:

  • Date of test collection (if tested);
  • Date of onset of symptoms; and
  • Date of resolution of fever.

BUS SAFETY

Bus Operations, Cleaning, and Disinfecting

  • All bus drivers and bus aides will wear face covers or face shields when students are on the school bus.
  • Students will be seated one to a seat. Family members can be seated together.
  • Students will cleanse their hands with non-alcohol hand sanitizer when entering the bus.
  • After each route is completed, all buses will be cleaned and disinfected.
  • When cleaning and disinfecting a bus, high touch surfaces including but not limited to seats, windows, and step rails will be a priority.

VEHICLE SAFETY 

  • Vehicle with more than one person in the vehicle will wear face covers or face shield while inside the vehicle.
  • No more than 2 people in a vehicle at a time.
  • After each trip the vehicle will be cleaned and disinfected.
  • When cleaning and disinfecting a vehicle, high touch surfaces including but not limited to seats, windows, steering wheel, door handles, seat belts, and dash will be a priority.

VISITORS

  • No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed except for the safety and well-being of students.
  • Parents will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child.
  • Any non essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations will be limited. Offices will be open to guests by appointment only.
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes should be available to the public so they may wipe chairs and clean their hands. Guests Will use their own pens or may request a disposable pen provided by the front office. Pens should be taken with the guests when they leave.

MEETINGS, GATHERINGS, GROUP EVENTS

  • Virtual activities and events will be held in lieu of field trips, student assemblies, special performances, school-wide parent meetings, and spirit nights, as much as possible.
  • Any activity or club that decides to meet will be encouraged to meet via Google Meets.
  • If there are any groups meeting in person, all students and staff must follow established COVID-19 Infection Control Guidelines as adopted by ASDB.

POSTING SIGNS AND DIRECTIONS

  • Signs will be posted in high traffic areas throughout the schools to promote safety.
  • Signs will be posted in the parking lots, bus loops and building entrances to allow safe arrival for students and staff.
  • Signs will be posted throughout the school to promote social distancing.
  • Posters will be made for each school site to promote hand washing and other hygiene practices.
Flu Recommendations

Flu Recommendations

From the University of Arizona

Information You Need: Get your flu shot!

We are entering the 2020-2021 flu season in the midst of a pandemic and it is more important than ever to receive a flu vaccine. Here are just a few reasons:

  1.  In Arizona, over 4,000 people are hospitalized for complications from the flu each year. Therefore, hospitalized flu cases added to the number of hospitalized COVID-19 cases will further stress an already overwhelmed healthcare system.
  2. If someone were to be hospitalized for the flu, their risk of developing COVID-19 would increase as they would be in a high-risk healthcare setting.
  3. Experts are unsure exactly how a simultaneous infection of the flu and COVID-19 would affect the body.
  4. Flu symptoms can be very similar to symptoms of COVID-19, as they are both respiratory viruses. So the medical equipment needed to assist severe cases (e.g., supplemental oxygen, ventilators) would also be similar and could exacerbate medical equipment shortages.
Who SHOULD get the flu vaccine?
Anyone over the age of 6 months should receive a flu vaccine including: – Pregnant women – Older adults over 65 years of age should consider getting the “High Dose” version of the vaccine, talk to your provider for more information – Individuals with chronic medical conditions – Health care workers and their families
Who should talk to their healthcare provider BEFORE getting the flu vaccine?
– Children younger than 6 months old – Individuals with a severe chicken egg allergy (those with mild chicken egg allergies should check with their physician), there may be an alternative vaccine for those who have an allergy – Individuals who have had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine in the past – Those with a current illness accompanied by a fever should wait until the fever and other symptoms subside to get a flu vaccine
Where can I get a flu shot?
To locate a flu shot clinic near you: – Contact your primary care provider as they may have vaccines available at their practice – Contact your insurance company to find out if there are any in-network clinic preferences – Visit the “Stop the Spread AZ” website – Dial 211 in Arizona (call 1-877-211-8661 if outside of Arizona) – Call your local pharmacy or grocery store to see if they offer flu shots, you may also visit their websites to find out more information, locations, or to make an appointment
When going to receive a flu shot, it is especially important to:
– Take COVID-19 safety precautions including: wearing a cloth face covering, maintaining physical distancing, and avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated spaces – Be sure to take your temperature before going to receive a flu shot. If you have a temperature over 100, wait until your fever subsides before getting the vaccine
Frequently Asked Question: Can the flu shot give me the flu?
Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the flu shot is that getting the vaccine can “give you flu.” In fact, the flu virus is “inactive” which means that the virus particles are dead and thus cannot spread the virus. Some may feel mild symptoms after receiving the vaccine because their body is developing the antibodies needed to protect them from the flu.
Visit this link for more information about getting the flu vaccine.

Information provided by The University of Arizona at: https://azcovidtxt.org/2020/09/01/updates-august-31/

From the CDC

This Season a Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever!

Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself, your family and your community from flu. A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and save medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients.

The more people vaccinated; the more people protected. Do your part. Get a flu vaccine this fall.

What to expect for the 2020-2021 flu season, during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The Difference between Flu and COVID-19

What You Need to Know for 2020-21 Flu Season

Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19

Information for Health Care Professionals 2020-2021 Flu Season

Information provided by the CDC : https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/protect-your-health.html

From the Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccine

Preventing the Flu: Get Vaccinated!

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination every year. There are two types of vaccines:

  • The “flu shot” – an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle. The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.

About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection. Flu vaccines will not protect against flu-like illnesses caused by non-influenza viruses.

When to Get Vaccinated

Everyone should get vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine becomes available each year. However, it is still beneficial for anyone who was not vaccinated in early fall to get vaccinated later in the fall or winter because most influenza activity typically occurs in January or later. Though it varies, flu season can last as late as May so it is never too late to get vaccinated.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated every year. Even healthy people should get vaccinated because they could spread the flu to someone who is at high risk for complications from the flu or who is not able to get a flu vaccine.

Where to Get Vaccinated?
Flu Vaccination is especially important for:
  1. People at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
    1. Children aged 6 months or older,
    1. Pregnant women,
    1. People 50 years of age and older,
    1. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, and
    1. People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.
  2. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
    1. Health care workers
    1. Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu (see above)
    1. Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
  3. Anyone who wants to decrease his or her risk of getting or spreading influenza.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated

Some people should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. They include:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs. People with mild allergic reactions (hives) should still be vaccinated.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.
  • People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.
  • Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for use in this age group).
  • People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.

If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your healthcare provider.

Information provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services: https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/flu/index.php#vaccine

From the CDC Regarding Immunization Recommendation

A CDC report released in May 2020 found a troubling drop in routine childhood vaccinations as a result of families staying at home. While families followed public health warnings about going out, an unfortunate result was many missed routine vaccinations. CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend every child continues to receive routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Well-Child Visits and Vaccinations Are Essential Services

Children need to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Well-child visits and vaccinations are essential services and help make sure children are protected. Children who are not protected by vaccines may be more likely to get diseases like measles and whooping cough.

As communities are opening up, it’s important for parents to work with their children’s doctor or nurse to make sure their children stay up to date on routine vaccines.

Information provided by the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/visit/vaccination-during-COVID-19.html

Call to Public

Call to Public

CALL TO THE PUBLIC:Per A.R.S 38-431.01(H), please submit your Open Call to the Public comments for the September 10, 2020, ASDB Board meeting by completing the form @ https://asdb.az.gov/public-comments/ . ASDB respectfully requests that all public comments be submitted by 2 p.m. on September 9th. Please limit your comment to 500 words or less with a reference to the specific agenda item. Public comments submitted by 2:00 p.m. on September 9th will be read by a member of the board at the September 10, 2020, ASDB Board meeting.

COVID-19 UPDATE: In-Person Learning

COVID-19 UPDATE: In-Person Learning

A message from Superintendent Annette Reichman and Assistant Superintendent Kristen Rex:The Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind tentatively plan to reopen Phoenix Day School for the Deaf and ASDB Tucson Campus on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, for in-school student learning. In order to determine a safe and secure learning environment, many data points have been considered, most importantly the safety of our staff and students. This decision is not made by the principals of the schools but as a statewide agency. As an agency, we would rather error on being overly cautious than rush the reopening. The agency understands that there is a tremendous strain on families during our digital learning environment.If you need to contact an agency representative, please email our assistant superintendent Dr. Kristen Rex and .

Los Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind tentativamente planifican reabrir el Phoenix Day School for the Deaf y el recinto escolar ASDB de Tucson el martes 6 de octubre del 2020 para el aprendizaje de los estudiantes en la escuela. Para poder determinar un entorno de aprendizaje seguro y protegido, se han considerado muchos puntos de datos, lo más importante es la seguridad de nuestro personal y estudiantes. Esta decisión no la toman los directores de las escuelas, sino una agencia estatal. Como agencia, preferimos equivocarnos al ser demasiado cautelosos que apresurar la reapertura. La agencia comprende que existe un tremendo estrés sobre las familias durante nuestro entorno de aprendizaje digital. Si necesita comunicarse con un representante de la agencia, envíe un correo electrónico a nuestra superintendente asistente, la Dra. Kristen Rex y .