WUSD COVID-19 Health and Safety
Director of Educational Support Services
Sophia Rizzo, Ed.D.
Director of District Services
Washington Unified Guidelines for Health and Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In Washington Unified, the health and safety of our students, staff, and community remain a top priority. To protect our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are diligently working in partnership with the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, the Fresno County Department of Public Health, the California Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to set forth standards and protocols for the safety and well-being of employees, students and any other persons accessing Washington Unified School District (WUSD) offices and school settings.
The information below has been developed with the most current information known at the time and may be amended as guidance from local, state and federal agencies changes.
Click on a tab below to read about the steps WUSD is taking to make sure our community remains safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Purpose Scope and Responsibilities
- Building Access Protocol: WUSD Employees and Visitors
- Health Screening
- Face Covering Protocol
- Social Distancing Protocol
- Disinfecting Protocol
The health and safety of students and staff is the top priority when making the decision to physically reopen campus for use by students, staff, and others. The decision to reopen WUSD will be made in collaboration with the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools and based on guidance from the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Department of Public Health. As our State and local status changes in regards to COVID-19 our decision to remain open may also change. Our ability to remain open or even increase the number of students on our campuses will be based on several factors including, current disease levels, capacities of local health care providers and health care systems, State recommendations and mandates, Local Public Health Clearance, testing availability, number of confirmed cases, surge capacity in local hospitals, among other factors that are described in more detail later in this document. WUSD hopes this document will help answer any questions that you may have regarding the re-opening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a reminder, the following continues to be the Strategies Needed to Mitigate the Virus:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer before you start work and frequently throughout the day.
- Practice social distancing, sit and/or stand at least 6 feet from other people.
- Do not shake hands or hug people, and do not share food or drinks.
- Wear a facial covering.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Sanitize your work area before you leave each day.
- Practice good respiratory etiquette (cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve).
- Contact your immediate supervisor and leave work immediately if you start to feel feverish or have respiratory symptoms.
Any one of the strategies indicated above could offer some protection against COVID-19. However, in combination with each other, the strategies will offer layers of protection to the people who practice them. There will be times where one strategy may not be feasible, but using other strategies can make up for the absence of another. For example, when six feet between people cannot be maintained, we can wear facial coverings and be mindful of the amount of time we are in close proximity to better protect those involved.
The following Health and Safety Guidelines handbook is designed to set forth standards and protocols for WUSD employees as we return to our onsite work locations, in order to provide a safe, unified return to work plan and provide employees confidence in workplace safety. We will update this handbook to account for the necessary changes as the virus evolves. In the meanwhile, we must offer grace and civility to each other as we make our way through our “new normal.”
All supervisors and managers are responsible to implement and enforce all aspects of this document. In addition, all employees are expected to adhere to the standards and protocols contained in this document.
Purpose: To inform WUSD employees of the standards when entering WUSD owned and/or operated buildings to ensure the health and safety of employees and visitors.
- Signs will be posted at main entrance doors with health and safety reminders
- Six-foot distance markers will be placed at main entrances and other areas where lines may form in WUSD buildings, as appropriate
- Hand sanitizer will be available at main entrances and other locations as appropriate
- Visitors must have an appointment to enter campus; walk-in visitors will be seen at the discretion of the department
- All visitors must enter the main building entrance when they visit a WUSD building.
- All visitors will be expected to self-certify their health status immediately upon arriving at a WUSD building or school site by answering the online health questionnaire
- The front reception is required to contact a department staff member prior to sending visitor to their destination
- If department does not answer receptionist call, the visitor will be provided with the contact information to schedule or reschedule their appointment
- Department staff must make every effort to answer calls from the main front reception desk
- Individuals must wear masks while on campus
Purpose: WUSD has implemented a health screening process on a daily basis for all employees, students and visitors prior to entering WUSD offices and school settings as a preventive measure to mitigate the spread COVID-19.
EMPLOYEE HEALTH SCREENING
All WUSD employees who report to work (in-person) are required to self-certify their health by answering the questions below prior to starting their work day:
- Are you feverish?
- Do you have chills?
- Do you have a new or worsening cough?
- Do you have shortness of breath?
- To your knowledge, have you had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days? (Close contact is considered as being within six feet of someone, unmasked, for more than 15 minutes at one time.)
- Have you traveled outside of the country in the past 14 days?
If employee answers “no” to the questions above, they can report to work. WUSD employees will be expected to adhere to the following precautions:
Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer before starting work and frequently throughout the day
- Practice social distancing, sit and/or stand at least six feet from other people
- Do not shake hands or hug people, and do not share food or drinks
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Sanitize work area before leaving each day
- Practice good respiratory etiquette (cover cough and sneezes with a tissue or into sleeve)
- Contact immediate supervisor and leave work immediately if employee starts to feel feverish or have respiratory symptoms
If employee has subjective or documented fever AND any of the respiratory symptoms:
- Stay home and contact your immediate supervisor for further instructions
- Supervisors and managers will utilize and consistently apply the COVID-19 Illness and Quarantine Guidelines to determine whether the employee should stay home or report to work
If employee has respiratory symptoms but NO subjective or documented temperature:
- If symptoms secondary to underlying disease (such as allergies or asthma) and not worsened compared to baseline, then employee can continue to work and follow precautions as stated above
- If symptoms are new, stay home and contact immediate supervisor for further instructions
Employees will also be prompted with health screening questions upon logging onto their WUSD computer each day.
STUDENT HEALTH SCREENING
Students shall undergo the following District administered health screening upon arrival at school each day and potentially at other times during the school day as necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- COVID 19 Screening Tool.
- Student’s temperature will be taken using a touchless thermometer upon entering the school campus.
- Student will be monitored throughout the day for signs or symptoms of COVID19. Any student exhibiting symptoms of illness throughout the day will be sent home.
Entry Points: Student Screening Steps
Each screening personnel will ensure they are wearing a face mask while conducting a screening.
- Ensures students are spaced out at the entry point. Helps guide students to screening table by following social distancing guidelines. Ensures each student sanitizes their hands prior to entering campus.
- Takes a non-contact temperature check. Allows students to move on to screening questionnaire or sends to isolation area. Ensures students receive a mask.
- Complete the questionnaire with each student. Students who are symptomatic will be directed to the isolation area.
- Health staff will serve as the main consultants in the screening process. Escort to isolation room or re-assess a student if they report being symptomatic.
Passive Screening: Instruct parents to screen their child’s health before they send their child to school. Observe the symptoms outlined by public health officials and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my child feverish?
- Does my child have chills?
- Does my child have a new or worsening cough?
- Does my child have shortness of breath?
- To my knowledge, has my child had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days? (Close contact is considered as being within six feet of someone, unmasked, for more than 15 minutes at one time.)
- If the parent answers “no” to all questions, they can allow their child to come to school.
- If the parent answers “yes” to any of the questions, they will need to stay home and consult with their doctor.
Active Screening: Staff completes COVID-19 Student Screening Tool for each student entering campus.
Complete a visual health check for signs and symptoms of illness (e.g. excessive sweating, lethargy or fatigue, etc.)
- If student answers “no” to all questions and appears well, student will be allowed to proceed onto campus
- If the student answers “yes” to any question or upon visual check, the screener feels the student may be exhibiting signs and symptoms of illness, the student’s temperature may be taken using a touchless infrared thermometer
- If the student’s temperature is 100.4 or above or they have verbally confirmed symptoms, have them put on a surgical facemask and go to the isolation area; Health staff will evaluate the student using the COVID-19 Screening Flow Chart
Passive Screening: When possible, any visitor coming will be educated on the need to certify their health before coming to a WUSD building or school site
Active Screening: Visitors complete COVID-19 Visitor Screening Tool before entering campus.
Purpose: The following shall be the protocol for wearing a face-covering while in a WUSD facility as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Face coverings must be worn in WUSD facilities when social distance of a minimum of six feet cannot be maintained. Employees may remove face coverings when alone in their own offices, assigned work areas or cubicles. Face coverings must be readily accessible and donned in the event any other person enters employee workspaces, when working within six feet of another person and when traveling through WUSD facilities.
An appropriate face covering is one that covers the nose and mouth. It may be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It may be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk or linen. Acceptable cloth face-covering options include, but are not limited to:
- Face covering provided by WUSD
- Neck gaiter
- Homemade face covering
- Face shield (with added cloth drape on the bottom)
- Tightly woven fabric, such as cotton T-shirt and some types of towels
A cloth face covering that no longer covers the nose or mouth; has stretched out or damaged ties or straps; cannot remain securely attached to a person’s face; has holes or tears in the fabric; and/or obstructs an employee’s vision do not comply with this protocol. An employee or member of the public must immediately replace their face covering when damaged or leave the facility.
Students shall wear face coverings in compliance with employee requirements.
Visitors must wear a face covering when entering and moving about WUSD facilities. When a visitor reaches their destination, they may remove their face covering when a minimum of six feet can be maintained. However, visitors may be expected to keep face coverings on at all times in certain situations.
Purpose: To provide guidance to staff on best practices for social distancing.
The most important mitigation strategy in the fight against COVID-19 is social distancing. The document provides best practices for both the school and office setting. Following these strategies will help assure that office, classrooms, and common areas meet the CDC guidelines for social distancing. If social distancing is not feasible, individuals will need to wear masks until social distancing can be achieved.
Social Distancing: According to the CDC, social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home by:
- Staying at least six feet (about two arm’s length) from other people
- Not gathering in groups
- Staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings
Close Contact: refers to a person who may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. A close contact should be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days at home. According to the Fresno County Department of Public Health, to be considered a close contact, a person needs to be within six feet of a COVID-19 positive person for 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period. A contact tracer, clinic or hospital staff, or the Fresno County Department of Public Health will contact someone considered a close contact once that determination has been made.
BEST PRACTICES FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING
Gatherings, Field Trips and Visitors
- Pursue virtual group events, gatherings or meetings, if possible, and promote social distancing of at least six feet between people if events are held; limit group size to the extent possible
- Postponing high-contact activities/classes (e.g. PE, field trips, choir, high-contact after-school activities, such as football) and restructuring athletic, performing arts and club activities to keep
- Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers and activities involving external groups or organizations as much as possible – especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, county).
- Pursue virtual activities and events in lieu of field trips, student assemblies, special performances, school-wide parent meetings and spirit nights, as much as possible
- Pursue options to convene sporting events and participation in sports activities in ways that minimizes the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to players, families, coaches and communities
- Stagger arrival and drop-off times or locations by cohort or put in place other protocols to limit contact between cohorts and direct contact with parents as much as possible
- Delivering meals to classrooms, the specific area in the campus designated for each class or in kiosks near locations where students will be eating
- Having students eat lunch and snacks in the classroom or outside in designated areas for each class so that students do not mix
- Designate multiple student drop-off areas around school; at these drop off areas, assemble multiple health questionnaire check-in stations that are at least six feet apart; Place tape “x” every six feet behind the tables to cue waiting students to wait until called upon
- Students should be escorted back to their classes; If classroom staff is not ready to receive students, students should wait in an area that allows for appropriate social distancing; if social distancing is not feasible, students should wear masks
- Students should stay in classroom until parent/guardian or bus is ready to receive them; once ready, students should be escorted to the front office or bus loading area by a classroom staff member
Other Considerations for School Settings:
- Hold classes in larger rooms, such as the gym, library or cafeteria and space students at least six feet apart
- In any locations where students need to line up, place markers on the pavement to show where students stand to maintain a distance of six feet in a single line and where lines form so that lines are at least six feet part
- Using block schedules or rotating teachers through the classroom(s) rather than having students change classrooms
- Hold staff meetings virtually
- If not being used as individual classrooms, consider keeping libraries, gyms and playgrounds off-limits for regular use unless they can be sanitized between groups
Purpose: To provide information on intensified disinfecting efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In office settings serviced by a custodian, high-touch surfaces in common areas will be disinfected 4 times per day. In the office setting, staff may utilize disinfecting supplies that will be provided at stations around offices to disinfect computers, monitors, mouse and keyboards and personal workspaces. In the school setting, staff will be provided disinfecting supplies as appropriate. The normal disinfecting night time routine will also continue.
WUSD custodians will disinfect classrooms each night using a fogging probiotic spray machine.
WUSD custodians will disinfect high-touch surfaces in all common areas, including door handles and light switches, each night. Classrooms, including student desks, student chairs, trash cans, in-classroom restrooms and all hard surface flooring will be disinfected one time per day.
Items such as student manipulatives, toys, equipment, teacher/paraprofessional desks and chairs or items not listed above are the responsibility of the teacher/paraprofessional to clean or disinfect. Disinfecting supplies are available to staff in designated areas or by contacting the site custodian.
WUSD custodians will disinfect high-touch surfaces in all common areas, including door handles, light switches, faucets, toilets, and paper product dispensers each hour. Bathrooms will be fogged each night and undergo the usual disinfecting routine. In the bathroom setting, staff will be provided disinfecting supplies for use as appropriate.
Important: Disinfectants should not be applied on items that children might put in their mouths. Cleaning toys and other items used by children should be done with soap and water or an appropriate sanitizing solution.
Only approved Environmental Product Agency (EPA) products will be used to disinfect.
All product label instructions shall be followed by anyone using a disinfecting product, paying attention to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and required product dwell time to effectively disinfect. In a school setting, anyone using a disinfecting product must have completed the Integrated Pest Management training available on your Keenan portal.