• COVID 19 - Health and Safety

     

     

    The safety of students and staff are the district's highest priority!


    What we are doing

    With COVID-19 having a persistent impact in our community, the school district is collaborating with the Department of Health, local medical partners, and our government counterparts to ensure robust and appropriate safety measures are in place. 

    Our multi-layered strategy includes face masks, cleaning/sanitizing protocols, and increasing access to healthcare professionals. Click on the categories below for more info.


    How we inform families

    We are keeping our families informed via our COVID-19 Dashboard which shows the number of students and staff attending brick-and mortar schools who have reported testing positive. This site is updated every evening, Monday - Friday. 

    Additionally, schools send an automated communication to their families to notify them that a positive case has been reported in the school. 

     


    What can families do

    Families, please partner with us by adhering to and reminding your children of the following health and safety guidelines:

    • Wear a mask. Wash your hands often. Cover coughs and sneezes. Stay 6 feet away from others outside of classrooms, 3 feet inside classrooms while with classmates. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly. Monitor your health daily. Stay home if you are exhibiting symptoms of 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 or vomiting, and diarrhea.  

    What to do if a case is reported in your classroom or school

    Schools send an automated communication to families to notify them a positive case has been reported in the school.  

    When they receive this call, families may wonder what they should do. Or whether their child was exposed. 

    Whether an individual was exposed and needs to quarantine can only be determined by the Department of Health through contact tracing. However, the Department of Health has not been able to keep pace with contact tracing in our schools due to being understaffed. Therefore, we encourage families to take the following five precautionary actions to slow the spread of the virus when a case is reported in their school:

    1. Be extra attentive to symptoms of COVID-19 in your child. These symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell, fatigue, and headache. If you do see any signs of these symptoms, we recommend that your child stay home from school and seek testing and medical attention immediately.
    2. Wear a face covering when in the presence of others at school or elsewhere.
    3. Avoid close contact with others when possible, especially with friends and family at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
    4. Remind your child to wash their hands and use available hand sanitizer frequently. 
    5. If you and your child (age 12 and over) have not been vaccinated, please consider doing so as soon as possible.  See www.duvalschools.org/vax for COVID-19 vaccine event information.

    Questions about whether your child should stay home and/or be tested? Look at our decision tree


    IMPORTANT LINKS

      


     

Face Coverings

  • After significant input from medical professionals and community members, the Duval County School Board approved a mask mandate with a medical opt-out on Monday evening during an emergency meeting.

    The new emergency mandate will be in effect for a period of 90 days beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7.

    It requires all students to wear a mask indoors on all school and district campuses and district-provided transportation unless they have a medical, physical, or psychological exemption from a licensed health care provider.

    Visit www.duvalschools.org/facemask for more information and to view the medical mask opt-out procedures. 

     

Safety Measures

  • The use of anti-microbial protectant spray, current cleaning practices, and the availability of hand sanitizer will be continued, as will an emphasis on the CDC-recommended 3-feet of social distancing.

     

    Temperature checksThe district will continue to conduct daily morning temperature checks at our elementary and K-8 schools. Secondary schools will not be conducting temperature screenings as staff and students enter school each day. School clinics will have the ability to check temperatures when students feel ill. In addition, schools will have the ability to offer students TeleHealth options subject to written parent permission. More information regarding this service will be available prior to the start of the school year.

     

    Social distancing - Social distancing is encouraged where possible.  Schools are encouraged to utilize outside spaces for large group meetings. 

     

    Hand sanitizer – Hand sanitizer will be available for schools.

     

    Sanitizing wipes – Additional sanitizing wipes will also be available for schools upon request.


    Transportation – Hand sanitizer and masks are available for use by students on buses. Buses will be sprayed with antimicrobial surface protectant that kills COVID-19 virus to prevent surfaces from causing further infections.  School bus seating charts will be maintained and available to DOH as needed. 

Cleaning Schools

  • The district strongly encourages all students and staff to continue with good hygiene practices.  These include frequent hand washing, refraining from touching one’s face, keeping hands off others, covering sneezes, and staying home when ill. 

    In addition, the district will continue to follow a sanitization plan specific to COVID-19. Cleaning and sanitization will be completed using products approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    The plan includes:

    • Clean and disinfect all high touch point areas such as door handles and bathroom fixtures throughout the day.
    • Regular change of HVAC filters
    • Misting of fabric or carpet with approved sanitizer
    • Surface sanitization in evenings after work hours
    • Fogging of spaces if required due to a person on campus being diagnosed with COVID-19
    • Antimicrobial surface protectant will be applied on or about every 60 days at each school site.

COVID-19 Dashboard

  • Beginning the first day of school, Aug. 10, the district will resume use of the COVID-19 dashboard to help families understand the COVID-19 impact in their child’s school. 

    • The dashboard shows the number of students and staff attending or working in brick-and-mortar schools with reported cases of COVID-19.
    • Student cases are reported based on those attending in-person classes, as well as extra-curricular participants.
    • All data are provisional and subject to change based on confirmed updates.
    • The dashboard will be updated Monday - Friday by 8 PM  Cases reported to the district on weekends or holidays will be entered and published on the next day of district operations.

    The dashboard is available here: https://c19sitdash.azurewebsites.net/ 

    Additionally, schools will send out automated calls to their school communities when they become aware of a possible positive case of COVID-19 on their school's campus. 

Full-Time Nurse/Health Aide

  • Each school will have a full-time school nurse and/or school health aide. 

    School Health Aides may perform routine non-invasive health services upon successful completion of face-to-face training provided by a registered nurse.

    School Nurses may perform routine and prescribed invasive and non-invasive procedures as ordered by the student’s health care provider. Additional duties include: 

    • Provide support for Telehealth.
    • Provide basic first aid and attend to student health needs as indicated in the School Health Services manual.
    • Administer prescription and non-prescription medication.

Contact Tracing

  • Per state statute, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has authority to quarantine and conduct contact tracing. 

    When the school becomes aware of a COVID-19 positive case on campus, they will immediately report the case to the district's School Health Services office, who will notify DOH.

    DOH will then perform contact tracing with assistance from the school and will provide direct notifications to individuals who may need to quarantine as a result of their case investigation.

    The schools will continue to provide general notifications to their school communities when it has become aware of a reported COVID-19 positive case on its campus.

    View this page  to see the current decision tree regarding when a student is required to stay home and when that student can return.  

     

    Aug. 21 Update regarding elementary schools

    Because of the small percentage of COVID-19 cases undergoing contract tracing investigation from the Department of Health, Duval County Public Schools is putting into place two strategies to better inform families of COVID-19 in elementary school communities and prevent further spread.

    • First -- Classroom communication
      • Beginning on or before Aug. 25, if a case impacts an elementary school, families of students in the class of the infected individual will receive a letter informing them of the case.  The letter will not be a quarantine or “stay-at-home” order. It will simply inform families of the increased possibility that their student may have been in close contact to a presumed positive case of COVID-19.

    • Second – Transition to online if a class has multiple cases
      • Also beginning on or before Aug. 25, the district will transition an elementary class to online learning if two or more cases impact that class within a seven-day period. The duration of online instruction will depend on the timing of the positive case but is expected to last between two and seven days in most cases.

    These strategies will be in place through mid-September. At that time, the district will re-evaluate the capability of the Department of Health to support contact tracing and adapt if necessary.

    *Note: These new strategies will be in addition to the current communication methods the district uses to keep families informed. That includes a school sending a communication to its entire school community when a presumed positive case has been reported to them, and the COVID-19 dashboard. More information about this update is available here: https://www.teamduval.org/2021/08/20/district-pivots-based-on-case-counts-and-lack-of-contact-tracing/

COVID-19 Testing

  • Free COVID-19 testing is available at several City of Jacksonville sites.

     

    Families can also visit the Florida Department of Health’s website to view available testing locations: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/testing-sites/.

     

    Additionally, many health care providers are offering testing. We recommend for families to contact their child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor for more information.  

Isolation Rooms

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    Schools will have an isolation room/clinic for students who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.   This will be primarily staffed by trained health personnel. Each of the clinics will be equipped with disposable masks, and students will be socially distanced, as space permits.

    Students who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent to the office or clinic following the normal school protocols.

     

     

     

Field Trips

  • Field trips are allowed this school year. In addition to any protocols required by the field trip destination/vendor, all guidelines and permission slips will include the following protocols:

    • The parent/guardian will be encouraged to screen their child for symptoms of any illness prior to sending them to school the morning of the field trip.
    • The principal or their designee will maintain an accurate seating chart for each bus.
    • All participants will sanitize their hands prior to boarding the bus.
    • There will be no eating or drinking on the bus.
    • Chaperones will be equipped with hand sanitizer and additional disposable face masks.
    • Should a student and/or chaperone exhibit any symptoms of illness (for example, fever, cough, shortness of breath) while on the field trip or event, the individual will be moved to a predetermined location so they can be safely separated from the group and appropriate supervision will be provided. The principal or designee will contact the parent/guardian for pickup.

Athletics

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    Gate admission

     

     

    Cashless ticketing at games via Go Fan

    Ticket sales for varsity football game entry will end at the end of the 3rd quarter with exit only during 4th quarter

     

     

    Masks and Social Distancing

     

     

    Facial coverings are required when indoors. 

    When seated outdoors and social distancing, masks can be removed. 

    Spectators must have on a mask or face covering when entering/exiting the facility and walking around in common areas (restrooms, concession stand, etc.).

    Players are required to wear a mask while in locker rooms, arriving and leaving practice, and during team meetings.

    When practicing and competing, student-athletes do not need to wear a face covering.

    Congregating before or after events is not permitted.

     

     

    Capacity

     

     

    Indoor Athletic venues will be held at 75% capacity with social distancing

    Outdoor Athletic venues are allowed to operate at 100% capacity

    Capacities will be reassessed regularly to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and guests

     

     

    Cleaning and hygiene

     

     

    Daily cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces will continue in high touch point areas such as locker rooms and restrooms.

    All guests are highly encouraged to practice good hygiene with hand washing and sanitization. Restrooms will be fully stocked with soap and paper towels/ automated hand dryers.

    Sanitizing stations will be readily available

     

     

    General

     

     

    All symptoms of COVD-19 should be reported to the coaching staff.

     It is recommended spectators conduct symptom assessment on the day of a contest. Anyone experiencing symptoms must stay home.

    All positive cases will be reported to the Florida Department of Health. 

    The decision to cancel games will be a decision made by district leadership in partnership with DOH. 

    This plan will be reviewed regularly and may change based on recommendations from the Florida Department of Health and local health experts. 

     

     

Transportation

  • Hand sanitizer and masks are available for use by students on buses. Buses will be sprayed with antimicrobial surface protectant that kills COVID-19 virus to prevent surfaces from causing further infections.  School bus seating charts will be maintained and available to DOH as needed.  

Quarantine Guidelines

  • The guidelines for determining who is required to stay home due to exposure to COVID-19 is updated by DOH and the CDC regularly, and Duval County Public Schools will continue to follow their guidance. 

    Currently, those individuals who have been immunized for COVID-19 or have had COVID-19 within the last three (3) months and are not exhibiting symptoms are not required to quarantine under current DOH guidelines. 

     

    • When is a student required to stay home and when can that student return? 
      • See this page for the current decision tree.   

    • If a school or a classroom is required to close due to an outbreak of COVID-19, will the teachers and students transition to remote learning via Teams?
      • Yes, the students and teachers will transition to working remotely via Microsoft Teams.

    • What will be the process for providing students on quarantine with their assignments, so they are able to stay up-to-date with their lessons?
      • Because a majority of our teachers, students, and families are familiar with the Teams classroom sites, the district encourages teachers to continue using the site to post lessons, student assignments, and class notes.  Teachers are encouraged to continue using their normal process for providing assignments for absent students.  For students absent for a longer period, like a COVID-19 quarantine situation, parents can also request to receive assignments through their school counseling office if the teacher(s) are not using the Teams site.

     

Recess

  • Recess is required for 20 minutes daily for all students in grades K-5 and helps students achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day for children and adolescents.  Below are guidelines for recess:

    • Students will wash or sanitize hands before and after recess.
    • The use of playground equipment or play structures is allowed, and students will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer after using the equipment.
    • Games and activities that do not require physical contact or for students to be in close proximity with each other should be encouraged.
    • Students will not be required to wear a face covering during recess.

Wellness Tips

    • How can families help mitigate the spread of COVID-19?
      • Stay home if you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
      • Wear a mask
      • Stay 6 feet away from others outside of classrooms; 3 feet inside classrooms while with your classmates
      • Get vaccinated, if eligible
      • Avoid close contact with those who are sick
      • Wash your hands often
      • Cover coughs and sneezes
      • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly
      • Monitor your health daily
    • What are COVID-19 symptoms?
      • 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 or vomiting
      • Diarrhea
    • Where can I go if I’m ready to get vaccinated for COVID-19?
      • Vaccinations events for students and staff are being held on every secondary school campus through the "Duval Vax of Kindness" initiative, a collaboration between the district, the Department of Health -Duval, and local medical partners. Several community vaccination events are scheduled as well. Visit www.duvalschools.org/vax for more information and a full schedule. 
      • Our local Department of Health has established several free walk-in clinics for COVID-19 vaccines. Everyone over the age of 12 is eligible to receive the vaccine in Florida. Specific times and locations can be found at the DOH-Duval website at http://duval.floridahealth.gov
    • When is someone considered “Fully Vaccinated”?
      • According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated:
        • Two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines; or
        • Two weeks after a single dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
      • Continue to take precautions until (and even after!) you are fully vaccinated.