Reducing the Spread: Precautions for Health
Slowing or even stopping the spread of COVID-19 will be a team effort as students and staff return to school. This is the first in a series of videos that will be posted here as the first day of school approaches. The "Team Up for Health" series will help families know what to expect when they arrive to school and understand how everyone can do their part to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our schools.
The cooperation of our families and employees is most important to reducing the risk for everyone.
Therefore, we request all students, staff and others adhere to these fundamentals for health:
- Do not come to school if you are sick or have any of the following symptoms that may be due to COVID-19, such as:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Do not come to school if you or a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or is under investigation for COVID-19.
- If you have had prolonged direct contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or have traveled internationally, by cruise ship, or to an area at high risk for transmission as indicated by state or local government officials, self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds or use hand-sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue (then dispose of the tissue).
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Practice social distancing. Maintain 6 feet of separation from other people when possible or practical.
- When social distancing is not possible or practical, wear a face covering.
- Avoid being in large groups in and out of school.
Entering the school and getting to class
We will implement a brief health safety check for all student and staff as they enter schools. The specific procedure for each school may be different. Please check with your school at orientation for details about your school’s process, and be patient with schools as they refine their practices through the first weeks of school. Your school’s process will include the following procedures:
1. Temperature check
Temperature screenings will be conducted upon arrival and as needed if a student is showing any signs of illness. If the student’s temperature is 100.4oF or greater, he or she will not be allowed to go to class. Students with a temperature of 100.4oF or greater will be guided to a room and the parent/guardian will be contacted. The parent/guardian is expected to pick the student up within one hour. If a parent/guardian cannot be reached, or has not arrived within one hour, the emergency contact person will be called to pick up that student. This process will be evaluated prior to Labor Day and may change in the future.
2. Healthy environment screening
Students of appropriate age will be asked to verify that they have not had exposure to persons known to have COVID-19 or traveled to an area know to be a high risk area before entering the building.
3. Social distancing while entering the building
Students will be asked to keep six feet of separation while waiting in line for temperature and health checks before entering school.
4. Face coverings
Students are required to wear face coverings while entering the building and in all common areas of the school, except while the student is eating. If a face covering is not appropriate due to an exceptionality or medical condition, the student will be provided with a clear plastic face shield. Reasonable accommodations will be made for exceptional education and medically fragile students as necessary. Neck gaiters and masks with vents or valves are proving to be ineffective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the district is discouraging the wearing of these types of face coverings in school and on school buses. Students who wear these types of face coverings will be provided with a disposable face covering for the day and will be expected to bring their district-issued or other appropriate face covering on future school days.
5. Handwashing and sanitizing
Handwashing and/or hand sanitizing for all students will be required after students enter their classroom.
Classroom prevention measures
Students will spend most of their school day in their classrooms, and we are taking big steps to help minimize the risk of spreading the virus in the classroom environment.
Although classrooms are configured differently, here is what students and families can expect:
- Socially distanced student workstations
Schools will be moving unneeded furniture and other material out of classrooms to enable maximum student social distancing. Six feet is the objective but may not be possible in many classroom environments.
- Workstation shields
Students in grades three to five can expect to see some form of clear plastic shield on their desk. The shields will help create a barrier between adjacent students. Also, the shields enable turning desks to provide the barrier and enable small group activity.
- Plastic face shields for the youngest learners
Our youngest learners in grades kindergarten through second grade will not be expected to be in a desk all day. They will be provided clear plastic face shields to provide a barrier while doing their classroom activities. A reasonable accommodation will be made if this solution is not appropriate due to a student’s exceptionality or medical condition.
- Barriers at tables
Many tables in elementary classrooms that are used for small group learning will also feature plastic barriers between stations.
- Personal protective equipment and sanitizer
Each teacher will have access to personal protective equipment such as gloves and hand sanitizer to use as needed. Students will be encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands often, including each time the enter or leave the classroom.
Schools will be taking steps to minimize classroom changes and control the directional flow of students in the hallway. Because hallways are not areas where social distancing is feasible, students will be required to wear their face covering in the hallway.
Meal Service/Cafeteria (For meal service procedures, visit our FAQ)
Maintaining a commitment to safe practices will be important during mealtimes. Schools have different cafeteria layouts and will implement procedures appropriate for their school. Below are general guidelines.
- Face coverings
Face coverings will not be required while students are eating. However, while waiting in line to receive and pay for school meals, face coverings or face shields will be required.
- Social distancing
Students' seating arrangements during meal service will be arranged for social distancing to the greatest extent possible. Students will be required to maintain social distance while in line.
- Meals in the classroom
With the enforcement of social distancing, some cafeterias may not have the capacity to serve all students during normal breakfast and lunch service.
In these cases, breakfast or lunch may be served and consumed in the student’s classroom. In addition, meals may be eaten in other areas of the school such as outdoor patios (weather permitting) to enable social distancing.
- Extensive Training
Prior to the first day of work, and throughout the school year, all employees will attend extensive COVID-19 safety precautions and food safety training.
- Daily Pre-Shift Health Screening
All employees will answer daily health assessment and risk exposure questions as well as have their temperatures checked prior to entering the school.
- Personal Protective Equipment
Employees are required to wear face masks and disposable gloves at all times, changing gloves between each new task. Service line employees will also wear a face shield as an additional safety precaution.
- Frequent Handwashing
Employees will continue to wash hands thoroughly and often, making sure to follow all CDC guidelines.
- Social Distancing
For everyone’s safety, we are minimizing close contact for employees in the kitchen and students in the serving line.
- Disinfecting High-Tough Surfaces
Frequently touched surfaces are thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and disinfected throughout the day using effective EPA approved chemicals with special attention paid to serving lines between each group of students.
- Individually Packaged Meals and Condiments
Food will now be individually packaged and served in covered containers. Employees will place the student’s meal on the serving line for the student to pick up before checkout.
- Touch-Free Checkout
Behind plexiglass barriers, employees will scan the student’s school ID card at the register for touch-free checkout.
Wearing face covering helps prevent the spread of the virus, helps protect others in the classroom and their loved ones, and is one of the most important things we can do to help get back to normal.
We will require students and staff to wear a face covering on buses, in common areas, and in classrooms with few exceptions.
We understand young people will occasionally want a short break from the face covering, which is why we are installing desk shields as an additional layer of protection in grades three to five.
Students with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent a face covering may also use a clear plastic shield or another reasonable accommodation. Face coverings will not be required in P.E., recess, band, music and other classes in which the facial covering is an obvious impediment to learning activities and students can appropriately social distance.
Our youngest children, pre-k to grade two, will be provided a facial shield and a face covering. The face shield will also be appropriate for many children who have health issues that prevent a cloth face covering.
Medically vulnerable students
Parents or guardians of medically vulnerable students should consult with their child’s health care provider to develop a safety plan for the student and work with the principal to guide procedures or other modifications necessary for the student.
What will happen if a COVID-19 case impacts a campus?
The district will work with the Department of Health to communicate personally with families whose students need to quarantine as result of a COVID-19 impact.
Additionally, the school will send out a robo call to parents with a general notification if a positive case impacts other students at the school. No robocall will made if the positive case does not impact other students at the school.
The district’s rapid response team of nurses will assist DOH with their contact investigation.
To keep families well-informed of COVID-19 impacts to their school communities, the district is creating a COVID-19 dashboard.
The dashboard will display an aggregate number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases on school campuses among students and staff. It will be updated overnight with known cases.
While the dashboard is under construction, known positive cases will be shared and updated daily on this page: https://www.teamduval.org/2020/08/24/coming-soon-dashboard-that-tracks-covid-19-positive-cases-in-schools/
What determines a class or school closure?
Working with the Florida Department of Health and its medical partners, the district developed thresholds and procedures for closing a classroom or closing the entire school as a result of COVID-19 impacts.
- Closing a classroom (one of the three scenarios below):
- One person confirmed positive and two with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Two people or more confirmed positive and one or more with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Three people or more with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Closing a school:
- 20 percent of school reporting exposure to COVID-19. (Exposure is defined as prolonged direct contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19.)
Please note that closing thresholds and timeframes are subject to change based on outcome of the contact investigation conducted by Florida Department of Health – Duval.
How will it be handled if an individual student needs to quarantine due to COVID-19?
Each case will be handled individually, depending on the circumstances. If the student is too ill to participate, he or she would be absent. If the student will need to remain out of school for an extended period, he or she may qualify for Hospital/Homebound services. If it is a matter of quarantine due to exposure but the student is otherwise healthy, the student could switch to Duval HomeRoom or some other option might be viable. Students and families should work with their school administration to develop the appropriate plan for each circumstance.
COVID – 19 Rapid Response Team
The district’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team will consist of a team of nurses that will work in partnership with the Florida Department of Health - Duval to rapidly respond to identified cases of COVID-19 in the school district.
Those duties include contact tracing and following up with students and employees who test positive for COVID-19.
The team will also provide assistance to schools that do not currently have full-time medical staff. A weekly rotation will allow them to visit each assigned school approximately 1-2 days per week.
Additional services provided by the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team include:
- Assisting schools with maintaining a tracking log of students and staff who present to the clinic and are sent home due to COVID-19 –like symptoms
- Increasing compliance with immunization requirements by communicating with parents of students who are not up to date on immunizations
- Providing basic first aid and attending to student health needs as indicated in the School Health Services Manual
- Administering prescription and non-prescription medication to students
- Collaborating with community partners to identify programs and resources to meet the physical and mental health needs of children and families during this global pandemic
Cleaning our schools
We are implementing 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:
- Sanitizing 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
School Cleaning Protocols
Daily Common Areas Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Topical sanitization of common touch points. Examples include doors, handrails, guest seating, restroom touch points. Offices Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of common touch points. Examples include doors, handrails, guest seating, reception desks tops, light switches Classrooms Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Topical sanitization of door handles and touch points throughout the day Media Center Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Topical sanitization of door handles and touch points throughout the day Cafeteria Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day, and following meals Topical sanitization of door handles and touch points throughout the day; Following cleaning after breakfast and lunch, surface sanitization of tables, seating, handrails, etc. Gym and Field Houses Touch point Sanitization Daily as needed (if spaces are used) Topical sanitization of door handles and touch points as the spaces are used Restrooms Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Cleaning as required, then topical sanitization of door handles, toilet handles, faucets, sinks, light switches, soap dispensers, towel holders, etc. Nightly Common Areas Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Topical sanitization of surfaces such as common seating, handrails, Offices Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Topical sanitization of desks, chairs, bookcases, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, common eating areas Classrooms Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of desks, chairs, bookcases, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, sinks, restrooms Classrooms Misting of fabric or carpet Nightly, as needed Fine misting with approved sanitizer of carpeted areas, rugs, cloth seating, curtains, as needed. Media Center Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of desks, chairs, bookcases, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, sinks, restrooms Cafeteria Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of tables, seating, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, sinks. Mop hard surface floors with disinfectant Gym and Field Houses Surface sanitization Nightly, as needed (If spaces are used) Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of common touch points. Examples include doors, handrails, bench seating, walls, light switches Restrooms Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Cleaning as required, then topical sanitization of door handles, toilet handles, faucets, sinks, light switches, soap dispensers, towel holders, etc. Mop floors with disinfectant Weekly Cafeteria Wash and sanitize walls Weekly, during deep cleaning or more frequently as needed Wash walls, then sanitize. Cafeteria Clean inside trash cans Weekly, during deep cleaning or more frequently as needed Wash out trash cans and sanitize All Areas Surface sanitization Weekly, when school is available during rotational schedules Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of desks, chairs, bookcases, tables, seating, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, sinks. Mop hard surface floors with disinfectant School Extended Breaks All Areas Deep Cleaning During Winter and Spring Breaks Deep cleaning of classrooms and common areas to include refreshing of floor wax as needed, dusting all areas, cleaning walls, doors, desks, tables, etc. All Areas Surface sanitization During Winter and Spring Breaks Following deep cleaning, topical sanitization of all areas
- Do not come to school if you are sick or have any of the following symptoms that may be due to COVID-19, such as: