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COVID-19 Mitigation & Prevention Plan -- District Specific Protocols & Guidance
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2021-2022

COVID-19 Mitigation and Prevention Plan

District Specific Protocols & Guidance

Purpose:  The purpose of this plan is to ensure the safety and health of Vancouver Public School employees, students, and community. The details throughout align with local, state, and federal guidelines.

This plan is dynamic and will be revised as needed to address new guidelines, processes, or procedures from authorities having jurisdiction or identified by the school district. Any significant changes will be communicated to you.

Questions or comments? We encourage you to direct any questions or comments to your school administrator who serves as your building COVID coordinator, or bring them to your building safety committee. You may also contact the district COVID coordinators at VSD_EHS@vansd.org 

Click here to access the COVID-19 Response Plan

Revision History

Date of Revision

Brief Description of Change

9/23/21

Performing arts protocols added on page 20

8/30/21

Locker Room Protocols added on page 20

8/27/21

Updated Vaccination section on page 9

8/24/21

COVID-19 testing procedure added

8/19/21

Link to K-12 guidance update with extracurricular and co-curricular guidance (starts on p.13) added

8/10/21

Additional guidance on events and visitors


Table of Contents

Revision History

Prevention Measures

Barriers

Healthy Habits - Handwashing & Respiratory Etiquette

Hand Sanitizer

Events and Visitors

Water Fountains

Frequently asked questions

Q:  How do I get more PPE, hand sanitizer, or other equipment?

Q:  How should my building respond to a general building emergency?

Q:  What do I do if I have safety concerns, such as violations, PPE needs, COVID-19 health room annex needs, or safety protocol concerns?

Q:  What if a student needs a “mask break”?

Vaccination

Fully Vaccinated

Vaccination Verification

Staff

Student

COVID-19 Testing

Central Testing Location

Physical Distancing

Recess

High-Risk Activities

Lunches & Transitions

Frequently asked questions

Q:  Will my playground and playground equipment be disinfected?

Q:  Will turf fields be disinfected?

A:  It is not recommended that turf fields be disinfected.

Personal Protective Equipment

Building Needs

Indoor Mask Requirements

Outdoor Mask Requirements

Elementary Mask Acquisition

Secondary Mask Acquisition

Laundering Masks

N95/Half-mask respirators

Frequently asked questions

Q:  When do I need to be wearing a mask?

Q:  What does it mean to be "working alone"?

Q:  I have a coworker who is not wearing their mask. What should I do?

Q:  Is the district providing scrubs for staff?

Q:  What if I have a medical exemption to wearing a mask?

Q:  What if a student needs a “mask break”?

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Portable Air Cleaners / Air Purifiers

Frequently asked questions

Q:  Is the district disinfecting the HVAC system?

Q:  I don’t think the ventilation in my classroom is working properly. What should I do?

Q:  Can COVID-19 be transmitted through HVAC systems?

Q:  Where can I learn more about HVAC systems?

Transportation

Cleaning and disinfecting

Student boarding

Elementary

Secondary

Ventilation

Building Entry

Students / Staff

Visitors, Vendors, and Volunteers

Frequently asked questions

Q:  Is the district still doing daily attestations for students and staff?

Q: Is the district still screening students for symptoms utilizing the thermal cameras?

Extracurricular & Co-Curricular Activities

Locker Room Protocols

Performing Arts Protocols

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Processes & Products

Frequently asked questions

Q:  Will my electronics (computer stations, copy machines, etc.) be sanitized?

Q: Why is soap and water sufficient during the day?

Health Room Annex (HRA)

Personal Protective Equipment

Selection of health room annex

Monitoring of health room annex occupants

Staff Training

Safety Committees

Site COVID Coordinator Responsibilities

Contractor Expectations

Prevention Measures

Prevention measures include: Face coverings/masks, physical distancing, improving ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfection, staying home when sick and seeking evaluation, testing, case response and contact tracing, and meeting the reporting requirements to public health. Each item listed here will be detailed throughout this plan.

Barriers

Plexiglass or acrylic shields are to be installed at reception areas and where the general has direct access to district staff, such as DRO kiosks.

Healthy Habits - Handwashing & Respiratory Etiquette

Click here for further information regarding prevention measures

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizing dispensing stations are located in classrooms and common areas. Sanitizer will be at least 60% alcohol.

Hand sanitizer brought in by teachers or staff is allowed as long as it contains at least 60% alcohol and is not on the FDA “do not use” list. To ensure the safety of the students, individual bottles are required to be stored out of reach of children when not in use.

Note:  Hand sanitizer use is not a substitute for hand washing. When a hand washing station is available, and it is feasible, encourage the washing of hands.

Click here for further information regarding the use of hand sanitizer.

Events and Visitors

In certain circumstances, visitors will be allowed to enter district buildings. In order to do this, COVID mitigation strategies should be in place.

Visitors who are deemed critical for a student’s education are allowed and encouraged, as long as they follow district guidance and mitigation strategies.

Click here for more information on mitigation strategies for events and visitors

Water Fountains

Schools are required to provide accessible drinking water to all students and staff. All water fountains and water bottle filling stations should remain available to all students and staff.

Frequently asked questions

Q:  How do I get more PPE, hand sanitizer, or other equipment?

A:  For supplies such as PPE and hand sanitizer, contact the warehouse (x: 4750)

Q:  How should my building respond to a general building emergency?

A: All existing procedures outlined to respond to building emergencies remain unchanged. Physical distancing requirements may not be feasible while responding to these events. Any immediate threat takes precedence over physical distancing requirements.

o   Fire alarms – actual or false

o   Gas leaks

o   Other natural disasters

o   Modified lockdown

o   Full lockdown

o   Active shooter protocol

Q:  What do I do if I have safety concerns, such as violations, PPE needs, COVID-19 health room annex needs, or safety protocol concerns?

A:  Immediately notify your COVID site coordinator. If the safety concern is unresolved, report the concern to the district COVID coordinator - VSD_EHS@vansd.org 

Q:  What if a student needs a “mask break”?

A:  If students need a “mask break” take them outside or to a large, well ventilated room where there is sufficient space to ensure at least 6-feet of physical distance between people.


Vaccination

Vaccination is the most effective prevention strategy available for allowing schools to resume full in-person instruction. COVID-19 vaccines are available to all people age 12 and older.

Fully Vaccinated

You are considered fully vaccinated:

Or

Vaccination Verification

Staff

All district staff are required to verify their vaccination status per the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Proclamation.

Acceptable documentation for verifying the vaccination status of students, volunteers and visitors includes at least one of the following:

A link will be provided via email to complete this process.

Student

During the contact-tracing process, any students who are identified as close contacts will have their vaccination status verified by one of the acceptable documents listed above.


COVID-19 Testing

Central Testing Location

Click here for information regarding the central testing location including how to pre-register, directions to the site, and consent forms.

VPS will offer optional COVID-19 testing to help reduce the spread of the virus and reduce quarantine time frames when possible.

Molecular PCR tests will be available for students and staff who are displaying symptoms or have been quarantined for at least five days as the result of being in close contact with someone who tested positive.

A parent or guardian must sign a consent form before a student may be tested. A student or staff member who has been quarantined must remain in quarantine until a negative test result is reported.

Tests will be processed in 24 to 48 hours after they are shipped from a school.

Testing for athletics

Unvaccinated middle and high school athletes participating in basketball, wrestling and indoor cheer will be required to participate in twice-weekly COVID-19 screening tests to compete. Parental consent is required for testing. Fully vaccinated athletes do not have to participate in screening tests.

See the “Screening testing for sporting activities” section on page 19 of the Washington state Department of Health’s COVID-19 requirements for schools. School coaches also will provide more information. If you have questions, please contact your school’s athletic director.


Physical Distancing

Physical distancing requirements should not prevent a school from offering full-time, in-person learning to all students. However, to the degree possible and reasonable, physical distancing of 3-feet or more between students in classroom settings should be implemented.

Staff should remain at 6-feet of distance from other staff, and students to the degree possible.

Recess

Recess may not allow for students to fully physically distance from each other. Maximize opportunities to increase physical space between students during scheduled activities and limit interactions in large group settings. Staff and students are not required to wear masks outdoors.

Outdoor Mask Requirements -- Per the Secretary of Health’s Mask Order, face coverings are not required outdoors regardless of vaccination status. Masks are strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals. Schools should support students and staff who choose to wear a mask or face covering outdoors.

High-Risk Activities

During high-risk activities when increased exhalation or aerosolization occurs, such as PE or exercise, singing or playing instruments, and cheering or shouting. These activities should be moved outdoors or to large, well-ventilated spaces whenever possible.

Lunches & Transitions

Below are strategies to implement during lunches and transitions:

Frequently asked questions

Q:  Will my playground and playground equipment be disinfected?

A:  Per Clark County Public Health, it is not recommended that playgrounds and playground equipment be disinfected. Playgrounds will be cleaned on a schedule determined by the custodial department. Playground equipment (balls, jump ropes, etc.) should be left outside after use.

Q:  Will turf fields be disinfected?

A:  It is not recommended that turf fields be disinfected.


Personal Protective Equipment

Click here to review guidance from WA State L&I in regards to face coverings, masks, and respirator choices per transmission risk category

Click here to access self-contained special education PPE requirements.

Building Needs

Buildings should be sure to have the following PPE available:

To request more PPE, reach out to the warehouse (x: 4750). PPE is delivered via the building mail tub or in the original box marked with an orange “COVID” sign. The items are dropped off to the front office or designated delivery area.

Specific PPE for COVID health room annexes  includes:

Click here for directions for putting on PPE prior to entering a COVID health room annex and removing PPE.

Indoor Mask Requirements

Face coverings worn over the nose and mouth are required for entry into district buildings. All school personnel, volunteers, visitors, and students must wear cloth face coverings, or an acceptable alternative (e.g., surgical mask or clear face shield with a drape), at school when indoors.

Face coverings are made available to all VPS students and staff. Additionally, face shields have been made available for those who require them. Personal face coverings are permitted, and if forgotten, a disposable mask will be provided. All face coverings must meet WA Department of Health guidance.

Outdoor Mask Requirements

Per the Secretary of Health’s Mask Order, face coverings are not required outdoors regardless of vaccination status. Masks are strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals. Masks are required for events of 500 or more attendees. Schools should support students and staff who choose to wear a mask or face covering outdoors.

Elementary Mask Acquisition

Elementary students will acquire a clean mask each day, either on the bus, or upon arrival to school.

If child size masks are needed to accommodate our younger students, the building COVID coordinator can submit their request to the Warehouse for child size disposable masks.

Secondary Mask Acquisition

The district will supply all students with a cloth mask. Students are responsible for the laundering of this mask. If the mask is forgotten upon entering a bus or arriving at school, a disposable mask will be provided.

Laundering Masks

In summary:

Each morning custodial staff will meet a designated bus that will act as the laundry shuttle bus and exchange the previous day’s totes of worn masks for the same number of laundered mask totes.

Each school will have an “extra” set of clean mask totes to issue each morning so you don’t have to wait for this exchange to have clean masks available for issuing.

All totes will be disinfected, while the masks are being laundered.

N95/Half-mask respirators

Some positions may require the use of other mask types. The type of mask used will be guided by the the Department of Labor & Industries as well as through a review called a hazard assessment (see page 9).

If it is deemed that personnel are to wear such personal protective equipment, they will undergo a medical evaluation and fit testing. Please contact environmental safety (VSD_EHS@vansd.org) for additional information.

Frequently asked questions

Q:  When do I need to be wearing a mask?

A: For both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff and students, masks are not required to be worn outside. However, this is recommended for anyone who is not vaccinated.

 Mask requirements for vaccinated individuals:

Mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals:

Q:  What does it mean to be "working alone"?

A: Per the WA Department of Labor & Industries, someone is considered to be working alone when they're isolated from interaction with other people and have little or no expectation of in-person interruption. How often a worker is able to work alone throughout the day may vary. Examples of working alone includes:

Q:  I have a coworker who is not wearing their mask. What should I do?

A:  Talk with your supervisor about issues with coworkers not following guidance. They can speak with this employee or contact HR if further assistance is needed.

Q:  Is the district providing scrubs for staff?

A:  The district will be providing disposal scrubs/gowns. Reusable scrubs will not be provided due to washing availability and machine maintenance. The exception is the special services department which has purchased reusable scrubs.

Q:  What if I have a medical exemption to wearing a mask?

A:  Please contact your building principal if there are questions.  

Q:  What if a student needs a “mask break”?

A:  If students need a “mask break” take them outside or to a large, well ventilated room where there is sufficient space to ensure more than 6-feet of physical distance between people.


Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

The District continues to make an effort to ensure the efficacy of HVAC systems. Additionally, if operable windows are available, open windows to allow for natural ventilation to enter the space.

Details of this program include, but are not limited to:

Portable Air Cleaners / Air Purifiers

Portable HEPA air cleaners can supplement ventilation. Ozone generators, electrostatic precipitators and ionizers, or negative ion air purifiers are prohibited because they can produce harmful by-products.

Schools are provided an air purifier to utilize during room clears (when a symptomatic student leaves a classroom) and may be utilized in the health room annex all other times. For more information about this, see the Response Plan section on Room Clears.

If you would like to purchase an air purifier for your space, please contact environmental safety at vsd_ehs@vansd.org to review the product prior to purchase. The purpose of the review is to ensure the unit is able to serve the square footage of the space and verify it does not emit any harmful by-products.

Frequently asked questions

Q:  Is the district disinfecting the HVAC system?

A:  WA Department of Health standards do not call for any special cleaning or disinfection for HVAC systems. Routine maintenance of HVAC systems calls for regular cleaning, including filter changes.  

Q:  I don’t think the ventilation in my classroom is working properly. What should I do?

A:  Notify your building operator, and they will verify the ventilation function. If they cannot, they will place a work order to have maintenance evaluate and make any necessary corrections.

Q:  Can COVID-19 be transmitted through HVAC systems?

A: While airflows within a particular space may help spread disease among people in that space, there is no evidence to date that viable virus has been transmitted through an HVAC system to result in disease transmission to people in other spaces served by the same system. For more information click here

Q:  Where can I learn more about HVAC systems?

A:  ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) has a website with extensive information and further resources on HVAC systems, including how they impact the COVID-19 pandemic.  


Transportation

Cleaning and disinfecting

Buses will be cleaned and disinfected once per week using a district-approved cleaner and disinfectant.

Student boarding

Elementary

Buses will be supplied with hand sanitizer and clean cloth masks.

Secondary

Buses will be supplied with hand sanitizer and disposal masks for students who forgot their personal cloth mask.

Click here for further details regarding transportation. 

Ventilation

Buses are to maximize outside air and keep windows open as much as possible.


Building Entry

Students / Staff

Staying home when sick with COVID-19 is essential to keep COVID-19 infections out of schools and prevent spread to others. Students and staff who have symptoms of illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and seek medical evaluation, which may include testing for COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

Visitors, Vendors, and Volunteers

In certain circumstances, visitors will be allowed to enter district buildings. In order to do this, COVID mitigation strategies should be in place.

Visitors who are deemed critical for a student’s education are allowed and encouraged, as long as they follow district guidance and mitigation strategies.

Click here for more information on mitigation strategies for events and visitors

Frequently asked questions

Q:  Is the district still doing daily attestations for students and staff?

A: The CDC is currently not recommending attestations prior to building entry. However, every person entering a district building should ensure that they are healthy.

Q: Is the district still screening students for symptoms utilizing the thermal cameras?

A: The district will not be screening students for symptoms onsite prior to entering the building. Parents are encouraged to check in with the health of their child each morning before school to ensure they are not displaying symptoms.


Extracurricular & Co-Curricular Activities

The WA Department of Health K-12 guidance details extracurricular and co-curricular activities beginning on page 13.

Locker Room Protocols

These protocols are not exhaustive of what a school may implement, but should help determine specific school guidance.

Performing Arts Protocols

Click here for details regarding performing arts protocols. 


Cleaning & Disinfecting

The district’s cleaning procedures will center around the need to clean and disinfect common touch surfaces.

Processes & Products

The district is utilizing a disinfectant from the EPA N-list of approved chemicals for the use against COVID-19. This disinfectant will be primarily used by the custodial staff. For cleaning during the day, dish soap and water are sufficient and can be supplied to staff.

Electronics will be disinfected with a rag and isopropyl alcohol -- no other disinfecting or cleaning products are to be used.

Cleaning products should not be used in conjunction with any other cleaners or disinfectant without prior district environmental safety approval.  

Click here for further details of cleaning and disinfecting, including room clear procedure

Frequently asked questions

Q:  Will my electronics (computer stations, copy machines, etc.) be sanitized?

A: Building custodial staff will be sanitizing common area electronic equipment utilizing 70% isopropyl alcohol. District-assigned or personal electronic equipment is to be sanitized by the assigned user.

Q: Why is soap and water sufficient during the day?

A: Soap inactivates the coronavirus by dissolving the lipid (fatty) membrane that envelopes the virus and allows it to stick to our cells. For more information, see this page from the University of Washington on Safer Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Strategies to Reduce and Prevent COVID-19 Transmission.


Health Room Annex (HRA)

Monitoring of students in the health room annex must be resolved on a school-specific basis depending on the location of the room, adjacent staff, etc. Please refer to the school-specific Operational Protocol for Health Room Annex for details.

Click here for details regarding cleaning and disinfecting of the HRA.

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE for COVID health room annexes includes:         

The number of PPE kits, that will include a mask, faceshield, gloves, and gown, will need to be determined by the school as it is dependent on the number of persons permitted to enter the health room annex. To start, it is recommended that each school have two-three kits.

Click here for directions for putting on PPE prior to entering a COVID health room annex and removing PPE.

Selection of health room annex

Selection of an health room annex must be resolved on a school-specific basis keeping in mind supervision of those waiting in the room. Please refer to the school-specific Operational Protocol for Health Room Annex for details. A template of what is to be included in the plan can be found by clicking here.

Monitoring of health room annex occupants

Monitoring of students/staff in the health room annex must be resolved on a school-specific basis depending on the location of the room, adjacent staff, etc. Strategies to consider:  Supervision, setting up furniture, etc. Please refer to the school-specific Operational Protocol for Health Room Annex for details.


Staff Training

Below details staff training by who is to complete the training, what the training is, and when the training is to take place. This table may not be inclusive of all training/meetings conducted at specific buildings (i.e. discussions/reviews that take place during a building safety committee meeting).

Who

What

When

All district employees

Safe Schools - COVID-19 Workplace Awareness Training

Prior to beginning assigned work duties and as needed thereafter (determined by the district)

School Building employees

  • Any school specific logistics and PPE requirements depending on the tasks being performed
  • Operational Protocol for Health Room Annex
  • General cleaning and disinfecting

Prior to beginning assigned work duties and as needed thereafter (determined by the building)

Health Room Annex (HRA) supervisor(s)

HRA Clerks

  • Operational Protocol for Health Room Annex
  • Putting on PPE prior to entering a HRA and removing PPE
  • In addition, HRA clerks will attend an in-person training

Prior to beginning assigned work duties and as needed thereafter (determined by the building)

NOTE:  HRA Clerk training may take place after the start of their contract

COVID Site Coordinators

All COVID site coordinators should be familiar with the contents of the district COVID-19 Mitigation & Prevention Plan and COVID-19 Response Plan. In addition, they are to have been trained on the following specific to the location they work at:

  • Any school specific logistics
  • Operational Protocol for Health Room Annex
  • General cleaning and disinfecting

Prior to beginning assigned work duties and as needed thereafter (determined by the building)

Building Operators

  • Any school specific logistics
  • Operational Protocol for Health Room Annex
  • General cleaning and disinfecting

Prior to beginning assigned work duties and as needed thereafter (determined by the building)


Safety Committees

Each worksite has a safety committee that meets the requirements of WAC 296-800-13025.

The safety committee will work with the COVID site coordinator to ensure health and safety guidelines are being implemented, including but not limited to:

In addition, there is a district safety committee that shares best practices, ideas, concerns, etc.


Site COVID Coordinator Responsibilities

A full list of building-specific COVID Coordinators can be found here

Personnel are directed to report their safety concerns to the building COVID coordinator. Ensure your building knows how to make this report by completing and distributing the reporting flowchart.

Each site within the district is to have a site COVID-19 coordinator, responsible for assisting with compliance, guidance and questions. This coordinator will be a building administrator.

Daily tasks include the following:

If any individual in your building tells you they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (listed below), follow the district's COVID-19 Response Protocols. Per Washington State Department of Health, you should stay home* if you have:

*You are not required to stay home if your symptoms are caused by a documented known condition or medication

Contractor Expectations

Any contractor who enters Vancouver School District’s buildings is expected to comply with district procedures. In addition, contractor’s are required to comply with all local and state requirements.

If you find a contractor is not in compliance (i.e. wearing a mask), please contact the district COVID coordinators.