COVID-19 Response Recommendations for School Administration
Disease Prevention Guidance
Reporting Guidance/How to Report
California’s Safe Schools For All Plan provides the support and accountability to establish a clear path to minimize in-school transmission and enable a phased in return to in-person instruction. In effort to prevent illness among staff and students, and to allow continued progress toward reopening of schools, all sites must have a completed COVID-19 safety plan (CSP) in place and posted to their website. This plan outlines a school site response to a suspect or confirmed COVID-19 case to prevent and minimize spread in the school setting.
The Safe Schools for All Hub consolidates key resources and information related to COVID-19 and schools. All current guidance documents can be found at the State of California Safe Schools for All HUB. New resources will be added to the Hub on a regular basis. Please visit https://schools.covid19.ca.gov/ and 2021/22 K-12 School Guidance Question and Answer/FAQs.
Vaccination, for those eligible, as well as screening testing, face coverings, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are important layers of prevention to keep K-12 schools safe.
The full July 12, 2021 CDPH guidance for K-12 schools is available here, COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year. Important points of the CDPH K-12 Guidance are below.
Masks are optional outdoors for all in K-12 school settings.
All K-12 students are required to mask indoors, with exemptions per CDPH face mask guidance. Adults in K-12 school settings are required to mask when sharing indoor spaces with students.
Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition, must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.
Schools must develop and implement local protocols to provide a face covering to students who inadvertently fail to bring a face covering to school to prevent unnecessary exclusions
In limited situations where a face covering cannot be used for pedagogical or developmental reasons, (e.g., communicating or assisting young children or those with special needs) a face shield with a drape (per CDPH guidelines) can be used instead of a face covering while in the classroom as long as the wearer maintains physical distance from others. Staff must return to wearing a face covering outside of the classroom
Cal OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) mandates that employers must supply N-95 respirator mask to unvaccinated employees who request them. FAQs about the Cal OSHA ETS can be found here: Revisions to the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards Frequently Asked Questions.
CDPH Guidance on Ventilation of Indoor Environments and Ventilation and Filtration to Reduce Long-Range Airborne Transmission of COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Infections: Considerations for Reopened Schools.
In-person instruction can occur safely without minimum physical distancing requirements when other mitigation strategies (e.g., masking) are implemented.
Teach and reinforce washing hands, avoiding contact with one's eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff.
In general, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove potential virus that may be on surfaces. Disinfecting (using disinfectants on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency COVID-19 list) removes any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection.
Maximize physical distance as much as possible while eating (especially indoors). Using additional spaces outside of the cafeteria for mealtime seating such as classrooms or the gymnasium can help facilitate distancing. Arrange for eating outdoors as much as feasible.
Resources for schools interested in testing include: California’s Testing Task Force K-12 Schools Testing Program and K-12 school-based COVID-19 testing strategies; The Safe Schools for All state technical assistance (TA) portal; and the CDC K-12 School Guidance screening testing considerations (in Section 1.4 and Appendix 2) that are specific to the school setting.
Staying Home When Sick
Follow the strategy for Staying Home when Sick and Getting Tested from the CDC.
For both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, follow the CDPH Isolation Guidance for those diagnosed with COVID-19.
CDPH’s COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year guidance provides for a number of possible options for quarantine deepening on the vaccination status of the exposed as well as whether both parties were masked.
Case Reporting, Contact Tracing and Investigation
Per AB 86 (2021) and California Code Title 17, section 2500, schools are required to report COVID-19 cases to the local public health department. Schools or LEAs should have a COVID-19 liaison to assist the local health department with contact tracing and investigation.
Orange County schools and the OC Department of Education for the latest news and information visit the OCDE Newsroom.
Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) strongly encourages all who are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as one of the best ways to protect yourself and others. Visit the OCHCA Vaccine Resources Site for more information.
Local information on testing and testing resources in Orange County can be found at the OCHCA Testing page.
REPORTING GUIDANCE/HOW TO REPORT COVID-19 CASES IN ORANGE COUNTY?
All Orange County schools must report COVID-19 cases to the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA), the Local Health Jurisdiction (LHJ). The School Portal for Outbreak Tracking (SPOT) is a portion of the California’s public health case investigation and contact tracing data management system (CalCONNECT). SPOT is one of several tools that assist schools in complying with state and local reporting requirements.
The SPOT Intake Form is a place for Schools to report basic information about an exposure at their location. The information is sent to CalCONNECT, allowing the LHJ’s School Response Team (SRT) to review and use the information to initiate investigation and monitoring efforts.
When am I required to report COVID-19 cases to OCHCA?
Per Title 17 section 2508; “It shall be the duty of anyone in charge of a public or private school, kindergarten, boarding school, or day nursery to report at once to the local health officer the presence or suspected presence of any of the communicable diseases.” This includes any provider of child or youth services.
Click on the link below to learn how you can fulfill your reporting responsibilities electronically.
For any questions, please contact Orange County Public Health Department OCSPOTSchools@ochca.com
School Administration Teams:
This is a password protected site containing school forms and resources regarding COVID-19 prevention. Click on the Portal link below. To request a password, please email CCICOVIDSchools@ochca.com