COVID-19 Management Protocols
ACTION PLAN FOR HIGH TEMPERATURE OR DISCOVERY OF COVID-19 SYMPTOMS
FOR ANY STUDENT OR STAFF MEMBER
(Recommended by the TN Department of Education) For students with fever at or above 100.4℉ or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (listed below) and/or known exposure to someone with COVID-19:
- Instruct the individual to wear a face mask. Provide a mask if the student or other individual does not have one.
- Anyone assisting the individual wears a mask. Limit the number of people who are in direct contact with the individual.
- Determine if the individual needs, or has prior approval, for a Covid test. Testing can be completed in school clinics.
- Ensure the individual is safe and does not need emergent medical attention. If the individual appears to be seriously ill, call 911 and inform them that you are calling about a possible/confirmed case of COVID-19.
- Students who exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19 with a corresponding fever will be sent home, and the parent/guardian will be responsible for making decisions regarding treatment, which may include testing, on site, within the school clinic. Staff exhibiting symptoms, such as a fever at or above 100.4℉ should stay home and contact Human Resources for further guidance. See additional guidance below for student/staff return to school.
- Students/staff who have been in close contact (within 3 feet for more than 15 consecutive minutes, without proper mask wearing) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (non-household contact) will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days, unless otherwise stated by TDH, from their last exposure to that individual. Quarantined individuals may receive a test on day five or later of quarantine and if negative, may return to school on day eight.
- Students/staff who share any household living spaces with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine at home for additional 14 days after the positive person has completed the 10-day isolation period, unless otherwise directed by TDH.
- Confidentiality will be maintained in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA), and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
FOR CLASSROOM AND/OR ASSOCIATED GROUPS OR INDIVIDUALS
Every case will be handled based on the specific circumstances. Examples of possible responses to a confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Additional cleaning and sanitizing will occur in affected spaces.
- A school building could be closed for 3 to 5 days, with students learning from home during the closure.
- Positive COVID-19 cases may enact student-specific responses for identified risks, depending on the level of exposure.
- Those who have been within 6 feet of a confirmed positive case for more than 10 consecutive minutes will be expected to quarantine at home for 14 days, and be fever free for the 24 hours prior to return.
RETURN TO SCHOOL
DECISION MAKING PROCESS FOR SCHOOL CLOSURE
Several factors will be evaluated when considering a possible school closure, including the following:
- student absenteeism,
- teachers on sick leave,
- availability of substitutes,
- impact on the community, etc.
We will work with our local health department and emergency management department when considering a school system closure due to COVID-19 rates of infection. Quantifying a specific number or percentage that would trigger a closure is difficult; however, we will monitor the numbers closely everyday and consult with the health department related to an appropriate response. Before closing a classroom or school, the Director of Schools must seek a waiver from the Tennessee Department of Education.
Closing individual schools for short periods of time during the school year due to illness and infections of COVID-19 may be necessary. If TDOE approves a requested district waiver and school closure occurs, the school will transition to online learning classrooms for the number of days of closure. This scenario may occur multiple times during the year.
Other factors regarding school/district closures will be considered, including, but not limited to, the following:
- A sharp rise in the number of new cases in our county
- The number of cases being admitted to the hospital and hospital capacity
- The guidance from the Blount County Health Department
- The recommendations from local emergency management authorities
- The recommendations from the Tennessee Department of Education
- The recommendations from the Governor