Return Health COVID-19 Community

Procedures for COVID-19 in the SCUSD Community

Overview

Definitions

Case

Someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

Close Contact

Someone who has been within six feet for 15 minutes or more of a person with COVID-19 during the time the person is infectious (with or without wearing a face covering.) In some school situations, it may be difficult to determine whether individuals have met these criteria. An entire cohort, classroom, or other group may be considered close contacts, particularly if people have spent time together indoors.  If a close contact has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days they do not need to test or quarantine with a new exposure. 

Individuals who have contact with the Close Contact (contact of a contact) are not required to quarantine and may continue to come to work. For example, If an asymptomatic employee calls their supervisor and notifies them that they are required to stay home because they were a close contact of a confirmed case, the contacts they had at work are not considered exposed and are not required to take any special precautions. They may continue to report to work or school.

Cohort or Stable Group:

A stable group with fixed membership that stays or works together and has limited contact with other persons or groups.

Communication

Statements that advise the community of known exposure cases when a case has been physically present at the work site. These communications serve to advise the community about potential risks, inform the community about the district’s actions, provide contact information for Health Services, and reinforce public health guidance

Contact Tracing/Communicable Disease Follow-Up

Contact tracing is a process that slows the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.  Laboratories and medical providers send the names of people who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 to their local health department.  The health department asks each person diagnosed with COVID-19 about people with whom they’ve recently had close contact.  These individuals are alerted about the exposure to COVID-19, and they are advised to quarantine.  

School district staff perform contact tracing as it relates to exposures at school or work sites.  The contact tracing process should remain anonymous and confidential, therefore the name of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 will remain confidential. Employers and schools are required to respond to cases of COVID-19 in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at school/work sites.  The sooner health officials are able to alert close contacts, the lower the risk of COVID-19 spreading further.  Prompt and coordinated actions, including case investigation and contact tracing, may inform decision-making about strengthening and focusing mitigation strategies.  See below for District Contact Tracing Procedures.

All individuals are advised to sign up for the CA Notify alert system, California’s cell phone exposure notification system to get COVID-19 exposure alerts and to protect those around you.

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

Infectious Period 

The time the person is infectious for a symptomatic individual is two days before their Covid-19 symptoms began and for an asymptomatic individual is two days before the positive test result, through the end of their isolation period.  

Isolation

A period of time a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection must stay home, separate from others and follow other precautions. The isolation ends after the person’s symptoms are improving, at least 24 hours free of fever, and at least 10 days from the day their symptoms began. Refer to Sacramento County Home Isolation Order and Guidance.

Outbreak

CDPH defines a school outbreak as three or more confirmed or probable cases of staff or students occurring within a 14-day period who are epidemiologically-linked in the school, are from different households, and are not contacts of each other in any other investigation cases (e.g., transmission likely occurred in the school setting).

Quarantine

A period of time from the date of last exposure that the person must stay home, separate from others, and follow other precautions. Refer to Sacramento County Home Quarantine Order and Guidance.

Legal Authority for Reporting Communicable Disease

Schools are also required to report cases of COVID-19 to the local health department.  California law (17 C.C.R. section 2508) requires anyone in charge of a K-12 public or private school to report at once to the local health officer the presence or suspected presence of any of the communicable disease, which includes COVID-19.  Schools are authorized under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to disclose personally identifiable information without parental consent to local health departments regarding COVID-19 testing and cases. (20 USC § 1232g(b)(1)(I).)

Every local educational agency (school district, county office of education, and charter school) and private school in California shall notify its local health officer of any known case of COVID-19 among any student or employee who was present on a K-12 public or private school campus within the 10 days preceding a positive test for COVID-19. Specifically, the local educational agency or private school shall report the following information:

  • The full name, address, telephone number, and date of birth of the individual who tested positive;
  • The date the individual tested positive, the school(s) at which the individual was present on-site within the 10 days preceding the positive test, and the date the individual was last on-site at any relevant school(s); and
  • The full name, address, and telephone number of the person making the report.
  • This information shall be reported to the local health officer by telephone within twenty-four hours from the time an individual within the local educational agency or private school is first made aware of a new case.

District Contact Tracing Procedures

*including community partners or contractors working at a district facility 

School district staff conduct contact tracing for students and staff focusing on school and work site exposures.  Actions taken are based on guidance from Sacramento County Public Health and California Department of Public Health.  The chart below details actions taken for each of the possible scenarios.  Community contact tracing, such as follow-up with family, friends and contacts outside of the district, is conducted by and is the role of the Sacramento County Public Health county department. Prompt and coordinated actions, including case investigation and contact tracing, may inform decision-making about strengthening and focusing mitigation strategies.

The chart below details actions taken for each of the possible scenarios.

Scenario 1: An individual (i.e. employee  or student) who has 1 or more COVID-19 symptoms

An individual (i.e. employee or student) who has 1 or more 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
Action
  • Send the person home immediately if at the work/school site. If working/learning remotely, advise them to remain home.
  • Recommend testing as soon as possible after first symptoms.
    • If the test is positive notify Health Services and follow steps outlined in #3
  • Refer them to Stay at Home and Return to School Requirements 
  • If 10% of a classroom or 25% of a school (or a cohort of employees) is experiencing similar symptoms SCPH will be consulted and SCUSD will follow any guidance provided. 
  • The work/site/classroom remains open.
Return to work/School Site 

The person may return to the school/work site when:

  • at least 24 hours with no fever and symptoms have improved

AND

  • a COVID-19  test is negative 

OR

  • at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared

OR

  • Their healthcare provider provides documentation that the symptoms are from an underlying chronic condition or other disease process

The workplace/school/classroom remains open.

Communication
  • No communication needed.
  • In the event of a suspected illness outbreak, SCPH will be consulted and a communication may be issued based on their guidance.

Scenario 2: A close contact - An individual who has come in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case

Action
  • Send the person home immediately if at a school/work site.  If distance learning or working remotely, advise them to remain home
  • The person must self-quarantine.  Provide quarantine Guidance   
  • Refer for COVID-19 testing 5-7 days from the date of exposure or immediately if symptoms develop. Negative test results do not shorten the 14-day quarantine period.
  • The workplace/school/classroom remains open
  • If a close contact has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days they do not need to test or quarantine with a new exposure.
Return to Work/School Site
  • The person may return to the school/work site 14 days from the last day they were in close contact with the case given that they do not develop symptoms nor test positive.
    • No other individuals need to quarantine – only Close Contacts must quarantine.  Contacts of contacts do not need to quarantine
    • If the person is a caregiver or is unable to quarantine from the case, they need to quarantine for 14 days after the case ends their home isolation. For example, if an employee’s child is the case the employee must quarantine after their child recovers and is released from isolation, plus an additional 10 days which could be 20 days or more.
Communication
  • No communication needed if exposure did not happen in school setting
  • If the exposure was the result of a case who was physically present at the work/school site — a communication will be sent about the COVID case and any known close contacts (see #3)

Scenario 3: A case – An individual who has confirmed COVID-19 

Action
  • Send the individual home immediately if physically present. If learning/working remotely, advise them to remain home.
  • Notify Health Services Director, Coordinator II and Lead School Nurse via email and provide employee/student name and contact information.
  • The individual must self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset date, or if asymptomatic 10 days from test date.
  • Provide isolation Guidance
  • If the individual was on site during the infectious period, ensure the primary spaces where the individual spent significant time is disinfected. 
  • Provide documentation of the positive test to Human Resources.
  • Health Services will report positive case to SCPH
  • Identify school Close Contacts within SCUSD
  • Call all Individuals who had close contact and instruct them to follow the process under, “Scenario #2: An individual who is a Close Contact” 
    • In some school situations, it may be difficult to determine whether individuals have met this criterion and an entire cohort, classroom, or other group may need to be considered exposed, particularly if people have spent time together indoors
  • The worksite/school may usually remain open
  • The decision to close classrooms, cohorts, schools, or workplaces depends on the factors unique to each case and the level of infection in the community, and will be made in conjunction with Sacramento County Public Health
Return to Work/School Site​
  • If the individual experiences symptoms the earliest they may return to the school/work site
    • at least 10 days have passed since the date of first symptoms AND
    • at least 24 hours with no fever AND
    • symptoms have improved  
  • If the individual DID NOT experience symptoms the earliest they may return to school/work site
    • at least 10 days have passed since the date tested AND
    • they did not develop symptoms since the date tested
Communication
  • If the individual has physically reported to a work site while infectious, a written or verbal communication will be sent to alert those present about the confirmed COVID-19 case, the window of potential exposure and the district’s actions. 
  • All communications will be district approved through the Director of Student Support & Health Services.

Resources