Student and Staff Health Protocols for the 2020-21 School Year


  • General

    The health and safety of COCISD students and staff is our ultimate goal when considering the reopening of schools and facilities. Following are the current procedures and protocols we will follow based on state government and health officials. As the situation changes, these guidelines and protocols will be updated accordingly.

    All students and staff will engage in daily and as-needed screenings for COVID-19 symptoms.  Individuals who show signs of symptoms prior to coming to school should not attend as advised. Individuals who present with symptoms throughout the day will be separated and sent home.

    These guidelines are in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Standards and the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) guidance on public health.

    Close Contact 

    For the purpose of COVID-19 transmission, COCISD refers to “close contact” with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. The CDC's definition of close contact is evolving with our understanding of COVID-19, and individual scenarios should be determined by an appropriate public health agency. 

    In general, close contact is defined as:
           a. being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on); or 
           b. being within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
    However, additional factors like case/contact masking (i.e., both the infectious individual and the potential close contact have been consistently and properly masked), ventilation, presence of dividers, and case symptomology may affect this determination. 
     
    Either (a) or (b) defines close contact if it occurred during the infectious period of the case, defined as two days prior to symptom onset to 10 days after symptom onset. In the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, the infectious period is defined as two days prior to the confirming lab test and continuing for 10 days following the confirming lab test. If either occurred at any time in the last 14 days at the same time the infected individual was infectious, it is considered to be close contact.

    Screening Protocols

    • Teachers/staff will be required to conduct daily self-screenings, including temperature checks,  for COVID-19 symptoms, prior to reporting to work. Random temperature checks may be performed. 
    • Parents/guardians are expected to daily screen their students for COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to school or boarding school transportation. Parents will need to take their child’s temperature daily. Additional screening may be conducted during the school day. 
    • Teachers/staff will monitor students throughout the day and refer to the campus clinic if symptoms are present.
    • All visitors will sign in at each campus and complete a COVID-19 symptom and temperature screening. 
    • All visitors will be required to wear face coverings.  

    Screenings done by teachers/staff and parents/guardians, should include considerations about whether the individual has recently begun experiencing any of the following symptoms in a way that is not normal for them.

    COVID-19 Symptoms

     In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, consider the following question: Have they recently begun experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal for them?

    o Fever of 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
    o Cough
    o Shortness of breath
    o Diarrhea/GI
    o Headache 
    o Muscle ache
    o Chills
    o Sore throat
    o Vomiting
    o Abdominal pain
    o Nasal congestion
    o Loss of sense of smell
    o Loss of sense of taste
    o Malaise
    o Fatigue

    Evolving Student Health Protocols

    • All families (returning students and newly enrolled students) affirm, prior to the start of the school year, that they will adhere to all health and safety expectations developed by COCISD.
    • All parents/guardians and/or students who participate in On-Campus (face to face) instruction are expected to affirm to do daily self COVID-19 screenings, including temperature checks, prior to coming to school or before boarding school transportation.
    • A student should not enter district transportation, campuses or district buildings, and should immediately notify school personnel if any of the following situations apply.  The individual is: 
      • Sick or has been sick in the past 14 days. (Symptoms to watch for: PLEASE SEE LIST OF COVID-19 SYMPTOMS ABOVE); OR
      • Has a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or has been in close contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. These individuals must follow all isolation and quarantine guidelines from the local health authority or their physician; OR
      • Has a household member who is awaiting COVID-19 test results, or who is awaiting their own test results, OR
      • Has traveled internationally or on a cruise in the past 14 days. These individuals must follow current CDC self-quarantine recommendations: View current CDC recommendations. 
    • If any of the above applies to your child, the following form should be completed and returned to either the district nurse or nurse clinic at your student’s campus COVID-19 STUDENT REPORTING FORM. (This form is to assist local health authorities in proper contact tracing. The student’s information will be maintained in the nurse clinic, and will be destroyed after resolution of the case to ensure confidentiality.)
    • Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to opt to have their student receive remote, online instruction for the 14-day incubation period. (This is an exception to the 6-week grading period requirement).
    • All students will be instructed on methods to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 at school, and will be trained on proper handwashing and hand-sanitizer use techniques.
    • Students should regularly wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer when arriving at school, after using the restroom, as well as before and after all meals.
    • Students should practice appropriate social distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette, and should maintain recommended social distancing from others to the fullest extent possible.

    Face Coverings

    Students in grades 3 through 12 will be required to wear face coverings/masks. Students in grades PK - 2 are highly encouraged to wear face coverings/masks, as tolerated, as part of an ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, inside the school.

    Note: Masks for PK - 2nd grade may become a requirement at a later date depending on governor’s orders, updated Texas Education Agency guidelines, the spread of COVID-19 in our area, and CDC recommendations. 

    Face Coverings/Masks shall simultaneously cover both the nose and mouth as recommended in CDC guidelines.

    1. The use of a face shield, if desired for eye protection, must be accompanied by wearing a cloth or disposable mask that simultaneously covers both the nose and mouth as recommended by CDC guidelines.
    2. Masks may not have valves or vents.
     Students’ individual needs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

    Evolving Employee Health Protocols:

    • All Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD employees will be required to complete daily self COVID-19 screenings, including taking their own temperature, prior to reporting work. 
    • Employees should not enter district campuses or district buildings if any of the following apply.  If the individual is: 
      • Sick or has been sick in the past 14 days. Symptoms to watch for: PLEASE SEE LIST OF COVID-19 SYMPTOMS ABOVE
      • Has a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or has been in close contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. These individuals must follow all isolation and quarantine guidelines from the local health authority or their physician. 
      • Have a household member who is awaiting COVID-19 test results, or who is awaiting their own test results. 
      • Have traveled internationally or on a cruise in the past 14 days. These individuals must follow current CDC self-quarantine recommendations: View current CDC recommendations. 
    • Employees should immediately fill out and return the following STAFF COVID-19 REPORTING FORM and report to their supervisor if COVID-19 symptoms (described above) are noted, or if the employee has tested positive for COVID-19. (This form is to assist local health authorities in proper contact tracing. Your information will be maintained in the Health Director’s office and will be destroyed after resolution of the case to ensure confidentiality.)

    All employees should know, understand and practice methods to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

    Employees should practice appropriate cleaning and disinfecting practices, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette, including regularly washing their hands and/or use hand sanitizer when reporting to work, after using the restroom, as well as  before and after all meals.

    Employees should maintain recommended social distancing from others.  If this is not possible face covering must be used.

    Face Coverings

    All employees are required to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth, which may include non-medical grade disposable or cloth face masks, while in indoor common spaces.

    Face Coverings/Masks shall simultaneously cover both the nose and mouth as recommended in CDC guidelines.

    1. The use of a face shield, if desired for eye protection, must be accompanied by wearing a cloth or disposable mask that simultaneously covers both the nose and mouth as recommended by CDC guidelines.
    2. Masks may not have valves or vents.

    Isolation Protocols

    Individuals who display COVID-19 symptoms will follow district protocols including isolation from students and other staff members.

    When a student has displayed symptoms of COVID-19, the clinic staff will provide a clinical assessment to determine if/when a student needs to be sent home.

    • Students who report feeling feverish will be given an immediate temperature check to determine if they are symptomatic for COVID-19.
    • Students who are ill will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 30 minutes and no later than 1 hour from the time the campus contacts the student’s parent/guardian.  
    • Students who have driven themselves to school, and who are physically and emotionally able, will be allowed to drive themselves home. This is contingent upon notification and permission from parent/guardian.
    • If a student is isolated based upon the screening, other students will be removed from the classroom and taken to an alternate location on campus (e.g. go on a walk outside, move to a different classroom, etc.) so that the classroom can be disinfected quickly. 

    Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools will notify teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate in any on campus activities. No names will be released.

    • If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the district must notify the local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
    • Individuals who were in close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 will be notified of their requirement to quarantine until the 14-day incubation period has passed. 
      • During the quarantine period, individuals should self-monitor daily for symptoms of COVID-19:
        • Check and record their temperature twice a day
        • Contact a healthcare provider immediately if they: 
          1. Feel feverish or develop temperature of 100.4°F or higher 
          2. Develop new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing 
          3. Develop symptoms such as sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain or new onset of severe headache 
        • Avoid contact with high risk individuals

    Criteria for return to school/work

    Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 may return to school or work when one of the following criteria is met: 

    • At least one day (24 hours) has passed since resolution of fever (fever-free without using fever-reducing medication; and 
    • the individual has improvement of  symptoms (cough, shortness of breath); and
    • at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first began.  

    OR:

    OR:

    • A doctor's note indicates an alternative diagnosis.

    Questions? Contact COCISD Health Services Director Kristi Benestante, B.S.N., R.N. at kbenestante@cocisd.org