Safety Measures for Reopening of District Buildings

Morgan Hill Unified School District

Safety Measures for Reopening Buildings and School Sites 

2020-2021 

 (revised July 21, 2020)

 

Please read the following safety measures to be in place for all buildings. 

All District buildings and school sites were closed in March, following the State’s shelter-in-place order.  On June 8th, the District Office partially reopened, and all other District buildings and school sites will begin safely reopening in a partial and modified manner over the next two weeks as 11-month employees return for the 2020-21 calendar. As announced on July 15th, students will NOT be returning to the buildings at the beginning of this school year. However, employees will be welcomed back to buildings and school sites as we prepare for a rigorous and robust virtual learning program for students.  In general, each building and school site will have personnel in the office daily during regular hours to handle “curbside customer service.”  

To minimize the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus and to keep employees safe, the District will adhere to the following safety measures within all District buildings, as recommended by the Health & Safety Task Force and based on CDC and public health guidelines:

Restrict Access in and Around each Building and School Site

  • As part of our ongoing safety measures, District buildings will NOT be open to visitors or walk-ins.  Front doors will remain locked and access will be restricted to those employees who report to and work within that building. 

  • Each building manager/principal will create a list of phone numbers of departments or personnel to post on the front door. The list of posted phone numbers will allow visitors to call designated representatives within the building to have their questions answered via phone call or to contact someone within the building who can meet the visitor outside  the front door in the fresh air environment to assist - “curbside customer service”

  • Most meetings will be conducted via phone, Google Meets or Chat, or Zoom - even for employees in the same building - as the District’s adapted “new normal.” 

  • Collaboration and staff/department meetings will be conducted virtually or outdoors with adequate spacing.  At employees’ discretion, they may choose to collaborate in small groups indoors ensuring appropriate spacing and ventilation.

  • Employees are encouraged to call ahead to schedule a meeting with an employee in a different work area or building to arrange to meet in a public meeting space. Walking around the building without a scheduled meeting is discouraged.

Stay Home, When Appropriate

  • Employees will self-monitor their health and will stay home (work from home or use sick leave, if sick)  if they have ANY of the following 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

Screening

Wear Face Covering 

  • A face covering from home is to be worn whenever an employee walks into or around the building.  The District can also provide reusable cloth masks and clear face shields.

  • Some classifications of employees may be provided with disposable paper masks due to the nature of their assignments.    

  • An employee may remove the face covering whenever seated at their work area if there are no other employees nearby. 

  • A face covering should be worn even while at their work area whenever another person is within a 6-10 ft radius.

Socially Distance/Avoid Congregative Behaviors 

  • Employees enter the building from an entrance closest to their work area which requires least travel within the building.

  • Employees remain primarily at their work area for the entire workday.

  • Travel within the building is restricted to essential movement only.  Employees will use Google Chat, Google Meets, telephone, or other virtual means  to communicate with other departments or site personnel instead of walking and engaging in face-to-face meetings.

  • Employees maintain a distance from other employees, and will use common sense to remain distant from one another in areas such as bathrooms and hallways. 

  • Majority of meetings will be conducted virtually to avoid congregation. 

  • When absolutely necessary, small gatherings may occur if a room is large enough or the gathering congregates outdoors with sufficient space  to appropriately distance from one another.

  • If absolutely necessary because a virtual meeting cannot accomplish the task, employees are reminded to wear their face covering and maintain as much distance as possible for any meeting of 2 or more employees that may occur in an office, passage area, or confined room.

  • Common areas such as break rooms, will not be used as gathering places. Employees are encouraged to heat their food items, get a cup of coffee, or retrieve items from the refrigerator and either return to their work area or go outdoors, as weather allows, or into their car to enjoy their break. Employees may choose  to walk or sit outdoors, maintaining social distance with other employees also on break. 

Hand and Respiratory Hygiene 

  • Employees are encouraged to wash hands for at least 20 seconds or use sanitizer when first arriving to the building and to repeat this process multiple times throughout the work day, avoiding  touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue. If a tissue is not available, sneeze into the elbow and shirt sleeve, but NOT into the hands. Tissues are to be discarded into a lined garbage bin and hands washed immediately with soap and water or sanitized after each cough or sneeze. 

Clean/Disinfect Frequently

  • Although the novel coronavirus is transmitted primarily via face-to-face contact with an infected individual, a guideline from CDC is also to be aware of high touch surfaces in the workplace (copier, touch pads, office equipment, door knobs, sink handles, shared staplers, etc) and to sanitize or wash hands after touching these surfaces and to avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Paper towels and disinfecting spray will be provided in multiple locations throughout the building for employees to spray and disinfect high use surfaces frequently  or before/after each use.

  • Employees are encouraged to consider their own work area and to clean/disinfect surfaces regularly as often as each employee deems necessary with available supplies.

  • Employees are also encouraged to keep doors and windows open, if possible, to increase ventilation.

Signs/Messages/Guides

  • Signs will be posted in the lobby and throughout the building reminding employees of new COVID-19 workplace expectations (CDC posters for face covering, physical distancing, hand washing, symptoms of COVID-19)

  • Each department or building may post additional signs, messages, or social distancing guides (such as tape or painted Xs or circles on the floor) as they consider their own needs.  CDC has many resources available to print and post.

Modify Layouts/Create Barriers

  • Each building’s front reception area will have a clear partition to separate the office space from walk-by traffic flow. 

  • Other areas within the building may need signs that state “Restricted” in order to minimize the number of employees allowed into a small space.

  • Break rooms should not have tables/chairs available since all congregative behaviors are discouraged. Employees can use these areas briefly to store their food items, retrieve items, get a cup of coffee, etc, but should be encouraged to take their breaks at their own work area, outdoors, in their car, or in another well ventilated area in the building where they can distance from others.

  • Each department and building is encouraged to review their needs for any layout modifications to maximize physical distancing by moving furniture or creating natural barriers between employees, such as filing cabinets or cubicle partitions.  

Training

  • All employees will receive start-of-year training videos provided by Keenan Safeschools reinforcing safe practices in the workplace to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Employees Returning to Buildings or Working Remotely or Unable to Return to Work

Many employees are already back in their regular positions performing their typical duties. All buildings and schools sites will safely reopen to employees for the 2020-21 school year. However, employees who typically work within a building may have reasons to work remotely during the pandemic. These employees have the option of requesting from their direct supervisor about the possibility of working remotely. They will print out this form and review work expectations with their supervisor. If the supervisor cannot agree with the request, the employee may consult with Human Resources on other options. 

In general, each building and school site should have personnel in the office daily during regular hours to handle “curbside customer service.”  Staffing can be staggered, however,  to ensure in-person office coverage throughout the week while other office functions may be completed remotely.

  • Request to Work Remotely: If an employee can reasonably complete his/her work duties remotely, the employee may complete this form and submit to supervisor/principal for approval. 

  • Employees who have an underlying health condition have the option of completing a Leave Request Form and attaching a note from their physician, which may lead to any of the following:

    • Workplace Accommodation: Human Resources can meet with the employee to review the physician’s recommendation and to determine an appropriate accommodation for the employee’s health-related needs, whether assurances regarding physical distancing, modifying work area, or using additional PPE. 

    • Leave of Absence: If no accommodation can be made and/or the employee is not a candidate for working remotely, Human Resources will review the physician’s note and assist the employee with determining the length of time for a leave and what leave benefits might be available for the employee to use and whether the leave will be fully paid, partially paid, or unpaid. 

Actions for a Suspected or Confirmed Case of COVID-19

  • If an employee develops symptoms, he/she should NOT report to work or if an employee is already at work and develops symptoms, the employee should leave work immediately. Employees with symptoms are required to get a COVID-19 test.  To return to work after having symptoms, an employee must submit a negative test result or a note from a physician to Human Resources stating that the employee is cleared to return to work. The employee will either use sick leave while awaiting results or, if job duties allow, work remotely until cleared.

  • When an employee reports to the supervisor or Human Resources that he/she has a confirmed case of COVID-19, Human Resources will coordinate notification to all employees who worked within 6 feet of the employee with the confirmed case during the 48 hours prior to the sick employee developing symptoms will be notified of their possible exposure to COVID-19. Confidentiality will be followed and the employee with the confirmed case will NOT be identified.

  • The school nurse will work closely with county public health on any confirmed COVID-19 cases regarding steps to take. CDC advises that workers may continue to work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and precautions are implemented to protect them and the others in the workplace - use of face covering, gloves, and distancing are critically important during the 14 day period following a possible exposure. 

  • Potentially exposed employees will be advised to self-monitor for symptoms.  An employee who is able to work remotely is encouraged to do so during the 14 day period following a potential exposure. Employees who are not able to work remotely may use Emergency Paid Sick Leave or regular sick leave as they await clearance.

  • Employees who have potentially been exposed can use the Self-checker on the CDC website to help determine steps to take if they develop any symptoms.

  • A potential exposure means having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.

  • In most situations, a building with a positive COVID-19 case does not need to close, but the District will follow the guidance of county public health for each confirmed case and notify employees accordingly.

  • If it has been less than 7 days since the sick employee has been in the facility, we will close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person:

    • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other employees being exposed to respiratory droplets. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.

    • During this waiting period, open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in these areas.

  • If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.

Important documents to review:

COVID-10 PREPARED: Reopening of Santa Clara County K-12 Schools, June 30, 2020

(great lists of "required" vs "recommended" for each safety area)

California Department of Public Health:  Reopening Guidelines for Schools, July 17, 2020

 

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