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Information Regarding Reopening School Planning - October 1, 2020
Posted 10/4/20

This is the second of a series of weekly informational notices the MSD will send to parents in regard to the topic of the potential reopening of schools. Information from these communications will also be incorporated into the  DL 2.0 Parent Handbook.  This notice focuses on information related to responses to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, and will be added to enhance the existing Parent Handbook section “MSD COVID-19 Safety”.  Future communication will include topics on plans to reopen and close (if necessary) schools, hybrid schedules, your options and commitment about your child’s mode of education (in-person hybrid or Distance Learning 2.0) when school reopens, staffing updates, important dates and timelines, and student social-emotional well-being.  Each notice will include a section titled “How can I help?”, with opportunities to directly help our schools, or prepare your children for a return to school.

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Background Related to Safety 
The MSD established a Task Force to Reopen School mid-June. The Task Force, comprised of 33 staff, administration, parents (including dual working families, single parents, and medical professionals), and Governing Board members, developed a Plan to Reopen School, focusing on seven specific areas: Public Health, Social Emotional Learning, Equity and Access, Governance and Operations, Instructional Models, Staffing, and Child Care. The Plan to Reopen School was presented to the Governing Board on July 16 and July 21. 

The Public Health section is extensive and covers topics ranging from student and staff PPE expectations, to air circulation, to screening protocols. Safety plans to reopen school are primarily based on the Plan to Reopen School, as well as Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CA Department of Education, CA Department of Public Health and Contra Costa County Health Services guidance. Last week, all safety plans were reviewed and updated by the Task Force Public Health Subcommittee and four infectious disease control experts. The information below describes protocols the MSD has planned for, implemented, or will implement, prior to school reopening and when school is open. 
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Topic: What are the protocols for responding to student and staff suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases?

Note: Protocols may be adjusted per Contra Costa County Health Services and CA Department of Public Health guidance updates.

Scenario 1: A Student or Staff member is exhibiting or feeling COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing)
  • Action:
    • Send home
    • Recommend testing
    • Stay home for 24 hours or until they have been  tested and know results
    • School/Classroom remain open
  • Communication:
    • No action needed
 
Scenario 2: Student or Staff member is in close contact* with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  •  Action:
    • Send home
    • If contact in the community, the Public Health Department contact tracing unit will contact the school
    • Advise Student (parent) or Staff member to answer the phone as a Public Health Department contact tracer will call
    • Quarantine for 14 days from last exposure date
    • Student or Staff will not return to school for 14 days 
    • Recommend testing if there are symptoms (does not shorten 14-day quarantine)
    • If positive test during quarantine, the student or staff must isolate10 days from symptom onset or test date, whichever is more
    • School/classroom remain open
  • Communication:
    • The school or district will send notification to all parents and staff while maintaining privacy. 
 
*A contact is defined as a person who is less than 6 feet from a case for more than 15 minutes. 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.

Scenario #3: A Student or Staff member is a confirmed COVID-19 case infection.
  • Action: 
    • The school and or district will notify the Public Health Department using a designated email address for this scenario.
    • The Student or Staff member will be isolated and excluded from school for10 days from the symptom onset or test date.
    • The school or district will identify close contacts and exclude close contacts for 14 days after the last date the case was present at school while infectious
      • Close contact could include a cohort
    • Disinfection and cleaning of classroom and primary spaces where the case spent significant time
    • School remains open
  • Communication
    • The school or district will send notification to all parents and staff while maintaining privacy 

Scenario #4:  A Student or Staff member tests negative after symptoms.
  • Action: 
    • The Student or Staff member may return to school 24 hours after symptoms resolve
    • School and classroom remain open
  • Communication
    • No action needed

Scenario #5:  A Student or Staff member is a household member of someone who is quarantined.
  • Action: 
    • No action needed
    • Student and Staff member should be encouraged to monitor for symptoms
    • If quarantined and the household member becomes symptomatic, the Student or Staff member should also quarantine
    • Siblings may be elicited in the case interview and quarantine
  • Communication
    • No action needed

Scenario #6:  A Student or Staff member is reported to be a contact to a positive case via social media or other communication (third-party reports, rumors, etc.)
  • Action: 
    • No action needed because reports cannot be substantiated
    • The Moraga School District and Public Health Department cannot confirm or deny social media or other communication due to privacy laws
  • Communication
    • No action needed; however, the school or district may issue a statement why no action is being taken.

Scenario #7: A Student or Staff member is not in close contact, but was in proximity and may have heard about the case.
  • Action: 
    • No action needed, but the school or district may consider general communication to the individuals without sharing specific information
      • Examples: An office meeting with a COVID-19 case for less than 15 minutes, more than 6 feet away and all in the meeting were wearing masks.
    • Student or Staff member does not need to quarantine
  •   Communication
    • The school or district will send a courtesy notification

How can I help?
  • Err to the side of caution when children are exhibiting symptoms and keep them at home.  
  • Communicate to children an illness is not something to make fun of, rather an opportunity to show support.
  • Contact your school principal if you are interested in learning more about serving as a contact tracer.  We are seeking two volunteers per elementary school and three for JM.
  • With your child, watch a video about washing hands - HERE
  • Be sure your child’s immunizations are up to date.
  • Continue having your child practice how to wear a mask.
  • Assure your children that you are prepared to keep them safe and that MSD is doing the same.

 

 

 
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