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TUSD Safety Requirements for COVID-19

Section E: Support Services

Regulation Title: TUSD Safety Requirements for COVID-19
Regulation Code: EB-R2-T (Temporary

Print Version of Regulation EB-R2-T (in PDF)

Health Safety Protocols

To assure the safety of the Tucson Unified Community, the COVID-19 principles described below shall immediately be enacted in accordance with U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Arizona Department of Health, Arizona Department of Education, and Pima County Health Department Guidelines (hereinafter “the regulatory agencies”).

This temporary regulation shall remain in effect until guidance from the regulatory agencies related to the COVID-19 pandemic changes and/or, in the discretion of the Superintendent, all or portions of the regulation may be modified or revoked.

Health Screening

Health screenings will be conducted regularly for individuals on TUSD property.  Student and employee screenings may occur at any time and may occur multiple times per day.  Temperature checks will be self-conducted by all staff and adult visitors upon entry into the building.

In order to aid PCHD in notification and instruction, all adult persons other than students entering a school building shall be documented by an attestation, sign-in or other process.

Staff, students and visitors to any TUSD facility will be reminded to ask themselves the COVID-19 Self-check Questions before coming to any TUSD school or facility.

COVID-19 Self-check Questions:

  1. Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
  2. Have you had a fever (100 or greater), felt feverish, or have had chills in the last 72 hours?
  3. Are you experiencing any new or unexplained respiratory symptoms including a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or runny nose?
  4. Are you experiencing any new or unexplained muscle aches, headache, fatigue, nausea/vomiting or diarrhea?
  5. Have you experienced any new or unexplained change in your sense of taste or smell?

Health Services Standard

Any person who answers “yes” to any of the COVID-19 self- check questions should not enter a TUSD school or facility.

Sick Individuals

Sick individuals will be refused entry into schools or buildings to reduce the risk of transmission.

  • Employees presenting with sickness, symptoms, or answering “yes” to any of the screening questions above shall not be permitted to enter facilities.  If symptoms develop after an employee reports to work, the employee must immediately notify a supervisor in a manner that limits exposure to others.   
  • Parent/guardians presenting with sickness symptoms or answering “yes” shall be denied entry into facilities. 
  • Students who show symptoms of sickness shall immediately be referred to the health office for evaluation and, if indicated, placement in a Wellness Room apart from the general school population.   Staff will make reasonable attempts to contact the parent(s) or guardians to take the student home as soon as possible.  Parents shall pick up the student, or arrange for the student to be picked up, immediately.  If the student is not picked up within two hours, staff may take other necessary measures to protect the health and safety of students and others at the site.

Re-Entry Waiting Period

Individuals who have been sent home with COVID-19 like symptoms or believe they have COVID-19 or have a positive test result will isolate at home for ten (10) calendar days since the first day of identified COVID symptoms before being permitted in schools or in other District facilities.  Persons who test positive without symptoms will isolate at home until ten (10) calendar days have passed since their COVID-19 test.

If symptoms have improved before the 10 days have elapsed and the individual is fever free for 24 hours, the individual may return to school or other district facilities with evidence of a negative test given after day five of the start of isolation and no fever or illness present, or present a healthcare provider’s note that the individual is not contagious and may return to work or school.

If an individual has been identified as being a close contact to a positive COVID-19 case they will be required to complete a quarantine period following current PCHD guidelines. 

Record keeping for the waiting period will be managed by TUSD Health Services, Site Point of Contact (POC), and school front office staff responsible for attendance.  COVID-19-related symptoms, positive cases, and isolation or quarantine requirements of students must be coded appropriately in Synergy.

Individuals with a positive COVID-19 Diagnosis

For those students or staff members who receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis as identified by the person, healthcare provider, or PCHD, Tucson Unified will defer to the PCHD’s notification and contact tracing protocols. Health Services will communicate to PCHD any multiple related cases of COVID-19 in a building, in order to assess the site for a possible COVID-19 outbreak. Recommendations will be communicated to the site Point of Contact.

In addition, the school nurse or other person designated by the Superintendent may reassess a student or staff member who is excluded from school or the worksite because of a COVID-19 diagnosis before the individual may return to the site. (Policy GBGCB and JHCC and Regulation JHCC-R).  The District may require a physician's written medical release as a condition for the individual’s return to work or the student’s return to campus.

Confidentiality and Reporting of COVID-19 Diagnoses

All confirmed cases of COVID-19 shall be reported to Health Services by the identified COVID-19 Point of Contact (POC).  A POC will be the administrator of the school or direct supervisor of a department, or designee.  The Health Services Department shall be notified of all confirmed cases...A parent or guardian shall notify the POC if they are aware that their child(ren) has tested positive for COVID-19.

While there are public health exceptions to the privacy rules under both the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and, to the extent applicable, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the confidentiality requirements under Policy GBGCB, Policy JHCC and Regulation JHCC-R shall apply. Employees are not to take it upon themselves to notify staff, students, parents or any other person of a student or employee’s personal health information except to report to the POC, a supervisor or Health Services as provided in this regulation. All COVID-19 related lab results, doctor communication, should be kept in the health record of students or in a confidential COVID-19 folder for employees

Criteria for School-by-School closures

Protocol for School or Building closures:

In the event of an outbreak at a school or site, the Director of Health Services or designee will consult with PCHD on the closure of school areas or entire schools and will notify the Superintendent, Regional Superintendent, Risk Management, Operations, and the Communications Department on all substantive communications. The attached Matrix (Exhibit EB-E2-T) will be used as a guideline to inform these decisions. (See also Policies GBGCB and JHCC and  Regulation JHCC-R regarding building closures in the event of a communicable disease outbreak).

Face Coverings Required

Face coverings will be required for any person, two (2) years of age or older, while on TUSD property or on a TUSD bus.  This applies to all individuals, including students, parents/guardians, staff, and visitors in compliance with Arizona Department of Health Services,

  1. Face coverings can be any cloth or paper mask that covers the nostrils and mouth, and does not contain a valve.  Face shields do not take the place of a mandatory face covering.
  2. Face coverings may be taken down when working or eating more than 6 feet away from others or when separated by a hard barrier.
  3. Face coverings may be provided, budget permitting.
  4. EXCEPTIONS may be available for individuals with a relevant medical condition or disability for which the Arizona Department of Health Services and/or Pima County Health Department does not recommend the use of a face covering.  For students, these exceptions shall be documented in a Section 504 Plan, Health Care Plan, or by an IEP Team. For employees, medical documentation will be required as part of the ADA process.
  5. The Transportation Department may provide additional direction for students and employees on the school bus.
  6. Students who refuse to wear a face covering will be provided an opportunity for remote learning at home. Staff will make reasonable attempts to contact the parent(s) or guardians to take the student home as soon as possible. Parents shall pick up the student, or arrange for the student to be picked up, immediately. If the student is not picked up within two hours, staff may take other necessary measures to protect the health and safety of students and others at the site.

Health Services Standard

The use of a nebulizer will not be permitted in school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rationale: Nebulizers aerosolize and spread droplets into the air and the droplets stay in the air for 1-2 hours. (American Lung Association).

Students and staff suspected of COVID-19 are required to wear a new Level #2 mask that will be provided by the school. Until they can leave the campus, the individual may be separated from the rest of the school population until they can be taken home as recommended by the PCHD in order to provide containment of the potential communicable disease and reduce further transmission.

Directional traffic flow

Due to required face coverings in all district schools for students five (5) and older, and business offices, directional hallway traffic is not mandatory, but may occur at the discretion of the school principal/site leader. If a school chooses to implement directional traffic flow, the site administration shall coordinate with Operations on paint, tapes or other signage affixed to the building walls or floors.

Educate the Community on COVID-19 Hygiene and Cleaning Standards

Tucson Unified will provide regular communication through posted signage, videos, and comprehensive training on best methods to protect students, families, staff and the community.  The education campaign will include methods, frequency of cleaning, classroom/building protocols and staff efforts to reduce risk, hand washing/sanitizing and physical distancing expectations. Educational outreach will also educate staff and students on where and how to report symptoms of illness and a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, definition of a close contact, isolation and quarantine requirements, free COVID-19 test sites, and COVID-19 vaccine availability.

Hard Barriers

Hard barriers may be used at points of service at locations across the district. The Operations department will deem the best method for installation and use of barriers. (standard or a protocol).

Cleaning Protocols

Cleaning protocols and chemical handling are intended for employee use only and will be provided to all facilities by Operations.

Cleaning/disinfecting will take place on all high touch areas at least daily. Students should not handle chemicals or execute cleaning protocols other than personal hygiene like hand washing and hand sanitizing, unless specifically authorized by Risk Management in consultation with Health Services.

Disinfectant brought from the outside for personal use will be permitted if the product is approved by TUSD Risk Management and Operations, and by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), to kill COVID-19. The product must be in the original packaging and contain a manufacturer's label. Risk Management shall develop and publish a list of acceptable personal use disinfecting products. All products should be stored and secured to prevent spills or access/use by children. Mixing chemicals is never appropriate.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer will be made available in district schools, facilities and buses. Since proper hand sanitizing will disinfect germs present on a dispenser, touchless sanitizer dispensers are not necessary. The availability of sanitizer shall be prioritized over the dispenser type. Individuals can possess hand sanitizer for personal use, so long as the sanitizer is in the original bottle and contains a manufacturer's label. All product should be secured to prevent misuse by students.

Employee and Student Travel

All employee and student travel is suspended until further notice. The district will seek guidance from the regulatory agencies concerning guidelines for travel.

Meetings and Gatherings

Tucson Unified is committed to being a visible leader in physical distancing for the City and the County. Therefore district (ILA, SLT, ALT, etc.) and site-level (parent meetings, disciplinary meetings, IEP meetings, staff meetings, teacher collaboration, etc.) meetings and gatherings shall be conducted via video conference (including, but not limited to: Zoom or Microsoft Teams) whenever possible.

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, parent visits to classrooms and in-person school level gatherings like breakfasts, luncheons, and recognition events for the community are discouraged. Pre-approved student functions shall follow Pima County Health Department and CDC guidance. No school functions shall be scheduled or held without approval of Regional Assistant Superintendent in consultation with Risk Management.

District Employees

District employees are deemed essential and are required to report for duty when called to do so by their supervisor or use leave balances as allowed by policy during their scheduled work hours. To ensure student safety, school personnel must return to their work site when required by their supervisor to ensure proper supervision and student support. Staff implementing online instruction or working outside a school site may coordinate with their supervisor to adjust schedules, stagger shifts, or amend work location to promote healthy work protocols. Supervisors shall have a plan for remote work where reasonable when needed in the event a school or department is closed, or if an employee requires remote work as an accommodation.

Changes to the work environment must be approved by individual department heads and shall not impact customer service needs, safety protocols or impede department deliverables. Employees who require specific adjustments based on COVID-19 related health needs must file for accommodations through the formal ADA intake Application Form and process, which requires medical documentation. Such documentation may include having a high risk medical condition as defined by the CDC on its website.

Protections for Populations at Risk

The PCHD and the CDC have stated that people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Individuals with specific health conditions have been identified as having an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions such as:

  1. Heart, Lung, Kidney Disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Obesity
  4. Immunocompromised individuals

The above list is not inclusive and subject to change as the science of COVID-19 evolves.

Tucson Unified shall act immediately to ask every employee and parents/guardians of students with documented pre-existing health conditions matching the PCHD "at risk" criteria to voluntarily identify themselves so Tucson Unified can make efforts to offer to place these individuals in remote work environments or learn from home/ remote learning environments, where feasible.

Plans for a remote learning environment for a student who is "at risk" shall be documented in the student's record (Section 504 Plan, IEP, or Chronic Health Condition Certification).

ADOPTED: August 5, 2020 [SLT/Superintendent approved]
REVISED: January 11, 2021 [SLT/Superintendent approved]

CROSS REF:

EB – Environmental and Safety Program
GBGCB – Staff Health and Safety – Communicable Disease
JHCC - Communicable Disease - Student
JHD – Students with Chronic Health Conditions

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