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Last Update: 3:00 PM, 8-30-2021

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. 

As of 7/20/21 parents or volunteers entering District buildings will no longer need to sign an attestation form.

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?
  1. 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 not enter into schools or buildings to reduce the risk of transmission.
  1. TUSD COVID-19 protocol for individuals with COVID-like symptoms will continue for students and staff when COVID-like symptoms are present. The health team at school will continue to offer Rapid Antigen tests to students and staff when COVID-like symptoms are identified
  2. Individuals 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.   If the sick individual is a student, 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
  1. Covid-19 like symptoms: Individuals with COVID-19-like symptoms may return when symptoms have improved, they have remained fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication, and a negative test or return to school/work note from a health care provider has been obtained.  If the individual does not provide a negative test or a note from a health care provider, then the individual will complete five (5) full calendar days of isolation from school/work.
  2. Positive Test: Persons who test positive without symptoms will isolate at home until five (5) full calendar days have passed since their positive COVID-19 test.  Persons who test positive and experience symptoms will isolate at home until at least five (5) full calendar days have passed since their positive test and may only return to school/work when (i) their symptoms are improving and (ii) they have remained fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication.
  3. Close Contact: Individuals that have been identified as a close contact to a positive case will be quarantined per the PCHD guidelines. On behalf of the PCHD, home isolation requirements along with close contact notification of quarantine requirements will be managed by TUSD Health Services, Site Point of Contact (POC), and school front office staff responsible for attendance. Isolation/quarantine requirements are detailed in the TUSD COVID-19 Reference Guide.
Individuals with a positive COVID-19 Diagnosis
Health Services will communicate to PCHD all positive test results. When necessary, PCHD will  assess the site for a possible COVID-19 outbreak and give directives to the site Point of Contact. In addition, the site administrator shall send a notification letter on behalf of PCHD to families of students and staff when there is a confirmed outbreak.

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 through the preferred database. TUSD COVID Dashboard for SY21-22 will continue with details by school. 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 maintained by the site POC.

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   In accordance with TUSD Governing Board action on August 4, 2021, face coverings are required for any person, two (2) years of age or older, while indoors on TUSD property, at TUSD events (including indoor sports events) or on a TUSD bus.  This applies to all individuals, including students, parents/guardians, staff, and visitors.
  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 eating more than 6 feet away from others.
  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.  
  1. The Transportation Department may provide additional direction for students and employees on the school bus.   
Students who refuse to wear a face covering may be provided an opportunity for remote learning at home.

Student Athletes

Student athletes may remove their face coverings  when directly participating in an activity associated with their sport. Student athletes shall wear face coverings at all times when not directly participating in their activity (i.e., during intake COVID screening, coach talks, pre- and post- practice/game preparation and while in dugouts, bleachers, and bench areas). It is recommended that athletes remain masked during close-contact drills.

Face coverings will be worn at all times while in the outdoor weight rooms.
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 (positive test or Covid-like symptoms) shall be offered a new Level #2 mask to wear while waiting to leave campus. 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 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 If a person identifies themselves or a family member as a close contact, current health information on COVID-19 will be provided through our TUSD Reference Guide for Students Staff and Families on the TUSD website

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. Furthermore, cleaning and disinfecting practices of impacted areas will take place after an individual with COVID like symptoms or a positive diagnosis leaves a school.  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 Beginning April 7, 2021, domestic employee and student district-related travel is allowed for all TUSD staff and students within the United States. District-sponsored international travel for TUSD staff and students remains on hold at this time.

Visitors Beginning April 7, 2021, parents, guardians, and families are now welcomed to tour any school of their choice in person. Visitors may schedule the tour directly with the school office of choice. Visitors are expected to follow all safety protocols while on campus.

Summer volunteers are now permitted in any of the TUSD sites. All volunteers are required to follow all district safety protocols including all the COVID safety guidelines.

Meetings and Gatherings Tucson Unified is committed to being a visible leader in physical distancing for the City and the County. As of July 20, 2021, the District encourages both remote and in-person options for meetings, as follows:
  1. Effective August 9, 2021, all district-level, and site-level staff and departmental meetings should occur virtually, when feasible
  2. Site Administrators will consider teacher and parent preferences, supervisor and employee preferences for conferences; employee interviews can be remote or in person; staff meetings may be remote; professional development may be in-person or remote, depending on activities (PD schedules will be shared with staff at the beginning of the year) –customer service should be a consideration when planning in-person versus remote gatherings;
  3. Food at meetings and events is permitted;
  4. In-person large employee gatherings will have social distancing whenever possible (with remote meeting as an option for larger gatherings when feasible);
  5. All school wide indoor assemblies are on hold – effective immediately; outside assemblies are permissible. –
  6. School events will be in-person (open house, meet the teacher, kinder round-up as examples)
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.

Student Teachers/Interns
Those engaged in student teaching, clinical practicums, intern/externships pursuant to agreements between institutes of higher education and the District may resume their activities on school sites as scheduled while schools are in in-person and hybrid instruction. Such individuals shall comply with all safety protocols.

Volunteers are a valuable resource for our school communities. However, in order to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19, schools shall engage volunteers only for activities that can reasonably be performed remotely until such time as COVID-19 conditions in Pima County warrant visitors and volunteers on campuses. Volunteers may be permitted, however, for outdoor sanctioned athletic activities at the discretion of the site administrator or designee, provided that the volunteers adhere to all mitigation protocols and sign the attestation as provided in this Regulation.

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]
Revised: February 17, 2021 (add hyperlinks) [SLT/Superintendent approved]
Revised: March 30, 2021 [SLT/Superintendent approved]
Revised: August 30, 2021 [SLT/Superintendent approved]
Revised: January 21, 2022 [Legal Dept revisions based on 01/11/22 Board discussion]


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