Schools may visit the CDC office buildings guidance page https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/office-buildings.html for reference on how to make the school environment safe for facility and students.
Every school has been required to complete a School Site-Specific Protection Plan (SSSPP) and have it approved by Marin Public Health prior to reopening. The individual SSSPP is informed by the Marin County Public Health Guided Return to Site-Based Classroom Instruction, which includes a 30-point plan to facilitate the return to site-based instruction classroom instruction. Each completed SSSPP is available online for public viewing.
Every school must establish a multi-disciplinary Task force (I.e., teachers, custodians, school secretaries, para-educators, parents, students, and administrators) to develop and support a School Site-Specific Protection Plan. The task force meets regularly to monitor Public Health Information and adjust the plan based on input from all stakeholders as needed.
School staff must be trained in all SSSPP protocols before in-person instruction may resume. This training includes oversight from Marin Public Health. Additionally, it must be distributed to staff and families, and posted on each school’s website. A copy may also be posted on the school campus or office at a visible location, at or near the main entrance where students, staff and visitors can easily review it without touching the document, or post a Certificate of Completion with information on how to review the plan in its entirety online.
Signs must be posted at each of the primary staff and student entrances to inform all students, staff and visitors:
- • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not enter the facility;
- • Maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another;
- • Sneeze and cough into a cloth or tissue or, if not available, into one’s elbow;
- • Wear face coverings, as appropriate; and
- • Do not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact.
For more details on public health requirements for schools, please review, Marin County Public Health School Guidelines and CDPH's COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Schools and School-Based Programs.
All schools – public, private, parochial, and independent – much complete the School Site Specific Protection Plan (SSSPP), have it approved by Public Health, and train staff in all protocols prior to being allowed to reopen for in-person instruction.
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the following things should occur:
- Information is reported to school administration
- The person is sent home to isolate per Public Health Guidance.
- Families of the student/staff are quarantined and should pursue testing through their health care provider, local community clinic, or Marin Public Health.
- Student families and Staff of the affected cohort are notified by phone call and letter.
- The respective student/staff member’s classroom is closed for 14 days from the last known exposure. However, the rest of the school remains OPEN.
Students and staff should NOT come to school when:
- They have a fever of 100.4°F or higher or any symptoms of illness.
- Parents / guardians should check their child / children for symptoms of illness every morning before bringing them to school. If your child has any of the following more common symptoms of COVID-19, they must be tested for COVID-19 or stay at home and isolate for at least 10 days (“Test or 10”).
- Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher) or chills
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Not being able to taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
Students who exhibit the following less common symptoms of COVID-19 must be evaluated by a healthcare provider to determine if COVID-19 testing indicated:
- New onset of stuffy or runny nose (different from pre-existing allergies)
- Body aches
Fatigue or lethargy
- If a household member (including caregiver) has symptoms of COVID-19, they should contact their healthcare provider to schedule testing immediately. Students and staff must stay home until their household member tests negative for COVID-19. If the household member tests positive for COVID-19, your family must quarantine for 14 days from their last contact.
- If they had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 (e.g., relative, friend), they must stay at home and quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with the person who has COVID-19.
- Students with known underlying health conditions may be at increased risk of severe illness. These health conditions may include Diabetes (Type I and II), immune system deficiencies, or chronic respiratory conditions. If your child has a chronic health condition, please consult with your child’s healthcare provider to determine if/when it is safe to attend school.
Any student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been exposed to COVID-19 must stay home from school and follow Marin County Public Health’s At Home Quarantine & Isolation Safety Guidance. Parents / guardians must notify the school immediately if their child or household member tests positive for COVID-19 or if a household member may have been exposed to COVID-19. This information will be kept confidential.
Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.
- Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate according to Marin Public Health’s At home Quarantine & Isolation Safety (English) (Spanish). You should stay home and away from others during the duration of your isolation: do not go to school or work and do not run errands. Leave only if you have a medical emergency.
If you have been in “Close Contact” with people who have tested positive for COVID-19, you must quarantine according to Marin Public Health’s At home Quarantine & Isolation Safety (English) (Spanish). Your quarantine period lasts 14-days from when you were last in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19. Like isolation, you should stay home and away from others during quarantine: do not go to school or work and do not run errands. Leave only if you have a medical emergency.
“Close Contact” means:
- any household member
- individuals that have shared a home within 14 days of a person's COVID-19 diagnosis
- intimate partners
- someone who was within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or longer.
If you have tested for COVID-19 you must stay at home while waiting for results.
Cold, influenza and COVID-19 symptoms can be similar. Regardless, keeping the child home that is showing symptoms is a good way to reduce the spread of colds and flu within schools.
As for others in your household, if your child is showing symptoms, its important to evaluate your child’s symptoms and possible exposures to COVID-19 when deciding whether other children in your household should stay home. Marin Public Health has developed a decision tree to guide parents, based on whether the child has a fever or if the child was exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Marin County Public Health updated our guidance for schools on poor air quality days when COVID-19 is present in the community.
- When air quality is unhealthy (Air Quality Index of 151 – 200) we recommend significantly decreasing outdoor activities.
- When air quality is very unhealthy (201 – 300), we recommend suspending outdoor activities. At these levels, windows and doors should be closed, and (if available) ventilation systems with filtration should be used.
- Marin County Public Health will recommend school closures when AQI > 300 (Hazardous).
There may be situations when Marin County Public Health does not recommend school closures but individual schools and districts opt to close schools due to staffing or other reasons.
Your school site specific protection plan is designed the reduce the risk of COVID-19 being in the classroom / on campus. Staff should always wear face cover, wash hands, and clean & disinfect surfaces per protocol.
Each person on campus, whether student, staff, administrative, maintenance, etc, is required to wear a face covering.
A “Face Covering” means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. Face coverings should have two layers of fabric, but it does not need to be a medical-grade mask.
Face shields are acceptable when used with a face covering underneath OR the face covering includes a facial drape, such as the Humanity Shield.
Any mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling is not an acceptable face covering under Marin County’s and the State of California’s face covering order. A mask with a valve should not be used to comply with the Order’s requirements. Valves of that type permit droplet release from the mask, putting others nearby at risk.