Health & Safety Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Health & Safety Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated February 2, 2021

What does it mean when the plan says “a safe school day begins *before* you get to school?”

Every day, students, families, and school staff should self monitor for symptoms, and stay home if you feel sick. Regularly check in with family members, housemates, and friends you have seen in person to maintain awareness of possible exposure and stay home if you are aware of possible exposure.   

Employees will complete daily health questionnaires as required by SFDPH to affirm they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have not tested positive for COVID-19, and are not a close contact with anyone exposed to COVID-19. Employees experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, who have tested positive, or who have been informed they are a close contact will be directed to stay home. Families will complete daily screening of their child(ren) to affirm they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have not tested positive for COVID-19, and are not a close contact. Students experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, who have tested positive, or who have been informed they are a close contact are expected to stay home.

 

What daily safety routines will be different as part of in-person instruction?

The following daily routines are planned for to help ensure safety:

At SCHOOL:

  • Students will be screened each morning for COVID-19-like symptoms prior to entry. 
  • Students and employees will be provided a face covering if they do not have one. 
  • Students experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms will be isolated in designated areas and a family member will be contacted to pick up the child immediately. 
  • Students ages 2-9 should wear a face covering and adults must supervise use of face coverings. Students ages 10 years and older will be required to wear a face covering. Students with documented medical or behavioral contraindications to face coverings are exempt. 
  • High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected daily. 
  • Non-essential visitors to school sites will be minimized as feasible. All visitors must wear a face covering at all times. 

In the CLASSROOM: 

  • Students and employees will stay in stable cohorts throughout the day. 
  • Supplies will be in place to limit the sharing of objects. 
  • School meals will be offered and meals will be eaten in classrooms or outdoors, where possible. 
  • Recess will be offered outdoors and cohorts will not be allowed to mix. 

 

Will there be training for staff about the safety protocols required?

Yes, employees will be required to complete health and safety training prior to returning to school. The training covers prevention measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19,such as staying home when ill, washing hands frequently, social distancing, and wearing face coverings. 

The SFDPH and CDPH guidelines are regularly updated and, as that happens, new information regarding prevention and general safety measures is shared. SFUSD staff regularly review the guidelines and update the training protocol and information for staff and families as needed. 

 

Will there be training for families about the safety protocols needed?

Yes. As part of the return-to-school registration packet, families will be provided with detailed information on health and safety protocols including the expectation of daily health screenings at home, students staying home when ill, and actions to take at school that reduce the spread of the virus. These actions include wearing a face covering, frequent hand washing or disinfecting, and social distancing. Prior to returning to in-person instruction, each school will host Health and Safety Protocol Information Sessions regarding the application and enforcement of the plan. 

The SFDPH and CDPH guidelines are regularly updated and, as that happens, new information regarding prevention and general safety measures is shared. SFUSD staff regularly review the guidelines and update the training protocol and information for staff and families as needed.

 

Will there be testing available for staff and students?

Yes. SFUSD will conduct staff and student surveillance testing per public health guidelines. More details will be available once a new date to return to in-person learning has been set. Anyone who has a COVID-19 positive test will be required to isolate for a minimum of 14 days or until they meet the SFDPH requirements for return to school.

What if someone at my student’s school tests positive for COVID-19? What happens then?

While we are doing what we can to prevent this from happening, we understand it is still possible that someone may test positive for COVID-19. SFUSD has created protocols based on SFDPH guidelines for the identification and tracing of contacts. The protocols summarize actions to be taken for multiple scenarios. Students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to COVID-19 will be offered resources for rapid testing. SFDPH has committed to contacting families and staff to refer them to their primary care provider or to SFDPH test sites for rapid testing. 

Another key part of safety measures is timely communication to inform staff, students, and families when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. A communication protocol has been developed which involves informing staff and families if they are considered a close contact per SFDPH guidelines. If a staff or a student was in the building, but is not considered a close contact, they will receive a general notification memo. Labor partners will also be informed following the guidance per AB 685.

 

Will a school close if one person tests positive for COVID-19? At what point would a school close?

Individual school closure is recommended based on the number of cases, the percentage of the teacher/students/staff who test positive for COVID-19, and following consultation with the Local Health Officer. Individual school closure may be appropriate when there are multiple cases in multiple cohorts at a school or when at least 5 percent of the total number of teachers/students/staff are cases within a 14-day period, depending on the size and physical layout of school.

SFDPH has committed to working closely with SFUSD to implement the outbreak management plan to determine when to physically close campuses and prohibit in-person instruction. While every situation is unique, SFUSD will follow the CDPH guidelines outlined in their July 17 Reopening Schools Framework.

 

If a school is closed due to an outbreak, when may it reopen?

Schools may typically reopen after 14 days and the following have occurred:

  • Cleaning and disinfection 
  • Public health investigation 
  • Consultation with the local health department

No one at my school has tested positive for COVID-19 but there is talk of the district closing schools. Why is this and when would this happen?

The California Department of Public Health issued guidance on when a district should close schools for in-person instruction. Their guidance states that a superintendent should close a school district if 25% or more of schools in a district have closed due to COVID-19 within 14 days, and in consultation with the local health department.

 

If the district is closed to in-person instruction, when may it reopen?

Per the California Department of Public Health, districts typically reopen after 14 days in consultation with the local health department

What is the School Site CCT? Should my school have one?

The School Site Coordinated Care Team (CCT) is led by the site leader and facilitated by the nurses, social workers, and counselors assigned at the school. The CCT will work closely with the central office COVID-19 liaison to coordinate support from the SF Department of Public Health (SFDPH) ensuring a “warm handoff” either for contact tracing or for referring families to the resources provided by SFDPH such as a place to quarantine, food, and cleaning supplies.