Communicable Disease Prevention (Updated March 28, 2021)
Communicable Disease Prevention
The health and safety of our students and staff are of utmost importance in our work at Zion Lutheran Christian School. This Communicable Disease Prevention guideline is a summary of the Zion-specific application of the Ministry of Education’s Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings, in alignment with the Ministry of Health’s BCCDC COVID-19 Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools.
- Staff, students, and visitors must not enter the building if they are required to self-isolate.
- Staff and students with COVID-19 like symptoms should stay home and self-isolate until the symptoms have been resolved. (*see the Daily Health Check below for more information)
- Parents will be trusted to assess their children daily for any cold/flu/COVID-19 symptoms before sending them to school. Parents are encouraged to use the assessment tool or the K-12 Health Check App to help interpret symptoms. (*see the Daily Health Check below for more information)
- Staff will also self-assess, using the same daily health check and stay home if necessary.
Individuals Visiting the School
- Visitors are welcome in the building and will be asked to sign in when they arrive. Mask use is optional.
- Frequent hand washing will be encouraged and maintained for staff, students, and visitors.
- Frequency of handwashing (for students):
- upon arrival and before going home
- before and after any breaks (recess, lunch)
- before and after eating or drinking from the fountain
- after using toilet
- whenever hands are visibly dirty
- after sneezing or coughing into hands
- Frequency of handwashing (for staff):
- same as above plus:
- before and after assisting students with eating or handling food
- before and after giving medication to a student or self
- after contact with body fluids (runny noses, blood, spit, vomit)
- after cleaning tasks or handling garbage
- Staff will assist young children with handwashing as needed.
- Soap and water and hand sanitizer will be used for handwashing.
- Staff will wear gloves in the event of dealing with blood or bodily fluids. Hands will be washed before wearing the gloves and after disposing of the gloves.
- Food and drink sharing will be discouraged.
- Classroom and learning environment configurations and activities will be set up to best meet learner needs and preferred educational approaches. Where possible, consideration will be made to create space between people.
- Every effort will be made to avoid venue/locations that place additional requirements that could prevent a person from being able to participate. COVID-19 related safety protocols in place at the field trip site will be followed
Cleaning and Sanitizing
- General cleaning, including the removal of garbage and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, will happen on a daily basis. Frequently touched surfaces include, but are not limited to, doorknobs, light switches, railings, water fountains, faucet handles, toilet handles, desks, and chairs.
- The sharing of materials, including technology, will be limited. Students are assigned their own device to use.
- Frequently touched items (toys, manipulatives, gym equipment) that are not easily cleaned often, will be used with proper hand hygiene before and after use.
Non-Medical Mask Use
- The use of non-medical masks is not required for all staff, students, and visitors. Wearing a mask is a personal choice that will be respected.
Events and Gatherings
- For school gatherings that are held in person, the number of people will be limited to no more than 50% operating capacity of the space available. This will return to 100% capacity when the PHO Gathering and Events Order is lifted (expected April 7, 2022).
If Students or Staff Develop Symptoms of Illness
- If a student develops any symptoms of illness:
- Immediately separate the symptomatic student from others in a supervised area.
- Contact parent or caregiver to come pick up the student as soon as possible.
- Provide the student with a mask or tissues to cover their coughs and sneezes (throw away used tissues immediately and wash hands).
- Avoid touching bodily fluids.
- Wash hands diligently when student is picked up.
- Clean and disinfect the space where the student was separated and any areas recently used by them.
- If a staff member develops any symptoms of illness:
- Staff should go home as soon as possible.
- Symptomatic staff should separate themselves into an area away from others.
- Maintain a 2 metre distance from others.
- Clean and disinfect the space where the staff member was separated and any areas used by them.
Returning to School after Sickness
- If, based on symptoms, a COVID test was not recommended, students or staff can return to school when symptoms improve and they feel well enough.
- If, based on symptoms, a test is recommended, students and staff must stay home until they receive their test result.
- If the test is negative, they can return to school when symptoms improve and they feel well enough.
- If the test is positive, direction from public health on when they can return to school must be followed.
*See additional information under “Daily Health Checks” below.
*Daily Health Check for Staff and Students
Parents should check for the following key symptoms before sending their children to school:
- cough or worsening chronic cough
- shortness of breath
- loss of sense of smell or taste
- nausea and vomiting
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms and they are not related to a previously diagnosed condition (e.g. allergies, asthma, etc.), please keep your child home. Your child may return when the symptoms are improving and they are well enough.
NOTE for clarity: if your child is experiencing symptoms that are related to a previously diagnosed condition, or are not unusual for that individual, they can come to school.
When a COVID-19 test is recommended following a health assessment:
- If the test is positive, you should stay home for at least 5 days and you may return when there is no fever and symptoms are improving.
- If the test is negative, you can return to school once symptoms have improved and you feel well enough.