Health and Safety Precautions

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Back Together BVSD Prioririty 1 Ensure health, well-being and safety of all students and staff

The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority of our Back Together Reintroduction Plan.

In the reintroduction plan, BVSD will be focusing on health precautions and protocols in the areas of physical distancing, essential protective gear, increased cleaning and disinfecting, student cohorts, and health screenings.

Health and Safety Precautions

BVSD will be implementing a multi-layered approach to safety; not just one thing that will keep everyone safe. We will be implementing preventative measures to keep students and staff safe including:

  • Passive screening: Daily, before going to school, students and staff will check their temperature and fill in a questionnaire asking if they have symptoms or have been potentially exposed to COVID-19. Anyone who is sick or has been exposed is asked to stay home.

  • Required face masks: COVID-19 is spread by small droplets while breathing, speaking, etc. If someone is unknowingly sick, which is possible because some who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic, a properly worn mask can significantly help to keep infected droplets from reaching others, even in close proximity. By having everyone wear masks, it significantly reduces the risk of transmission.

  • Cohorting: BVSD and its schools have grouped students, so that in the event of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, we and our partners in public health can:

    • Contact Trace: quickly determine who may have been in close contact (Six or less feet for 15 minutes or longer)

    • Quarantine: proactively isolate individuals to prevent the further spread of the disease.

    • Monitor the situation: determine whether individuals in the cohort have contracted COVID-19 and whether further mitigation efforts are needed.

  • Frequent handwashing and sanitation: One of the key ways to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases is the frequency and effective practice of handwashing or the use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Throughout the day, handwashing will be scheduled and encouraged before, after and during certain activities, like eating lunch. 

  • Physical distancing, when possible: While we are not requiring that students be kept six feet apart, we recognize that distance is a valuable prevention strategy. Whenever possible, we will encourage the practice of physical distancing. Schools are reducing furniture in classrooms, so that desks can be as spread out as possible and whenever students are grouped together (for instance in lunch lines) we will encourage them to keep physical distancing. 

  • Essential Protective Gear (EPG): BVSD teachers and other staff members who are in close contact with children and school visitors have been issued a kit with face masks, face shields, plexiglass screens, hand sanitizer, and surface cleaners to provide them additional protection during the pandemic.

  • Improved filtration: Modifications have been made to BVSD’s HVAC systems to improve ventilation, including:

    • Maximization of the circulation of outdoor air to dilute potential contaminants

    • Replacement of filters

    • Preventative maintenance checks will be completed to ensure proper operation

    • Encouragement to move outside when possible

  • Staggered schedules: to prevent cross contamination, measures are being taken to keep different groups of students from mingling, including staggering recess times and in some cases the arrival and dismissal times of students. 

  • Training and Signage: This back to school every employee in BVSD was required to view training to help them better understand COVID-19 and ways to prevent the spread of the disease. Additionally, signage has been placed in our buildings to support the effective strategies for preventing the spread of the disease listed above.

Building Ventilation

See this document for information about ventilation in BVSD Buildings.

Case and Outbreak Considerations

  • Siblings will be considered close contacts and will need to quarantine 14 days if someone in their household is confirmed with COVID disease

  • CDPHE guidelines help determine COVID-like illnesses (flu, allergies, colds) vs probable COVID illness and when to exclude (quarantine)

  • Illnesses in school - are symptoms new or worsening vs expected for the individual?

    • Anything new, worsening or unexplained is sent home with follow up by the school nurse in 24 - 48 hours

State announces new reopening framework

The State of Colorado has moved to a new dial framework that allows counties to reopen their economies to the fullest extent possible while protecting their communities. This tool will provide transparency and predictability for local governments and allow for a visual representation of a county’s success in suppressing the virus.

The dial framework has five levels, from least to most restrictive, to guide county response to COVID-19:

  1. Protect Our Neighbors
  2. Safer at Home 1 - Cautious
  3. Safer at Home 2 – Concern
  4. Safer at Home 3 – High Risk
  5. Stay at Home

Currently Boulder County is at Level 2: Concern, which is the status quo to all activities and capacities Boulder County has been operating under up to this point. Track Boulder County’s progress and current status here.

Counties move between levels based on three metrics:

  • New cases: ​How much the virus is circulating in a county
  • Percent positivity​: Whether there is sufficient COVID-19 testing to capture the level of virus transmission
  • Impact on hospitalizations​:​ Whether hospitalizations are increasing, stable, or declining

Learn more about the dial framework

Community Indicators for Learning Phases

As BCPH shared at the Board Meeting on September 22, an indicator in the red is reason for heightened alert, further investigation and discussion, but does not automatically necessitate BVSD move to a different phase.

Community Indicators*

Remote

Hybrid

In-person

14 day case rate/100,000 past 2 weeks**

>100

50-100

<50

Trend in Case Rates past 2 weeks**

>50% increase

25-50% increase

<25% increase

Percent Positivity in Testing (BCPH and CCOB)

>7%

5% - 7%

<5%

Trend in case rates 5-19 yr olds past 2 weeks

>50% increase

25-50% increase

<25% increase

At least 85% of assigned COVID cases contacted within 24 hrs.

<40%

40-85%

>85%

*Boulder and Broomfield Community COVID indicators

**This data is available at CDPHE COVID Data

 BVSD Response to COVID cases

   Definition  How we respond

Single Confirmed Case

Confirmed with PCR test

Confirmed case isolates and the Classroom/Cohort is excluded (Quarantined for 14 days)

Cohort/Staff Confirmed Outbreak

Two or more confirmed cases from seperate households within 14 days

Confirmed cases isolate and all students and staff in classrooms/cohorts are excluded and quarantined for 14 days 

If outbreak and exposures are limited to one classroom or two classrooms, school closure not necessary.

Suspected Outbreak

One confirmed + more sick within 14 days OR single case in multiple classrooms OR
10% absenteeism in school

All confirmed cases isolate at home (10 days) - close contacts quarantine 14 days and we work with public health to determine next steps.

Confirmed School Outbreak

Three or more outbreak classrooms/cohorts

Confirmed cases isolate and all students and staff in classrooms/cohorts are excluded and quarantined for 14 days 

Consider school closure for up to 14 days