Q: If a confirmed or probable COVID case is identified in a classroom, or on a school bus, who will be considered close contacts that need to be quarantined for 14 calendar days? Will this include the entire classroom or all the students on the bus?
A: Exposure in a classroom should be limited to everyone with whom the confirmed or probable COVID case had close contact, within 6 feet, for at least 15 minutes throughout the course of a day. Exposure on a bus must include everyone who sat within 6 feet of the confirmed or probable COVID case for 15 minutes or longer. A possible approach to identifying close contacts on a bus would be to include persons who sat 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind the confirmed or probable COVID case.
Q: What PPE is required to work in or attend school?
A: All persons on school grounds including students, teachers, school nurses, administrative and secretarial staff, food service personnel, custodial staff, public safety personnel, etc., must wear a face covering at all times when in school or in transit to and from school via group conveyance (i.e., school buses), unless a specific exemption applies.
Q: Can you provide recommendation on cleaning?
A: Schools should follow CDC’s guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools and homes. Cleaning and disinfection products should not be used by children or near children, and staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent children or themselves from inhaling toxic fumes.
Q: What kind of cleaning and disinfection should our school be doing routinely?
A: Enhance your standard cleaning and disinfection practices. Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection with a focus on areas that are commonly touched, such as doorknobs, stairwells, light switches, elevator buttons, etc. Disinfect seats and rails on school buses at least daily. Shared objects such as toys, games, art supplies, should be cleaned and disinfected between uses. Ensure cleaning and disinfection products are EPA-approved and used safely and in accordance with label directions.
Q: What are the guidelines for school buses during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Establish, where possible, physical barriers between school bus drivers and students.. Consider leaving seats near the driver open if barriers cannot be used.
Practice the 3 W's every time you are away from home and in close proximity to other groups of people. Wear a face covering. Wash your hands with soap and water. Watch your physical distance, staying at least 6 feet from others.
If possible, consider making foot-traffic unidirectional in narrow or confined areas in the bus to encourage social distancing. For example, by loading the bus from back to front and unloading from front to back.