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COVID-19 Guidance

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Issued March 12, 2020)

Guidance for Reducing Transmission of COVID-19 at Pre-K – 12 Schools

Guidance below is provided to ensure the health and well-being of students, teachers, and staff at schools in LA County. Because closing schools disrupts many lives and may place our most vulnerable children at risk, significant efforts will be made to create safe environments at our schools that reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. However, should one or more students, teachers, or staff test positive for COVID-19 and they exposed others at school, the school will need to close. The LA County Department of Health will work with school administrators, teachers, parents, and students to monitor the situation closely, issue exclusion orders as needed, and determine what actions should be taken before the school can re-open. By working together, we can all do our part to support thriving children and healthy communities.

The guidance below will be update as new information becomes available about COVID-19.

Enhanced Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 (to be implemented as soon as possible)

1. Health screening for staff, students and visitors on arrival (screening includes assessing for symptoms of respiratory illness and wherever possible, includes temperature checks). Staff, students and visitors should be reminded often to not come to school if they are ill, even with mild illness.

2. Students and staff who present with a fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms are sent home immediately. Separate them from others until they go home, preferably in a sick room through which others do not pass.

3. Exclude staff, students, and visitors from school for 14 days upon returning from travel to Italy, mainland China, South Korea, and Iran, as directed CDC*

*Countries listed may change. Check CDC website for countries listed at level 3 or higher travel alert.

4. Consider social distancing measures, wherever possible, at mealtimes and recess times to limit the numbers of students from different classrooms in close contact with each other.

5. Cancel and/or postpone large gatherings such as assemblies, mass celebrations, interschool activities, spectator attendance at sporting events, and school open houses.

6. No public use of indoor facilities and no public events at schools.

7. Consider re-engineering classrooms to create space between students’ desks and/or tables and chairs; modify circle time and classroom activities to minimize very close contact among students and teachers.

8. Cancel all school trips.

9. Tight regimen of personal and group hygiene that includes frequent handwashing for 20 seconds (at the beginning of the school day, before and after meals, after outside play, after using the restroom and before and after classroom activities that involve sharing supplies and materials). For students under 6 years of age, handwashing should be supervised.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Issued March 12, 2020)

10. Frequent cleaning and disinfection of school buildings, including multiple cleanings during the day of frequently touched spaces.

Measures to be Taken if One Student or Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19 and Exposes Others at School

1. The school will be closed for a period of time, as determined by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (LACDPH) based on the date(s) of exposure and the risk level; generally, this will be for 14 days.

2. Schools will have plans in place to support home-based learning for as many students as possible through multiple methods that best match the capabilities of the teachers and the needs of the students.

3. Schools will have plans in place that provide access through an appropriate distribution point to pre-packaged meals for as many students as possible who qualify for free and reduced-cost meals.

4. Schools will identify strategies to continue medical and social services usually provided as the school where possible for those students who require such support.

Measures to be considered if there is Significant Community Transmission and/or Many Schools within a School District Have Students or Staff who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19.

1. Closing schools across an entire district or region, the length of time for the school closures shall be based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by LAC DPH.

2. Closing and/or limiting public access to other venues within the school district where there are communal gatherings, community events, public entertainment, and/or sporting events. This will ensure that community transmission does not continue at other venues while school are closed.