St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy

COVID-19 Outbreak Response Plan

Updated September 8, 2020

 

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Global Pandemic due to the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which causes Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and a rare condition of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) in children.  The St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy (SNOA) COVID-19 Outbreak Response Plan was developed as guidance while the United States is actively engaged in this Global Pandemic.

 

The key to controlling infectious disease outbreaks in a school setting is to have a robust system of reporting and outbreak response that involves school administrators, parents or guardians, students, school staff and local health officials.  Spread of illness is controlled by early detention, isolation, treatment, diagnosis and sanitation.  It is important that parents or guardians, students and staff are forthcoming with enough information initially to allow St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy (SNOA) and local health officials to determine where there is a potential outbreak.  Follow-up with remedial measures is crucial once an outbreak is determined.  Exclusions are a necessary extension of this measure to provide assurance that recovery and shedding of active causative agents are complete prior to student or staff returning to school.  We will not only monitor for outbreaks of COVID-19, but will also monitor potential outbreaks related to Influenza, Norovirus, Pertussis and Varicella.  The purpose of this plan is to provide a framework for an outbreak response, and it will require collaboration of all parties associated with St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy.

 

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

 

  • All decisions based on a foundation of “Do No Harm”
  • To ensure the safety and well-being of all students and staff
  • To ensure all student, family, and staff basic needs are being met
  • To promote equity and accessibility to learning for all students
  • To ensure that we maintain high academic expectations and provide instructional delivery systems to meet the needs of all students
  • Foster positive relationships and interactions
  • To follow, as practical, all federal, state and local health related guidelines and mandates that pertain to the operations at St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy (SNOA):
    • State of Nevada Declaration of Emergency Directives issued by Governor Steve Sisolak in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
      • Emergency Directive 021 defining social distancing as guidance promulgated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from other individuals, dated May 28, 2020;
      • Emergency Directive 022 requiring all schools to develop plans for reopening school buildings, providing instruction, and related activities, based on Nevada’s Path Forward: A Framework for a Safe, Efficient, and Equitable Return to School Buildings, dated June 9, 2020, and any subsequent guidance issued by the Nevada Department of Education;
      • Emergency Directive 024 requiring individuals to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or face covering when in public spaces, dated June 24, 2020;
      • Whereas Governor Sisolak, State of Nevada, pursuant to the March 12, 2020, Emergency Declaration, hereby ordered effective July 28, 2020, further directives (summarized):
      • Section 1 – All schools monitor local and statewide COVID-19 data and community transmission rates and consult with local public health officials when making determinations regarding delivering instruction through in-person or distance learning.
      • Section 2 – Schools may adopt social distancing protocols with the following minimum allowable distances:
        • Pre-school, elementary and middle school students, not less than 3 feet apart from other students;
        • High school students and school staff at all levels, not less than 6 feet apart from all other individuals;
        • 50% capacity in all individual school buildings and areas on a school campus, but may not exceed 50 individuals no matter what total capacity is.
      • Section 3 – School leaders may request a variance for all school facilities or specific buildings from Section 2 (SNOA did not request or obtain any variance approvals).
      • Section 4 – Face coverings directives will apply to schools as follows:
        • All kindergarten through 12th grade students and all school staff must wear face coverings on school campuses unless approved for a medical or an IEP exemption;
        • Any parents, vendors, volunteers, visitors and guests who are unable or unwilling to wear a face covering under any circumstances or exemptions should not be allowed on school campuses.
      • Section 5 – All schools shall require all students and schools’ staff to follow isolation and quarantine guidelines and instructions provided by local health officials when a positive COVDID-19 case, presumptive positive case, or contact with a case or presumptive positive case occurs.
      • Section 6 – Schools shall continue to provide vital services and instruction to Nevada’s students as directed by the Statue Superintendent of Public Instruction:
        • School personnel shall be paid in accordance; and;
        • May be re-assigned as necessary to support students, including support with distance learning and the instructional needs of children and other emerging needs; and
        • May perform duties while away from school buildings and campuses, including from their homes.
      • Section 7 – Schools may reopen school athletic fields for student athletics, training and practices in accordance with Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association. (Note: this does not pertain to St. Nicholas Academy)
      • Section 8 – Schools may implement hybrid learning models through which in-person instruction is offered concurrently with distance education if needed.
      • Section 9 – 11 do not pertain to the operations at St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy.

 

 

REQUIRED COMPONENTS:

 

  • Daily health screenings and temperatures checks for all staff and students will take place each morning upon arrival to school. Our School Administrator will be responsible for checking-in the students and staff, and performing a temperature check and a health screening daily for all students and staff.  If anyone is exhibiting any cold or flu related symptoms or has a temperature greater than 100.5F, they will be isolated from others and will need to be sent home and we will monitor their condition.  In addition, Form COVID-19 Symptom Triage Form will need to filled out.

 

  • Daily logs and other related materials will be scanned into the school computer and kept on file by the School Administrator. The daily logs will be needed for any inquires or for contact tracing purposes, which will be coordinated with the Washoe County Health Department.

 

  • All students will enter and exit the school building using the north entrance.
    • Student arrival shall be no earlier than 8:45 a.m., unless other arrangements have been made in advance.
    • All students should be picked up no later than 3:15 p.m., unless other arrangements have been made in advance or the student has an elective class that meets after school.
    • All students and/or parents will need to sign in and out each day.
  • Staff will need to report to the north entrance daily before the start of classes.

 

  • All students, teachers and staff are required to wear face masks, except when medically exempt (Pursuant to the June 24, 2020, Emergency Declaration by Steve Sisolak, Governor of the State of Nevada).
    • If students and staff want to bring their own face masks and they are not disposable, we request they be washed every week.
      • Disposable face masks will be provided by St. Nicholas if needed at no cost.
    • Face masks must be worn at all times while in the school buildings except:
      • During lunch breaks.
      • No masks are required while outdoors as long as social distancing (6 feet or more) is practiced.

 

  • All students and staff will be trained on proper respiratory and hand hygiene practices.
    • There are multiple hand sanitizing stations through the school campus buildings and classrooms, and students and staff will be required to wash hands and sanitize multiple times during the day.

 

  • All students and staff will be required to social distance at a distance of 6 feet, except for the elementary school age children are required to social distance at a distance of 3 feet (Pursuant to the March 12, 2020, Emergency Declaration by Steve Sisolak, Governor of the State of Nevada).
    • Students will be assigned seats for appropriate social distancing.
    • The classrooms and common areas are all marked with social distancing floor placemats and reminders to ensure compliance.

 

  • Students will receive daily recess and lunch breaks; however, classes will be separated in different areas of the school campus and the times will be staggered. Students will eat lunch in their classrooms or assigned outdoor area/playground.

 

  • Physical education, performing arts (piano and voice) and equine will be offered as electives and given to the best of our ability to ensure social distancing (Pursuant to the March 12, 2020, Emergency Declaration by Steve Sisolak, Governor of the State of Nevada).

 

  • Daily Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols – the school classrooms, playground, equipment and common school areas will be cleaned and disinfected daily, Monday through Thursday after school, by our Facilities Groundskeeper.
    • All desks, chairs, all high-touch common areas such as handrails, stairways, doorknobs, etc. and all books, equipment (including playground) and supplies will be disinfected daily using anti-bacterial wipes and UV lighting. All classroom floors and common area floors will be mopped nightly.
    • All trash will be removed nightly.
    • The school buildings will be professional cleaned each weekend by an outside contractor.
    • In the event that a student or staff member has a confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the affected classrooms, play area and common areas will be cleaned and highly sanitized upon the return of that classroom and staff.

 

  • There will be no shared supplies, and each student will be provided with their own caddy or zipper pouch that will contain pencils, pens, erasers, crayons, glue sticks, etc.
    • Students will be asked to limit the number of personal items brought into the classrooms, i.e. a small backpack, lunchbox, winter coat or laptop bag (high school students) and will be required to carry them with them daily.
    • In addition, there will be no sharing of food, condiments, drinks or utensils.
  • School visitors will be restricted to those required for school business. All visitors and/or contacted personnel will be required to wear a mask and will also be screened upon arrival.

 

In addition, students and staff may be absent from school for a variety of reasons.  In order to further control the spread of illness, it is important that a report of absence from parents, guardians or staff include whether the absence is due to illness and the specific symptoms.  While the SNOA staff member receiving the call is not expected to diagnose any specific condition, it is expected that the symptoms are logged and school administrators are notified of the absence in order to determine if further action or concern is warranted.  (Form: School Script for Reported Absence)

 

Exclusion of ill individuals from the school campus is necessary to ensure the safety and protect the wellness of all students and staff.  Period of exclusion depends on the specific illness and time it takes for recovery, followed by the time it takes shedding of causative agents to cease.  Additionally, the extent of exclusion depends on the illness and the number of individuals exposed.  Close contacts identified through Contact Tracing may require further exclusions which will be determined by the Washoe County Health Department.  As of the date of this Outbreak Response Plan, exclusions for COVID-19 and other commonly outbreaks of illness include:

 

  1. Symptomatic or Positive COVID-19 – an induvial with symptoms of COVID-19, or an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, is to isolate at home, safely separated from others in the household, until the following criteria are met:
  • At least ten (10) days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and,
  • Twenty-four (24) hours have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of:

o fever without the use of fever reducing medications, and

o gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., diarrhea, vomiting); and,

  • Other symptoms have improved.
  1. COVID-19 Close Contacts – close contacts are those who spent fifteen (15) minutes or more within six (6) feet of a confirmed case when the case was considered infectious. Close contacts are excluded for fourteen (14) days and must self-isolate for fourteen (14) days after their last exposure to the COVID-19 case. Close contacts who are subsequently confirmed as a COVID-19 case must follow the exclusion and isolation of a COVID-19 case from first day of onset.
  2. Influenza-like Illnessif an individual has a negative COVID-19 test, a positive test for an influenza-like illness or other infection, and no known contact with a COVID-19 case, the individual will be excluded until the individual is symptom free for twenty-four (24) hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Otherwise, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the influenza like illness would be treated as the same as the COVID-19 exclusion if COVID-19 is not ruled out and individual tests positive for influenza.
  3. Gastrointestinal (GI) Illness – if an individual has a negative COVID-19 test and no known contact with a COVID-19 case, the individual will be excluded until the individual is symptom free for forty-eight (48) hours without the use of fever-reducing or anti-nausea/vomiting medication. Otherwise, due to overlap of GI symptoms with COVID-19 and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) in children, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a GI illness would be treated as the same as the COVID-19 exclusion if COVID-19 is not ruled out.
  4. Pertussis (also known as Whopping Cough) – Exclusion will last a minimum of five (5) days after the first dose of prescribed antibiotic treatment and until the individual is symptom free following treatment. Unvaccinated persons are excluded for twenty-one (21) days after an exposure. If the unvaccinated person chooses to be vaccinated, the exclusion will be shortened to fourteen (14) days following vaccination.
  5. Other Illness Exclusions – Additional illness may require exclusion, such as Norovirus, Chicken-Pox and other communicable infections which will be determined by the school administrators, the most recent protocols published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Washoe County Health Department (WCHD). If exclusion requires medical evaluation and clearance or Health District oversight, WCHD will send a letter to the school and the patient or patient’s family outlining the details of the exclusion requirements.

CLOSURE OF ROOMS AND SCHOOLS

 

During outbreaks, closure of rooms and/or the school is sometimes necessary to reduce the risk of spread of illness. Classrooms will be closed on the basis of the need to sanitize and eliminate close contact exposures. If several rooms are affected in a building, the entire school may be closed. In addition, if there is substantial risk of spread of contagion or severe illness, the school may be closed. The requirement to close and extent and length of closure of a classroom or the entire school depends on the specific illness and measures that must be taken to control the spread of illness and ensure the safety of students, staff, their families and the community. The following applies:

 

  1. Closure of Classrooms or Other Areas– For any vomiting or fecal incidents in a classroom or other areas, the classroom or area shall also be closed and sanitized prior to being reoccupied.
  2. Closure of Entire School Campus – For any infectious disease, SNOA may be closed as a necessary means to control the spread of illness throughout the SNOA campus. St. Nicholas shall be closed under the following criteria:
  3. Directives from the Governor of the State of Nevada, Washoe County Health District or the Nevada Department of Education; and/or,
  4. Indeterminate or high risk of exposures to highly infectious diseases or diseases with high risk of serious illness, such COVID-19, Pertussis or Norovirus, school-wide; and/or,
  5. Uncontrolled outbreaks exceeding thirty (30) days.

Sanitizing protocols will be implemented in sections of the school that are open during an outbreak. As a supplemental measure to sanitizing affected rooms and areas, increase of airflow is recommended and can be accomplished by air handling systems and opening doors and windows.

 

The length of closure will be determined by potential exposures as indicated by case reports and contact tracing as well as updated information from the Washoe County Health Department (WCHD) and CDC guidelines to reduce spread. There are currently four (4) levels of closure that may apply:

 

  1. Closure for twenty-four (24) hours to allow for sanitizing and air exchange (Level 1). Level 1 is for individual cases in isolated areas, not to exceed the expected number of illnesses with COVID-19 symptoms and up to one (1) positive case per classroom or work area. Level 1 Closure will likely be extended if close contacts cannot be identified and interviewed.
  2. Closure for seventy-two (72) hours to allow for further investigation by WCHD and school administrators (Level 2). Level 2 is for two (2) or more positive cases in the same room or work area and individual cases in isolated areas exceeding the number of expected illnesses with COVID-19 symptoms.
  3. Closure for ninety-six (96) hours to fourteen (14) days to allow for determination of asymptomatic spread (Level 3). A Level 3 closure is the longest intermittent range for closure and is implemented if contact tracing and case reports do not indicate that potential spread has been controlled within seventy-two (72) hours, a very likely extension of Level 2 in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  4. Closure for a period of time beyond fourteen (14) days to be determined by WCHD and/or State Directives or school administrators (Level 4). A Level 4 closure for an extended period will occur if an outbreak remains out of control at SNOA or within the general population. A Level 4 closure will end once an outbreak is declared over and restrictions are lifted by the State of Nevada and/or WCHD. Outbreaks are generally declared over by WCHD when reports of illness are below baseline and potential for close contact spread has been resolved.

Levels of closure for outbreaks other than COVID-19 may vary.

 

Communication with families, staff and the community are crucial to ensure that they understand the reason for the closure and what is being done to address the outbreak.

 

In the case of an outbreak, St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy will work as quickly as possible with the Washoe County Health Department for determining the cause of illness to provide contact information timely so interviews can be conducted, and samples collected as necessary.  If SNOA suspects a student or staff member may have COVID-19, they will be sent for a COVID test immediately, at the expense of SNOA, and a positive test result will be shared with the Washoe County Health Department.  Immediate communication will occur with the school community and sanitization procedures will be implemented immediately.

 

During a school closure, it may be necessary for school staff to occupy buildings. Such occupancy will only be allowed by the determination of the Executive Director and following guidelines to reduce exposure and spread of illness.

 

In the event the entire school or an individual classroom is compelled to close, the school will resume immediately with full distance learning virtually with a combination of asynchronous learning from our online learning platform and live online Zoom instruction.  Time spent on instruction will vary by grade level; however, students will engage with learning daily and attendance will be mandatory.

 

EMPLOYEE EXPOSURE

 

If a staff member of St. Nicholas Academy is exposed to anyone with a positive COVID-19 test or to someone who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, they must notify Human Resources immediately.  Such employee will be asked to self-quarantine and will be sent for a COVID-19 test, at the expense of SNOA.  Such employee may not return to work without a written negative test result or a written doctor’s note stating the employee is no longer at risk of spreading COVID-19.

 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires employers to provide employees with paid leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work or unable to telework.  These provisions of FFCRA are applicable through December 31, 2020:

 

  • A full-time employee is eligible for 80 hours of paid leave, and a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period, where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or,
  • A full-time employee is eligible for up two-weeks of paid leave at 2/3rd the employee’s regular rate, and a part-time employee is eligible for paid leave at 2/3rd the employee’s regular rate for the number of hours that the part-time employee is normally scheduled to work over that period, because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
    • Per FFCRA, St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy, as an employer with less than 50 employees and as a religious, non-profit organization, is exempt from the provisions to allow up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at 2/3rd the employee’s regular rate where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Paid sick time provided under this Act does not carry over from one year to the next. It does not accrue, nor may it be paid out if not used.  Employees are not entitled to reimbursement for unused leave upon termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.
  • The paid leave as described above (not to exceed 80 hours) afforded under FFCRA is separate from an employee’s personal time off (PTO) bank; in addition, part-time employees who are not eligible to earn PTO are eligible to receive paid sick leave under FFCRA.
  • No employee who appropriately utilizes paid sick leave under FFCRA will be discharged, disciplined or discriminated against for work time missed due to this leave.
  • An employee may elect to use any available accrued PTO not covered under FFCRA if needed. See Employee Handbook Section 5.6 Personal Time-Off (PTO).

 

 

 

Procedure for Requesting Emergency Paid Sick Leave under FFCRA:

 

  • Employees must notify their supervisor and Human Resources of the need and specific reason for leave under this procedure.
  • Employees should submit to Human Resources a completed “FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick Leave Form” on the first day or as soon as is practical. Human Resources will determine if the request for paid leave qualifies under FFCRA and will notify the employee of the determination.

 

Employees demonstrating symptoms of, or diagnosed with, a non-COVID-19 illness may utilize their available PTO to remain in a paid status if eligible for PTO.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

In summary, the St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy Outbreak Response Plan has essential components for reporting illnesses, controlling the spread of illness, and timely communication during outbreaks. It is inclusive of tools used by the Washoe County School District, Washoe County Health Department, Nevada Department of Education, Nevada School Choice Coalition, and Nevada Charter and Private Schools.   It is imperative to keep information herein updated as guidelines change. Therefore, various sections will be revised, and practices augmented to reflect the best information available at any point in time as illnesses may occur.

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS REGARDING THE ST. NICHOLAS ORTHODOX ACADEMY COVID-19 REPSONSE PLAN, PLEASE REACH OUT IMMEDIATELY TO DR. JANET CUMMINGS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OUR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR, OR HUMAN RESOURCES.

 

 

APPENDICES

 

COVID-19 Symptom Triage Form

School Script for Reported Absence

 

 

 

COVID-19 SYMPTOM TRIAGE FORM

 

Student or Staff Name: __________________________Grade: ________Date: _____________

 

Date/Time Symptoms Started: ___________________ Ongoing:     Yes   or    No

Date/Time Last Symptom:        ____________________

 

Fever > 104.5° Yes No Unknown Chills/Muscle Aches Yes No Unknown
Difficulty Breathing Yes No Unknown Headache Yes No Unknown
Cough Yes No Unknown Chest Pain Yes No Unknown
Nausea or Vomiting Yes No Unknown Sore Throat Yes No Unknown
Diarrhea Yes No Unknown Abdominal Pain Yes No Unknown
Loss of Smell or Taste Yes No Unknown In close contact with a person with COVID-19 Yes No Unknown

 

Notes or Other Symptoms:

 

***********************************************************************************

Reported Taken By:

 

Name:    __________________________Title: ____________________Date: ________________

 

Outcome/Protocol Taken:

 

SCHOOL SCRIPT FOR REPORTED ABSENCES

 

Student or Staff Name: __________________________Grade: ________Date: _____________

Who Reported Absence: _____________________Staff Who Took the Call: _______________

Date/Time Symptoms Started: ___________________ Ongoing:     Yes   or    No

Do symptoms include the following:

Fever > 104.5° Yes No Unknown Chills/Muscle Aches Yes No Unknown
Difficulty Breathing Yes No Unknown Headache Yes No Unknown
Cough Yes No Unknown Chest Pain Yes No Unknown
Nausea or Vomiting Yes No Unknown Sore Throat Yes No Unknown
Diarrhea Yes No Unknown Abdominal Pain Yes No Unknown
Loss of Smell or Taste Yes No Unknown In close contact with a person with COVID-19 Yes No Unknown
Notes or Other Symptoms:

Script to end the call with:

Due to the symptoms reported, please keep your child at home until:

  1. Symptom-free for 24 hours without medication; and,
  2. Student is or has not been in close contact with anyone sick with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms, or other influenza type infections,
  3. If suspected to have COVID-19, we will need a copy of a negative COVID-19 test. In the absence of a negative test, the individual must self-quarantine for at least 10 days and no longer present with any symptoms.

We can change your child over to distance learning immediately.  The teacher will reach out to you to explain how to access distance learning.  Your child will check in daily and will not be marked absent.  If your child is too sick to participate, please let us know when your child is feeling better and we will arrange with their teacher make-up work, or at that time begin distance learning.

 

Outcome/Protocol Taken:

 

 

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St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy
16255 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89521
775.544.5565

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St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy is operated as an exempt school under the provision of NRS 394.211 and as such is exempt from the provisions of the Private Elementary and Secondary Authorization Act.
Our curriculum, exclusive of religious instruction, provides equivalent instruction of the kind and amount approved by the State Board of Education (NRS 392.070, 394.125, 394.130, NAC 389 Standards).

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