Health & Safety from the SFSD Nursing Staff

We want to thank YOU for taking the extra precautions this school year in helping us to do this as well. COVID-19 continues to change with new variants and the opportunity for transmission decreases with each mitigation effort that is implemented.

  • Please refer to our “Can My Student Go to School Today” Flowsheet every day before sending your child to school:
    • If your child has a cough, fever, chills, loss of taste/smell, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath: keep them home and call your school. Nursing will call you to follow up and determine when it is okay for them to return to the school building.
    • If your child has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days: keep them home and call your school. Nursing will call you to follow up and determine when it is okay for them to return to the school building.
    • If your child has been diagnosed with COVID-19: keep them home and call your school. Nursing will call you to follow up and determine when it is okay for them to return to the school building.
  • If your student stays home ill, please expect a call from the school and/or a school nurse to follow up and possibly help you determine the next steps.
  • Please continue to use the tools we have in preventing the spread of COVID-19:
    • Staying home when ill or exposed
    • Waring face coverings
    • Physical distancing
    • Practicing healthy respiratory hygiene habits
    • Getting vaccinated if you are eligible.
  • Stay informed:
    • If you have any questions or concerns regarding this information or any COVID-19 protocols we are following, please contact your school and ask for nursing to reach out to you!
    • More information can be found on the Oregon Department of Education’s Ready Schools website, and the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 website.
    • The SFSD website is planning to have a COVID-19 specific page that will include updated COVID-19 case numbers for our schools and resources.
  • Cooperation is Key:
    • In the event, a COVID-19 scenario occurs within your school (positive cases, outbreaks, exposures), you will receive notification from your principal. If you receive a call from the SFSD Nursing Staff or the health department, please answer that call. We are partnering closely with local public health officials, and they will provide support and direction for managing COVID-19 related scenarios that impact our school community.
    • Everyone in our community shares the responsibility to keep our communities safe and healthy. In order to return to full-time, in-person instruction, this responsibility requires each person to both maintain their own health and take actions to protect the health of those they come in contact with.

In addition to the protocols we have in place in our schools, the measures above are critical in keeping our students in the classrooms this year, and keeping our students, staff, and communities as safe and healthy as we can.

As our schools plan for the 2021-22 in-person school year, it is important to remember our communities will be living with the virus until there is widespread immunity. COVID-19 continues to change with new variants and our knowledge of mitigation efforts grows over time. We want to share the health and safety protocols we will have in place in our schools, along with steps we plan to take in response to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks, should they occur in our school during the 2021-22 school year.

Please refer to our Can My Student Go to School Today Flowsheet every day before sending your child to school:

    • If your child has a cough, fever, chills, loss of taste/smell, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath: keep them home and call your school. Nursing will call you to follow up and determine when it is okay for them to return to the school building.
    • If your child has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days: keep them home and call your school. Nursing will call you to follow up and determine when it is okay for them to return to the school building.
    • If your child has been diagnosed with COVID-19: keep them home and call your school. Nursing will call you to follow up and determine when it is okay for them to return to the school building.

If your student feels ill prior to coming to school, they should stay home.  Please expect a call from a school nurse to follow up and possibly help you determine the next steps.

If a student becomes ill at school, we will have a designated location at that school to separate people who have symptoms of COVID-19 from people who are not sick.   If your child becomes sick at school, please be prepared to pick them up as soon as possible.

  • Face Coverings: Face coverings are currently required for students and staff while indoors. Per the face-covering mandate beginning 8/13/21, they will not be required indoors during the following activities at school: while actively eating or drinking; while practicing or playing an extracurricular competitive sport at any level; and while playing a musical instrument that requires their mouth. They are required during indoor PE.
  • Physical Distancing: We will support physical distancing in all daily activities and instruction, maintaining at least 3  feet between students to the extent possible. Staff will be encouraged to maintain 6 feet distance from students and each other. Our schools will have signs and visuals to remind students, staff, and visitors.
  • Ventilation and Airflow: During the 2020-2021 school year, our maintenance and facilities department performed thorough ventilation assessments of all building spaces in the district. Each space that did not have adequate ventilation received a high-rated air purifier with HEPA filtration. Classrooms will be encouraged to open windows and doors when it is safe to do so to increase ventilation.
  • Handwashing: Hand washing will be taught and encouraged. Students and staff will have access to soap and water and hand sanitizer. Hand washing will occur at these intervals during the school day: Upon arrival, Before and after eating food, After using the toilet, After blowing nose/coughing/sneezing, Returning to the classroom from recess and  PE, and between interactions with different cohorts. Your student can bring their own hand sanitizer to school as long as it contains 60-95% alcohol.
  • Vaccination: Our schools bring together people who are fully vaccinated and people who are not fully vaccinated.  Everyone age 12 and older is eligible for a vaccine. Vaccination of students and staff is currently encouraged and not required to come to school. Vaccination supports a student’s access to in-person learning, sports, and extracurricular activities. Fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 are not required to quarantine unless they develop symptoms which ensures continuity of in-person instruction.

When staff and students show symptoms of being ill: if the student or staff member feels ill prior to coming to school,  they should stay home. If a student or staff member becomes ill at school, we will have a designated location at that school to separate people who have symptoms of COVID-19 from people who are not sick. If your child is home and sick, expect a call from a school nurse to help you determine the next steps. If your child becomes sick at school, please be prepared to pick them up as soon as possible.

When a staff member or a student tests positive for COVID-19: our school district will work with our local public health authority to take the next steps. This will include communicating with our school community and contacting those who may have been exposed. The school will notify you if your student comes in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.  The school will not share the identity of the individual who has COVID-19. Close contacts are identified by review of daily cohort logs, attendance records, and direct staff report.

We encourage you to review the information above and talk with your student(s) about what to expect. The transition back to school may prompt a range of emotions for you and your child – from anxiety and uncertainty to excitement and opportunity. It is a priority of SFSD to create safe spaces where your child feels safe, cared for, and connected to the learning environment.

  • If they are sick, even if they do not have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19
  • If they are showing symptoms of COVID-19
  • If they test positive for COVID-19, even if they show no symptoms
  • If they have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated
  • If a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?  

People with COVID-19 can have a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear 2-14  days after being exposed to the virus. However, it is still possible for someone with no symptoms to be able to spread the virus. Students displaying “primary” COVID-19 symptoms will be required to stay home from school. If a student shows any of the primary symptoms at school, they will need to be sent home from school. The “non-primary” COVID-19 symptoms may occur with other illnesses, in addition to COVID-19. If your student has multiple “non-primary” symptoms, please keep them home and monitor them for 24 hours to ensure they do not develop into  “primary” symptoms.

Primary symptoms of COVID-19: 

  • Cough
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell

Non-primary symptoms of COVID-19: 

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Close contact refers to when a person has come within about 6 feet of anyone who has COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, cumulatively, within a 24-hour period (with or without a face covering).

In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, students who are within 3-6 feet of another student with COVID-19 where both students are engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting face coverings may not need to quarantine. The school nurse will consult with the public health department regarding all scenarios for quarantine guidance.  

Isolation and quarantine are actions that help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe.  If your student:

  • Is exposed to COVID-19 in school, they will be asked to quarantine at home unless they are fully vaccinated.
  • • Receives a positive test for COVID-19, they will be asked to isolate at home.

If either of these situations occurs, you can anticipate a phone call from a school nurse and working with your school to arrange distance learning.

Isolation means that someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 stays home and stays away from other people in their home as much as possible. If your student, or anyone else in your home, tests positive for COVID-19, we ask that they follow isolation guidelines, including any specific instructions from the local public health department. Generally,  isolation will involve:

  • Staying at home for 10 days after symptoms appeared, AND remaining home until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications, and other symptoms have improved. During this time, individuals isolating will need to stay away from other people in the home as much as possible. They may stay alone in a bedroom or in another part of the home and use their own bathroom, as much as possible. It also helps to reduce the spread by staying out of areas of the house where people gather, such as the living room or kitchen.
  • Having one person to care for the individual with COVID-19, if possible. This caretaker should keep 6 feet of distance from other people in the house as much as possible, wear a face covering, and wash their hands often.
  • Having other members of the same household stay home for 14 days since their last contact with the person who has  COVID-19, as they are considered close contacts. See quarantine section for more information

Quarantine means keeping someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others outside their home.  A person can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms. Quarantine reduces the risk of accidentally spreading the virus to other people. If members of the same household have not directly been in close contact with someone who has  COVID-19, and they are not showing symptoms, they do not need to quarantine.

If your student, or anyone else in your home, has come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, we ask that they follow quarantine guidelines, including any specific instructions from the local public health department. Generally,  quarantine will involve:

  • Staying home for the 10-14 days following close contact with someone who has COVID-19, monitoring health and watching for symptoms. While a 14-day quarantine is most preferred, our local health department is currently supporting a  10-day quarantine as long as symptoms do not present through the 10th day.
  • Staying away from others, especially those with a high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. This means not participating in any activities outside the home.
  • Having one person to care for the individual in quarantine, if possible. The caregiver should keep their distance from other people in the house as much as possible and use a face covering, stay 6 feet apart as much as possible, and wash their hands often.
  • The incubation period (the period between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms) for the virus is 2-14 days but is typically 4-6 days.

Per Marion County Health & Human Services (our local health department), if the household member with COVID-19 is unable to be completely separated from others in the household—meaning in a completely separate building and not within the same house—all other household members must undergo an extended quarantine (unless fully vaccinated).  An extended quarantine is quarantining the 10 days while the person with COVID-19 is in their infectious period, and then another 10 days of quarantine. (Rationale: the person with COVID-19 can spread the virus at any time while  infectious (2 days before symptoms start to 10 days after) and the virus can take 2-14 days to present itself after being  infected.)

People who are vaccinated and have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 do not need to  quarantine if they meet the following criteria:

  1. They are fully vaccinated, meaning they have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine, or one dose of a single dose vaccine, AND it has been more than 14 days since completing the vaccine series, AND
  2. They have not shown symptoms since being exposed to COVID-19.

Public health guidance recommends that fully vaccinated people still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after being exposed and if symptoms develop, isolating at home and getting tested. They also recommend those that who are vaccinated and exposed get tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after the exposure date.

If they have symptoms of COVID-19, we ask they isolate at home for 10 days after symptoms started AND they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication), with other symptoms improving. If they do not have symptoms, we ask them to isolate at home for 10 days, starting after the date of their positive test. A negative test is not needed to return to school. An isolation period happens as follows:

  • Day 0: Symptoms start, and the isolation period begins
  • Day 1-10: Continue isolation
  • Day 11 or later: Return to school if they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)  and other symptoms have improved.

Since it is possible for someone without symptoms to still spread the virus, we ask that they isolate themselves at home and stay away from others in the home for 10 days. Everyone else who lives in the house is considered close contact. See the quarantine section for more information.

Although a 14- day quarantine is the safest option to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others, the health department may consider ending quarantine early for close contacts who have not developed any symptoms after 10 days of quarantine, without any testing. A quarantine period happens as follows:

  • Day 0: Date of exposure, and quarantine period begins
  • Day 1-10: Continue quarantine
  • Day 11 or later: Return to school as long as no symptoms have developed.

If individuals develop symptoms of COVID-19 during quarantine, please notify your school nurse immediately, and they will help you determine the next steps. We ask that they begin isolating within the home for 10 days, starting from the day they first showed symptoms.

If your student has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and is fully vaccinated, they do not need to quarantine. We ask that they still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after their exposure, and if they develop symptoms, we ask they isolate and seek testing. It is recommended for anyone who is vaccinated and exposed to get tested 3-5 days after the exposure date.

If the test result is negative, we ask that your student still stay home for the full 10-14 day quarantine period. It is possible they could still get sick, and if your student has COVID-19 but is not showing symptoms, staying home will greatly reduce the risk of spreading it to other people.

Being fully vaccinated means it has been more than 14 days since a person received the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine or more than 14 days since they received one dose of a single-dose vaccine. If it has been less than 14 days, they are not considered fully vaccinated. Please contact your health care provider regarding vaccine options.

If you or other household members were not exposed to the person with COVID-19, quarantine is not needed if your student remains healthy. If anyone in your household gets sick during the quarantine period, we ask that household members follow regular quarantine guidance, starting from the day the person who is sick first showed symptoms. (See quarantine section for more information.)

We ask that your student stay home for 10-14 days after their last contact with the household member with COVID-19  (quarantine) in case they get sick with COVID-19. Public health guidance recommends other members of the household also quarantine for 10-14 days to avoid possibly spreading the virus to others outside the home. The ill person will need to isolate. If your student is fully vaccinated, they do not need to quarantine.

  • Day 0: You are notified that your student is exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
  • Day 1: Your student begins the quarantine period, staying home for 10 days and not leaving the house.
  • Days 2 through 4: Your student is quarantining at home and remains healthy.
  • Day 5: Your student gets symptoms of COVID-19. Since your student has symptoms, they now switch to isolation and stay away from other people in the house for 10 days from today.
  • Day 14: Your student is feeling better but continues to isolate at home, staying away from others in the house.
  • Day 15: The 10-day isolation continues until the end of day 15.
  • Day 16 or later: Your student no longer needs to isolate at home and can return to school.

Multi-layer face coverings, when worn correctly, help to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 respiratory droplets and aerosols. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) summarizes multiple studies in which face coverings have decreased the rate of COVID-19 transmission. Click here to view the CDC summary

ODE Statement on Face Covering Effectiveness

  • Reusable masks should be washed whenever it gets dirty or at least daily.
  • If you have a disposable face mask, throw it away after wearing it once.
  • Always wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.

SHS Allowable Face Coverings
Cloth, polypropylene, paper, or other face-covering that cover the nose and mouth.  Appropriate face coverings must rest snugly above the nose, below the mouth, and on the sides of the face. If choosing to wear a gaiter, it must be made of two-ply fabric and not rolled over.

Bandanas and other items that do not fit snugly around the mouth, nose, and face are not allowed.  Mesh and any coverings with holes will not be allowed either.