Fayetteville-Manlius cooperates with state and local health departments’ contact tracing. The district will assist public health departments in knowing who may have had contact at a school with a confirmed case by:
- Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members;
- Ensuring student schedules are up to date;
- Keeping a log of any visitors, including date, time and where in the school they visited;
- Assisting local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual at school in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program; and
- Maintaining confidentiality as required by federal and state laws and regulations.
School staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local department of health.
Once a lab-confirmed case has been reported to the Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD)
- A staff person (case investigator) from OCHD will contact the person who has a confirmed case and, in the case of a student, their parent/guardian.
- The OCHD will interview the person with the confirmed case and identify contacts.
- School personnel will assist the health department in identifying any specifics pertaining to the exposure.
- The person with the confirmed case will be put in isolation for 10 days.
- Release from isolation can only be granted by the OCHD.
A contact tracer will interview all contacts
- All contacts of a person with a confirmed case will be interviewed to determine exposure risk.
- A 10-day quarantine from the last day of contact with the confirmed case as determined by the contact tracer.
- If a person develops symptoms during quarantine, they need to get tested for COVID-19 and then follow the directives by the county.
- Those directed to quarantine will be monitored by contact tracers for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Contacts who develop symptoms will become a Person Under Investigation (PUI) and are referred for testing and further investigation.
- Positive tests for PUI are reported to the OCHD, and the process begins again.
- Release from quarantine can only be granted by the OCHD.
Guidance from the OCHD on a school closure related to a positive case
- School closure depends on the rate of infection in the community.
- Closure will occur with the consultation and guidance of the OCHD and can vary depending on the situation:
- One such example is if there are two separate, and seemingly unrelated, cases in two different classrooms of the same building.
Each school and/or district reopening plan has written protocol that complies with DOH and CDC guidance for the return to school of students and staff following a positive screen for COVID-19 symptoms, illness or diagnosis of confirmed case of COVID-19 or following quarantine due to contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Return to school will be coordinated with the local health department.
After a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, he/she will be tracked by the Onondaga County Health Department. The individual may not return to the school campus until “released” by the county. There will be no exceptions to this protocol. The county health commissioner will determine when a school building should be closed due to increasing infection rates.
Each school and/or district reopening plan has written protocol to clean and disinfect schools following CDC guidance.
When cleaning and disinfecting schools, Fayetteville-Manlius will follow the CDC’s Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection for Schools This guidance will be applied and includes classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, libraries, all common areas of the school buildings, and school buses. In addition, high-touch surfaces and shared objects will also be disinfected.
To help with cleaning and disinfection, Fayetteville-Manlius will perform the following:
- Keep accurate attendance records of students and staff members;
- Ensure student schedules are up to date;
- Perform routine cleaning and disinfecting in order to decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure;
- Provide disinfection using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectants against COVID-19;
- Provide more frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched or used by multiple people;
- Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children;
- Disinfect all classrooms and common areas daily (Monday through Friday) while high-touch surfaces will be disinfected, at a minimum of, three times each school day. Shared objects will be disinfected between each use when practical to do so; and
- Maintain logs that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection in a facility or area.
- Custodial staff will be equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by the district;
- Custodial staff will be properly trained on the proper use of all cleaning and disinfection methods, supplies and chemicals;
- All school classrooms, bathrooms and all other common areas will be cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis Monday through Friday;
- High-touch surfaces will be sanitized or disinfected three times a day, at a minimum; and
- Objects used by multiple students (i.e. cafeteria tables) will be sanitized or disinfected after each use and before the next student is allowed to use the object when it is practical to do so. The sharing of certain objects and instructional materials such as pens, calculators and art supplies will be discouraged.
As previously indicated, Fayetteville-Manlius will clean high-touch surfaces frequently (at least three times each school day) throughout the day. Examples of high-touch surfaces include but are not limited to:
- Doorknobs and doors;
- Handles and railings;
- Toilets and restrooms;
- Faucets and sinks; and
- Water fountains.
Students will not be present when disinfectants are in use and will not be asked or required to participate in cleaning and/or disinfection activities.
Air filtration and ventilation:
To increase filtration levels, the district will change the filters used in the existing HVAC systems from MERV 8 or 9 to MERV 13 wherever possible.Filters are changed as per manufacturer’s recommendations, and the current schedule is to change these filters three times per school year.
In addition, individual HEPA filtration devices will be utilized in certain areas, including but not limited to, nurse’s offices, COVID-19 isolation rooms, faculty lounges, certain special education classrooms and smaller rooms where ventilation is restricted and people may congregate (i.e. conference rooms, offices).
Classroom windows will be opened as much as possible to improve ventilation and allow for more fresh air into the school buildings. This will be dependent upon weather and temperature and the impact upon the HVAC systems as a whole. We are currently conducting a study of the HVAC systems in order to improve ventilation and air flow within the systems capabilities.