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Health & Safety

Stop the Spread of Coronavirus - Protect Yourself & Others Around You

 

Head Start Safety Plan Table of Contents

  •  I. Purpose

    In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, CAA Head Start Program has developed a COVID19 Safety Plan.

    This Safety Plan relies on common understanding of a “layered approach” to reduce exposure and transmission of the COVID19 virus.  Simply put, people will be safer and our program will be stronger when multiple layers separate them from the virus.

    The purpose of this COVID19 Safety Plan is to identify and communicate the CAA Head Start Program the plan for protecting the health of all employees, children and visitors to our sites and facilities.  This plan is effective immediately in response to guidance and regulations put in place by the Office of Head Start (OHS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC). City of Cincinnati Health Department (CCHD) and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Childcare Licensing (ODJFS -CCL).  All Directors, Principals, Administrators, Managers and Supervisors are required to be familiar with this Safety Plan and support the implementation of the plan in their sites and/or areas.

  • II. Structure

    The 2021-22 COVID19 Safety Plan is built to mirror the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services guidance for childcare programs, Centers for Disease Control and information from our local school district Cincinnati Public Schools. Additionally, there will be contact information for the department and/or individuals that are responsible for providing support.

    The COVID19 Safety Plan continues to use the Rapid Response Team approach to organize and distribute responsibilities outlined in the plan. 

  • III. Revisions/Updates

    The responsibility of routine revisions/updates to the COVID19 Safety Plan rests with Rapid Response Team assigned to each section. These sections will be updated as guidance or systems change. Sections are assigned as follows:

    Vice President of Head Start Early Childhood Development
    Responsible for general oversight of the COVID19 Safety Plan, vaccination verification of Staff, overseeing face coverings & physical distancing

    Center Based Services Director & Health Coordinator
    Responsible for overseeing the vaccination verification and testing of Children, and ensuring children and staff are staying home when sick, Responding to cases or suspected cases of COVID19, Reporting Cases and Outbreaks and Working with Public Health.

    Vice President of Facilities & Licensing and Operations Manager
    Responsible for overseeing Physical Distancing, Classroom Setup and proper ventilation throughout centers and classrooms.

    Vice President of Facilities & Site Management
    Responsible for overseeing the cleaning and disinfecting protocols and practices for classrooms, offices and other high-touch areas.

    Vice President of Human Resources
    Responsible for staff testing and vaccine requirements.

  • IV. Application

    All parts of this COVID19 Safety Plan apply to all operations of the CAA Head Start Programs and should be considered prior to planning activities or events. In order to maintain the safety and well-being of all staff, children and visitors, it is important to review these expectations and procedures before moving forward with any event.

  • V. Rapid Response Team (RRT)

    The program’s RRT will remain activated throughout the 2021-22 school year. The role of the RRT is to provide support to all sites and programs regarding questions on implementation of the COVID19 Safety Plan. Additionally, the RRT will provide support in responding to positive COVID19 cases and any other site or program outbreak of communicable diseases, and track program incidents.

    Rapid Response Meeting is held when a suspected case is identified and on every Monday at 9:00.

    Rapid Response Team – Duties and Responsibilities:

    VP of Early Childhood Education: Overall responsibility for all Head Start closers. Notification to the President CEO. And if applicable, to the regional office.

    VP of Facilities: Overall responsibilities for facilities and cleaning mitigation and determining the facilities needs of the exposed classroom or agency equipment (i.e. agency vehicles).

    Center-based Services Director: Person who is notified when there is a suspected case, Convene meetings for all cases identified within the program, Parent notification process.

    VP of Human Resources: Provide official Agency notification letters to staff that may have been exposed and provide updates on testing status.

    Health Coordinator: Provide the latest information on exposure data for the community and the latest updates from the CDC and local Health Department, provide updates from the Health Services Advisory and make program recommendations based on best practices.

    Child Tracking and Help Services: Update the ChildPlus system of center closures.

    Executive Assistant to VP ECE: Keep notes of meetings and maintaining the tracking system of incidents.

    Licensing and Operations Manager: Provide the latest information on licensing requirements.

    Resource Coordinator: Communicates with Community Relations to get notifications posted on social media. And equipment needs for remote learning.

    Directors, Site Administrators, Principals: Notification if the exposure pertains to their location/area.

  • VI. Vaccination

    All staff must be fully vaccinated no later than October 29, 2021.
    You are considered fully vaccinated:
    • Two weeks after you have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or
    • Two weeks after you have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson/Janssen)

    Fully vaccinated staff who do not have symptoms do not have to quarantine when exposed to COVID-19. and may not require COVID-19 testing as indicated below. Universal masking is required of all preschool children and staff.
    Acceptable documentation for verifying the vaccination status of staff, visitors include at least one of the following:
    • CDC vaccination card which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and date(s) administered, or a photo of the vaccination card.
    • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider with the information listed above.
    • State immunization information system record with the information listed above.
    • Other immunization record system that provides the information above.

    Vaccine documentation for staff needs to be submitted to the Human Resources Department. For all visitors and contractors that provide direct services to children this information must be submitted to the Site Administrator or Principal.

  • VII. Face Coverings/Masks

    Correct use of cloth face coverings or masks helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is required when indoors at Head Start sites and facilities for all staff preschool children, and approved visitors. There are exceptions based on development, or disability at the discretion of the CDC’s order requiring masks on public transportation, regardless of vaccination status, applies to school buses and transportation. Drivers and monitors are required to wear a mask on school buses.

    A cloth face covering is anything that completely covers the mouth and nose and fits securely on the sides of the face and under the chin. It should be made of two or more layers of tightly woven fabric with ties or straps that go around a person’s head or behind their ears.

    Face coverings or masks with ear loops are preferred over ones that tie around the neck or behind the head during physical activity to reduce the risk of injury. Site admin or site support must provide face coverings or masks, as appropriate, for staff and children, they ate also required to keep track of site inventory and process orders when needed. Continue practicing physical distancing while wearing cloth face coverings. Children may remove face coverings to eat and drink, and when they are outside.

    Indoor Mask Requirements All staff volunteers, visitors, and children must wear cloth face coverings, or an acceptable alternative (e.g., surgical mask or clear face shield), during program hours when indoors. Site leadership must support compliance with mask requirements among staff, children, visitors,

    Outdoor Mask Requirements Face coverings are not required outdoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals when outdoors in crowded spaces or when in close contact with people should support children and staff who choose to wear a mask or face covering outdoors.

  • VIII. Physical Distancing

    Physical distancing requirements will not prevent Head Start from offering full-time, in- person services to all children/families in the fall. Understanding that we are working with young children maintaining physical distance of three feet or more between children in classroom settings to the degree possible and reasonable, which allows for full-time, in-person learning for all children. Select strategies to increase physical distancing that will work for your site and the space available. There may be moments, such as, choice time, passing by others in the hallway or during play on the playground when children are not fully physically distanced from each other. Maximize opportunities to increase physical space between children during all scheduled activities and limit interactions that mixes groups.

    Maximize distance between children to the degree possible for the following circumstances:

    · For all children when masks cannot be worn, such as when eating lunch in common areas outside of the classroom.

  • XI. Ventilation & Indoor Air Quality

    Good ventilation and indoor air quality are important in reducing airborne exposure to respiratory pathogens, chemicals, and odors. Offer more outside time, open windows often, and adjust the HVAC system to allow the maximum amount of outside air to enter the program space and increase air filtration. Because each building are different HVAC systems the Vice President of Facilities will provide directions for the best way to maximize the system’s ventilation and air filtration capabilities for each area in the building.

    Basic Requirements:
    • Change filters as needed (clogged filters decrease HVAC operation, stress the fan motors, and decrease ability to improve indoor air quality). Visually check the filter for a tight fit within the frame and ensure there are no rips or tears.
    • Inspect and clean the entire system at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer or installer. Make repairs quickly to prevent more serious issues.
    • Reduce recirculation of air; increase/maximize outside air.
    • Increase filtration to the highest level possible. MERV 13 or higher is recommended, if possible.
    • Bring in outside air continuously from two hours prior to occupancy and for two hours after occupancy, including while cleaning and disinfection is occurring.
    • Inspect and maintain local exhaust ventilation in restrooms, kitchens, cooking areas, labs, etc. Increase exhaust ventilation from restrooms above code minimums.
    • Portable HEPA air cleaners will be used to supplement ventilation and are most critical in rooms with poorer ventilation or in isolation areas.

    For more information and options related to ventilation, see the CDC’s guidance for improving ventilation and increasing filtration in schools

  • X. Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

    Sites should continue to encourage frequent handwashing and good respiratory etiquette to both prevent contracting and spreading infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

    Through ongoing health education lessons and staff modeling, teach children proper handwashing and reinforce behaviors. Support healthy hygiene behaviors by providing adequate supplies, including soap, a way to dry hands, tissues, face masks (as feasible), and no-touch/foot pedal trash cans. Ensure that teachers and staff practice proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette.

    Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring and modeling to ensure adherence among young children, teachers, and staff. Handwashing with soap and water is required after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, (before and after) playing outside, petting animals, and before preparing or eating food.

    If handwashing is not possible, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol should be used. The FDA is warning to not use hand sanitizer in poorly ventilated spaces, not to use near the face,

    Children MUST be supervised when hand sanitizer is used, and must be kept out of children’s reach and sight. Some hand sanitizers may be contaminated with harmful ingredients. Infants and Toddlers will not use hand sanitizers.

    Before hand sanitizers are purchased the Procurement Coordinator department will check the FDA’s "do-not-use" list.

    Encourage children and staff to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately wash their hands after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing.

    Some children might need assistance with handwashing and respiratory etiquette behaviors.

  • XI. Cleaning and Disinfecting

    Cleaning removes germs, dirt, food, body fluids, and other material. Sanitizing reduces germs on surfaces to safe levels. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces of a clean object.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates sanitizer and disinfectant chemicals. If you sanitize or disinfect without cleaning first, it will reduce how well these chemicals work and may leave more germs on the surface. Current CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection for COVID-19 states that disinfectants should be registered by the EPA for use against COVID-19. Refer to List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

    Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces each night after children leave and when someone is sick in the room (vomit, blood, feces, urine). When disinfecting surfaces, always follow the disinfectant instructions on the label.

    Staff are not permitted to use ionization, fogging, fumigation, or wide-area spraying to control the spread of COVID-19. These methods are not effective, do not clean contaminated surfaces, and are hazardous to human health. Surfaces still need to be cleaned first and then the disinfectant applied to the surface for the required wet time. Use the large droplet setting to avoid misting as much as possible. The Facilities department is taking measures to enhance cleaning and disinfecting protocols to align with public health guidance.

    CAA Head Start Program Cleaning Contractor has developed the Custodial Cleaning & Disinfecting Protocols to support escalated levels of service should they arise in accordance with CDC and Public Health guidelines.

    If there has been a person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours Custodial Services will proceed to cleaning and disinfecting per below steps before occupying spaces the diagnosed person(s) occupied. The focus will be on immediate areas occupied by the person(s) diagnosed with COVID-19 unless they have already been cleaned and disinfected.

    • If more than 24 hours has passed since the person(s) diagnosed with COVID19 were in the space(s), cleaning is enough.
    • If more than 3 days have passed since the person(s) diagnosed with COVID19 were in the space(s), no additional cleaning is needed.
    • Initiate building Custodial Services to specified location for response; scheduled by VP of Facilities.
    • Areas needing to be cleaned and disinfected should be cordoned off by the Signage with restricted access until Custodial Services completes cleaning and disinfecting.
    • Open all windows where possible to increase air circulation.
    • Clean and disinfect all areas used by infected person(s) such as offices, desks, bathrooms, and common areas.
    • Vacuum all spaces with HEPA filter.
    Any Questions about cleaning contractors and disinfecting should be directed to VP of Facilities Josh Fletcher. JFletcher@cincy-caa.org.

  • XII. General Precautions

    • Staying home when sick with COVID-19 is essential to keep COVID-19 infections out of sites and prevent spread to others. Children and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and seek medical evaluation, which may include testing for COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

    • Testing While COVID-19 testing programs can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the school environment and the broader community. Testing for COVID-19 is an important layer of prevention. Unvaccinated staff will continue to be tested each Friday until October 29 when all staff must be full vaccinated.

    • Testing Support and Technical Assistance is available to support testing requirements when there has been a confirmed case of COVID 19 can also support screening testing for children.

  • XIII. Responding to Cases or Suspected Cases of COVID-19

    To comply with, CAA Head Start Program has developed a detailed plan for Responding to cases or suspected cases of COVID19. This plan includes several individuals and requires collaboration among them:

    VP of Early Childhood Education: Overall responsibility for all Head Start closers. Notification to the President CEO. And if applicable, to the regional office.

    VP of Facilities: Overall responsibilities for facilities and cleaning mitigation and determining the facilities needs of the exposed classroom or agency equipment (i.e. agency vehicles).

    Center-based Services Director: Person who is notified when there is a suspected case, Convene meetings for all cases identified within the program, Parent notification process.

    VP of Human Resources: Provide official Agency notification letters to staff that may have been exposed and provide updates on testing status.

    Health Coordinator: Provide the latest information on exposure data for the community and the latest updates from the CDC and local Health Department, provide updates from the Health Services Advisory and make program recommendations based on best practices.

    Child Tracking and Help Services: Update the ChildPlus system of center closures.

    Executive Assistant to VP ECE: Keep notes of meetings and maintaining the tracking system of incidents.

    Licensing and Operations Manager: Provide the latest information on licensing requirements.

    Resource Coordinator: Communicates with Community Relations to get notifications posted on social media. And equipment needs for remote learning.

    Directors, Site Administrators, Principals: Notification if the exposure pertains to their location/area.

  • What to Do if Someone Develops Symptoms of COVID-19 While at School

    Any child, teacher, or staff who reports COVID-19-like symptoms must be immediately isolated from others and sent home and referred to diagnostic testing as soon as feasible.

    While waiting to leave the site, the individual with symptoms must be isolated in a designated isolation space. They must wear a cloth face covering or mask. Anyone providing care to the isolated individual must wear appropriate PPE. The designated isolation space for individuals with suspected COVID-19 symptoms must be separate. The isolation space would ideally be a room with a door that can close and a window that can be opened to improve ventilation. A properly sized HEPA air filter could be used to increase filtration, If no appropriate indoor space is available (e.g., already occupied) and the child can be supervised and made comfortable, an outdoor setting is an acceptable emergency alternative if weather and privacy permitting.

  • What to Do if Someone Visited School while Contagious with COVID-19

    If someone visited a school while contagious with COVID-19, it is possible that children, staff, and/or visitors/contractors may have been exposed. A person is contagious with COVID-19 starting two days before they have symptoms (or if asymptomatic, two days before they test positive for SARS-CoV-2) and through the end of their isolation period Close contacts of a person with COVID-19 should be identified to determine if they must quarantine.

  • XIV. Returning to School

    Isolation

    If a person tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 by a molecular or antigen test, they can return to school when the following criteria are met:
    • 10 days since symptom onset, or since positive test specimen collection date if no symptoms are present (up to 20 days for those for those who are severely ill or severely immunocompromised), AND
    • 24 hours after fever resolves without use of fever-reducing medications, AND Symptoms have improved

    This isolation guidance applies regardless of vaccination status.
    If a person with COVID-19 symptoms tests negative for SARS-CoV-2 with a molecular test, they may return to school following existing illness management policies so long as they are not a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and subject to quarantine.
    If a person with COVID-19 symptoms tests negative for SARS-CoV-2 with an antigen test, per CDC antigen testing guidance, a confirmatory lab-based molecular test is recommended. An alternative to confirmatory NAAT testing is serial antigen testing performed every 3–7 days for 14 days.
    If a person with COVID-19 symptoms does not get tested for SARS-CoV-2 or see a healthcare provider and given an alternative diagnosis, they should follow the same isolation guidance as persons who test positive for SARS-CoV-2. This is irrespective of vaccination status.

  • What to do if someone is a Close Contact of Someone with COVID-19

    Generally, a close contact is someone who was within six feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period during the period of time when the person 11 with COVID-19 was infectious. The infectious period of someone with COVID-19 starts two days before the onset of symptoms or is estimated as two days before the positive test collection date if someone with COVID-19 is asymptomatic. This definition applies regardless of whether the case or contact was wearing a mask. If identified as a close contact, a person may need to quarantine as outlined below.

    In a classroom, the close contact definition excludes children who were at least three feet away from an infected student when (a) both children were wearing face coverings/masks and (b) other prevention strategies were in place. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.

    The definition of a close contact may vary in some situations (e.g., less time spent in close proximity to an unmasked person who is coughing, direct cough/sneeze spray, or other contact that is more intense like sharing drinks, eating utensils, etc.). The ultimate determination of close contact may be made by the local health department during its investigation; it may delegate this determination if appropriate.

  • XV. Quarantine

    Quarantine is when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case they were infected and are contagious.

    People who may be exempt from quarantine:
    • Close contacts who are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms do not need to quarantine but should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in all public indoor spaces for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. They should isolate and follow appropriate guidance if they test positive. If they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID19, and tested for SARS-CoV-2 if indicated. The symptomatic fully vaccinated person should inform their healthcare provider of their vaccination status at the time of presentation to care.
    • Close contact who had confirmed COVID-19 in the past three months, have recovered and do not have symptoms, do not need to quarantine but should watch for symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop.

    If a close contact is neither fully vaccinated nor recovered from confirmed COVID-19 in the past three months and does not have symptoms, the close contact must quarantine or be tested.

    There are three options for duration of quarantine.

    • Quarantine for 10 days after the last close contact, 12 without additional testing required. However, if any COVID-19 symptoms develop during the 10 days, remain in quarantine the full 14 days and get tested. Continue monitoring for symptoms until day 14.

    • Quarantine can end after 7 full days beginning after the last close contact if no symptoms have developed and after receiving a negative test result. The test should occur no sooner than 48 hours (2 days) before ending quarantine. Continue monitoring for symptoms until day 14.

    Close contacts with symptoms of COVID-19 should follow the steps under What to Do if
    Someone Develops Symptoms of COVID-19 While at School.

  • XVI. Reporting Requirements and Communication

    Sites play an important role in identifying COVID-19 cases and close contacts and limiting the spread of COVID-19. All cases of COVID-19 and outbreaks must be reported to the Health Department and ODJFS-CL

    A COVID-19 outbreak in a site is considered when the following have been met:
    o There are four or more COVID-19 cases among children or staff.
    o The cases have a symptom onset or positive test result within a 14-day period of each other.
    o The cases are epidemiologically linked.
    o The cases do not share a household.
    o The cases are not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting during the investigation.

Our Impact This Year

  • Children Served

    2,384

  • Funded Enrollment

    2,048

  • Kindergarten Readiness

    86%

  • Families Served

    1,644

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