CENTRAL CATHOLIC COVID PROTOCOLS
Monday, Governor Brown announced Oregon would lift mask requirements for indoor public spaces and schools on March 11 at 11:59 PM. This decision is based on current COVID-19 case forecasting from OHSU, which projects hospitalization falling below 400 or fewer Oregonians per day by March 12. This will return Oregon to a level of hospitalization experienced prior to the Omicron variant. Additionally, because of high vaccination rates and previous infection due to Omicron, Oregon now has significant population immunity. OHA estimates that upwards of 82% of individuals are currently immune. The duration of this immunity is unknown, but is believed to provide protection from reinfection for at least 90 days. This is good news for Oregon. And, the shift in decision making for masking to local levels will bring additional questions about school operations this spring.
With several changes in health and safety guidance occurring in conjunction with the lifting of the masking requirement on March 11, ODE has updated the RSSL Resiliency Framework as guidance for schools to reflect recommendations beginning on March 12. This version of the framework is effective March 12 and beyond.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OHA and ODE continue to strongly advise the universal use of face coverings in schools in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and minimize the lost time learning in school due to illness when county COVID-19 Community Levels are high. At all levels, individuals may choose to mask based on their individual risk assessment (e.g., increased risk for severe disease or family or community members at increased risk for severe disease). Masking should be normalized and welcomed within the school community.
Beginning March 12 at Central Catholic High School, masks will be welcomed, but not required. Central Catholic will take steps to ensure the school environment is safe and welcoming to every student and staff member and honors their individual decisions around COVID–19 safety, including the use of masks.
Everyone in our communities shares in the responsibility to keep our communities safe and healthy. In order to continue full-time, in-person instruction, this responsibility asks each person to both maintain their own health and take actions to protect the health of those with whom they interact. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect individuals and communities, slow the pandemic, and return society to more typical functioning.
Central Catholic reserves the right to require masks at gatherings in the future should it be necessary for the health and safety of our community. Masks continue to be available in multiple locations throughout the school building.
KEY PRACTICES FOR REDUCING SPREAD OF COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS:
ODE, OHA, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all agree that full-time, in-person learning is best for our children. The CDC guidance on Types of Masks and Respirators has additional details about face coverings that protect against transmission of COVID-19. ODE and OHA have updated this Face Covering Effectiveness document and FAQ.
I am linking to a helpful article from The Atlantic, One Way Masking Works, that brought me some comfort about what I can control to keep myself safe during this time of transition to masks optional.
On February 28, 2022, the CDC updated their guidance regarding case investigation and contact tracing. Universal case investigation and contact tracing are no longer recommended outside of high-risk settings. Effective March 12, 2022, Oregon will pause contact tracing and quarantine for the general population, including K-12 settings.
The decision to pause contact tracing and quarantine is based in science and acknowledges that these practices now have very limited if any impact on the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has evolved to become one of the most transmissible viruses known. By the time an exposure is identified and contact tracing is performed, transmission has already occurred.
Following the Omicron surge, and for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon will have very high levels of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity. The duration of this immunity is unknown, but is believed to provide protection from reinfection for at least 90 days.
In lieu of contact tracing, Central Catholic will provide cohort notifications when exposures occur. These notifications allow individuals and families to take additional precautions according to their individual needs. Because quarantine is no longer required in K-12 settings, regardless of vaccination status, test to stay will shift from a form of modified quarantine to enhanced exposure testing. Students and staff may continue to attend school regardless of their participation in enhanced exposure testing. Testing all exposed individuals in a population with high levels of immunity is neither feasible nor likely to benefit health and safety.
Per OHA and ODE’s recommendation, Central Catholic will follow the isolation protocols as set forth below:
- Individuals who had COVID-19 and had symptoms, are required to report their positive case through attendance and will isolate for at least 5 days.
- To calculate the 5-day isolation period, day 0 is the first day of symptoms or a positive test result. Day 1 is the first full day after the symptoms developed or a positive test result.
- Isolation may end after 5 full days if the individual is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.
- Individuals should wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of the 5-day isolation period.
- Exclusion and isolation protocols will be followed for sick students and staff identified at the time of arrival or during the school day.
- Offer free, on-site COVID-19 testing to students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms or exposure via OHA’s K–12 school testing program.
- Adherence to school exclusion processes as laid out in Communicable Disease Guidance for Schools.
- Support students and staff to isolate safely by sharing the Positive COVID Test website and COVID-19 Case Support Hotline (866) 917-8881.
- Recording and monitoring the students and staff being isolated or sent home.
IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS:● Isolation separates people who have a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
● Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease and could become infectious themselves to limit further spread of the Disease.
● Health care and a designated space that is appropriately supervised and adequately equipped for providing first aid and isolating the sick or injured child are required by OAR 581-022-2220.
RESPONSE TO OUTBREAKS PROTOCOLS:
Central Catholic will follow the guidance of OHA and ODE in response to outbreaks as outlined below:
- Coordination with local public health authority to establish communication channels related to current transmission level.
- Means by which school will ensure continuous education services for students and supports for staff.
- Support students and staff to isolate safely by sharing the Positive COVID Test website and COVID-19 Case Support Hotline.
- Cleaning surfaces (e.g., door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, transport vehicles) following CDC guidance.
Many students, like adults, love to embrace, give high-fives, fist bumps, and receive positive adult attention. When students falter in adhering to the new operating procedures, Central Catholic will center grace and patience and reteach the expectation. We will not implement consequences that deny access to instruction as a result of these challenges.
Central Catholic will continually provide instruction and positive reinforcement to help all students adapt to the changes in school facilities while ensuring punitive measures are not the methodology to remind, motivate and reinforce healthy practices.
OHA and ODE strongly advise that schools support and promote physical distancing as described below:
- Support physical distancing in all daily activities and instruction, striving for at least 3 feet between students to the extent possible.
- When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies.
- Consider physical distancing requirements when setting up learning and other spaces, arranging spaces and groups to allow and encourage physical distance.
- Minimize time standing in lines and take steps to ensure that distance between students is maintained, including marking spacing on floor, one-way traffic flow in constrained spaces, etc.
Central Catholic will contract with NW Mobile testing to conduct surveillance antigen testing for 100% of the school population on Monday, March 28, 2022, as we return from spring break. After this round of testing, Central Catholic will no longer provide regular surveillance antigen testing.
Central Catholic is participating in the OHA Sponsored COVID-19 Testing Program for Schools. OHA and ODE strongly advise that all K-12 schools implement COVID-19 testing.
There are two opt-in COVID-19 testing programs available to all public and private schools in Oregon. Central Catholic has opted into both programs. A diagnostic testing program is available for individuals with symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 and includes a test to stay protocol. A screening testing program is available for unvaccinated individuals without symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 and includes weekly testing.
DIAGNOSTIC TESTING FOR K–12 STUDENTS AND STAFF
- Using Abbott BinaxNOW rapid tests, this program is intended to test symptomatic and exposed students and staff. This essential access to free testing can help diagnose COVID-19 infection early.
- OHA recommends that schools consider enhanced exposure testing for students or staff at increased risk of severe COVID-19, and at the direction of their LPHA, such as during an outbreak response.
SCREENING TESTING FOR UNVACCINATED STUDENTS
- Screening testing is for individuals without symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19. Both schools and families need to sign up or opt-in for this weekly screening testing program performed in collaboration with a regional laboratory partner.
- Participation in the program and all results are confidential. However, positive COVID-19 results must be reported to the local public health authority.
- If your family would like to opt in for weekly testing for your unvaccinated student please fill out the form linked here.
Effective October 18, 2021, teachers, school staff and volunteers may not teach, work, learn, study, assist, observe, or volunteer at a school unless they are fully vaccinated or have provided documentation of a medical or religious exception. And, a school may not employ, contract with, or accept the volunteer services of teachers, school staff or volunteers who are teaching, working, learning, studying, assisting, observing, or volunteering at a school unless the teachers or school staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a documented medical or religious exception. This is also true for school-based program staff and volunteers.
The rule also includes those who are not employed but are otherwise engaged to provide goods or services to a school or school-based program through any formal or informal agreement, whether compensated or uncompensated; who provide goods or services at or for a school based program that includes direct or indirect contact with children or students. It does not include short-term visitors or individuals making deliveries.
At the recommendation of ODE, Central Catholic will use the considerations from the CDC to inform best practices in regards to sports and other co-curricular activities. We are also obligated to follow any requirements or recommendations set forth by OSAA.
School-sponsored sports and extracurricular activities provide students with enrichment opportunities that can help them learn and achieve, and support their social, emotional, and mental health. Due to increased and forceful exhalation that occurs during physical activity, some sports can put players, coaches, trainers, and others at increased risk for getting and spreading COVID-19. Close contact sports and indoor sports are particularly risky. Similar risks might exist for other extracurricular activities, such as band, choir, theater, and school clubs that meet indoors.
Prevention strategies in these activities remain important and should comply with school day policies and procedures. Students should refrain from in-person learning, sports, and extracurricular activities when they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and should be tested. Schools are strongly encouraged to use screening testing for student athletes and adults (e.g., coaches, teachers, advisors) who participate in and support these activities to facilitate safe participation and reduce risk of transmission – and avoid jeopardizing in-person education due to outbreaks.
Coaches and school sports administrators should also consider specific sport-related risks:
- Setting of the sporting event or activity. In general, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower when playing outdoors than in indoor settings. Consider the ability to keep physical distancing in various settings at the sporting event (fields, benches/team areas, locker rooms, spectator viewing areas, spectator facilities/restrooms, etc.).
- Physical closeness. Spread of COVID-19 is more likely to occur in sports that require sustained close contact (such as wrestling, hockey, football).
- Number of people. Risk of spread of COVID-19 increases with increasing numbers of athletes, spectators, teachers, and staff.
- Level of intensity of activity. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases with the intensity of the sport.
- Duration of time. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases the more time athletes, coaches, teachers, staff, and spectators spend in close proximity or in indoor group settings. This includes time spent traveling to/from sporting events, meetings, meals, and other settings related to the event.
- Presence of people more likely to develop severe illness. People at increased risk of severe illness might need to take extra precautions.
Safety, Hygiene, and Wellness
Cleaning and Hygiene Protocols:
The school will follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting, and cleaning and sanitation guidance from OSHA. This includes electrostatic disinfectant and EPA-approved disinfectants. Central Catholic currently uses Oxivir Tb Disinfectant Cleaner, manufactured by Diversey, which is rated for one minute contact to kill Coronavirus
Frequently touched surfaces and objects such as light switches, doorknobs, desktops, will be cleaned at every transition.
Bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected hourly with a posted cleaning log. Surfaces and objects that are not frequently touched will be cleaned daily. The building will be completely sanitized and cleaned at least once every 24 hours.
Items that are not essential to teaching in shared spaces have been removed to reduce frequent handling or contact by multiple people. Soft and porous material, such as area rugs and seating, have been removed to reduce challenges with cleaning and disinfecting.
The school will promote safe hygiene practices as set forth by the CDC through direct teaching, scheduled time for handwashing, and visual displays throughout the school.
The school will follow the practice of key times to wash hands or sanitize hands:
Before and after eating food
After using the bathroom
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching garbage
After touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people such as door handles, tables, or electronic screens, etc.
Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth because that’s how germs enter our bodies
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available in every room of the school. Sanitizer can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. Sanitizer is not a substitution for hand washing.
Physical distancing will be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing cloth face coverings, encouraging students to avoid touching their face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Faculty and staff are required to complete the following safety trainings: ALICE (active shooter training), Creating A Safe Environment (child protection training), and COVID- 19 Safe Environment training, and COVID-19 Signs, Symptoms, Transmission, and Control Measures Training through OSHA.
Isolation of Students with Symptoms and Cleaning Protocols:
Areas on campus have been designated for those who need to be isolated for any period of time. Parents or emergency contacts will be expected to pick up any isolated student within 30 minutes of receiving a call.
Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing will be conducted for all high-touch surfaces.
Central Catholic’s ventilation systems have been inspected and the circulation of outdoor air within the buildings is being increased as much as possible. Central Catholic’s ventilation system uses filters that are COVID rated and these filters are changed four times a year which exceeds the recommended rotation for filtration based on the filter type. All intake ports that provide outside air to the HVAC system are regularly cleaned, maintained, and cleared of any debris that may affect the function and performance of the ventilation system.
Five classrooms do not have recycled air flow: Room 101, 102, 104, 111, and 201. These rooms have been fitted with individual air purifying filtration systems that exceed COVID-19 standards for ventilation.
Where applicable, classrooms will maximize outside air by opening windows in addition to outside forced air through ventilation. Classroom doors will be left open at all times to provide greater circulation.All floor model fans (pedestal fans, box fans, table fans, etc.) have been removed from classrooms because air blowing from an infected person directly at another in closed spaces may increase the transmission of the virus from one person to another.
Protocols for the Typical Classroom:
It is essential for each faculty and staff member to reinforce social distancing and proper masking with students and does not fall on the responsibility of one person. It is up to faculty and staff to work together with students to make sure the learning environment is successful and safe for students and employees. Students will need reminders daily until they mirror our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Below is a checklist teachers will follow to ensure safety in classrooms (protocols for bathrooms, lunch, hallways, supervision, etc):
- Make sure each desk is positioned 3-feet apart to the extent possible
- Gently reinforce COVID-19 social distance protocols to students daily in the classroom and in the hallways. If you see something, say something.
- Complete ALICE, Case, Meet Sam, and COVID Trainings by September 1, 2022
- Teachers must arrive to their classroom by 7:40 am each day
- Each person must use hand sanitizer upon entry and exit of all classrooms and areas
- Teachers are visible in the doorway/hallway before each class to gently remind students to social distance, and sanitize hands
- At the end of each class students and staff wipe down all surfaces (Teacher sprays, cleaner sits for one minute, and students wipe down surface areas)
- Teachers will excuse one student at a time to the restroom and will remind students to use the restroom closest to them.
- Absolutely no food or eating in classrooms
- Students may drink water only in the classrooms
- After using any shared supplies, like dry erase markers, students should sanitize their hands after sharing.
- Students are responsible for letting the Facilities Director know via email if they need refreshed cleaning supplies or protective equipment.
Special safety precautions and practices will be in place for Fine Arts, Physical Education, and American Sign Language classes.
Physical Education Classes:
Physical Education (PE) classes will focus more on individual pursuits or skills rather than traditional team sports or activities (e.g., dance and rhythms, exercises without equipment, fitness, mindfulness, outdoor pursuits, track and field, throwing underhand, kicking and target games).
Teachers will select a location for PE instruction where students and staff can respect physical distancing guidelines and remain (6) six feet apart. PE teachers are familiar with the classrooms and spaces where instruction will be delivered so they are able to adjust their lessons and activities appropriately based on the space available.
Since more space will be required for instruction for PE class due to increased respiration of students when participating in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, class sizes will be limited.
Teachers will evaluate available outdoor spaces on school property. When possible, they will utilize outdoor spaces for physical education instruction. When outdoors, they will avoid the use of benches or other permanent structures.
When using gymnasiums or multipurpose rooms for instruction, teachers will keep the doors open when possible to maximize circulation and air flow to accommodate for increased respiration by students while participating in physical activity. The ventilation systems in these areas have been evaluated and are working properly.
Teachers will minimize the use of shared materials, and plan for sufficient time between classes to allow for appropriate sanitization of shared materials when sharing materials between classes is unavoidable. All equipment will be sanitized between class periods. Students will sanitize their hands after sharing equipment within their class period.
Students and teachers will remain properly masked at all times regardless of indoor or outdoor location for physical education classes.
Locker Room Protocol:
- On days when students have a PE class, students should come to school in PE appropriate clothes
- Locker room access is only available at the end of class
- Locker room access is supervised by PE teachers
- Different PE classes will remain socially distanced at all time, no mixing of class cohorts at any time
- Students will enter through the main locker room door and follow arrows for one way traffic
- The girl’s locker room exit door will lead to the main gym
- The boy’s locker room exit door will lead to outside/field
- Each student will have 3 minutes to change and exit the locker room
- The locker room will have marked spots (taped boxes) - 10 feet apart on the floor for changing
- Students must continue to keep their masks on even while changing
- Showers and lockers are off limits
- Students will follow the guidelines for physical distancing when using the restrooms in the locker room during their 3-minute window
Central Catholic music rehearsal policies and safety guidelines are informed by the COVID-19 Aerosol Distribution Study conducted by the University of Colorado and the University of Maryland. This study looked at how COVID-19 may spread during the course of music activities and was supported by the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS), the National Association for Music Education, the NAMM Foundation, and more than 125 other organizations. Information and complete results of this study can be found at https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study/. The results of this research inform our mitigation techniques to prevent or lessen aerosol distribution during singing and playing of wind instruments.
Central Catholic music classes will adhere to the following mitigation strategies and guidelines to reduce respiratory aerosols:
Safety policies for all music courses:
- Students in all music classes will continue to follow all Central Catholic protocols for health and safety in the classroom including frequent hand-washing/sanitizing, standard classroom entrance and exit routines, and no shared materials/equipment/instruments.
- Central Catholic will provide instrumentalists well-fitting, multi-layered, washable masks with a small slit for mouthpiece access while playing (masks close shut when the musician is not playing) as well as bell covers (instrument masks). The mask’s fabric weight is in excess of 70 denier nylon as recommended by NFHS guidelines.
- Bell covers are double-layered polyester/spandex fabric that stretch over the bell, along with a layer of MERV-13 filter material. Fabric weight in excess of 70 denier nylon recommended by NFHS guidelines.
- Flute and French horn players will use specially designed masks (of similar specification) for their instruments.
- Percussionists, guitarists, and other instrumentalists who do not use their mouth to play an instrument will wear masks throughout rehearsal.
- Singers produce aerosols at similar rates as woodwinds and brass. For this reason singers in choir and music production lab will be provided their own special “Singer’s Mask,” that is, a (3) three-ply tightly woven polyester/cotton blend fabric with a MERV-13 filter. The mask is specially designed for singers: it does not touch the mouth, it allows free movement of the jaw, and provides a seal above the nose and around the mouth.
- Masks used during rehearsal will only be used during rehearsal and not worn outside the music room. Students will be responsible for regular cleaning and care of their masks and bell covers.
- Musician seating will exceed CDC recommendations: 6x8 foot space around each student and 6x9 foot space allocated to trombone players. Students will sit in straight lines (curved setups can affect the aerosol movement in a room).
- Students will all face the same direction back to front to minimize potential exposure.
- All students will enter the music room through the north door, and exit through the south door.
- Indoor rehearsal times will be limited to 30 minutes, followed by a brief break in order to provide time for the HVAC system to clear the room with one air change.
- Instrument spit valves will be emptied into absorbent disposable paper towels.
- Our instrument storage lockers are located in the hallway outside the music room. Hallway space will be used for students to set up their instrument and store their case during rehearsal.
- Practice rooms will be limited to one student at a time per period. There will be 20 minutes given for the HVAC system to clear the practice room with one air change between students.
- Musicians will wipe down chairs, music stands, and equipment with single-use virucidal wipes before and after use.
- Musicians will not share sheet music, music stands, cables, or drumsticks. Sheet music will not be stored in the music room - students will bring music to class.
- Director will wear a mask with MERV-13 filter and use a wireless microphone for clarity and to keep voice at a low conversational volume. Students will also keep their voices in a low conversational volume.
Chartwells will provide meal options that are healthy, nutritious, and meet dietary restrictions.
Chartwells will provide options for breakfast, break, lunch, and an after school snack.
If your family is experiencing food scarcity issues and needs support please let your student’s counselor know we can provide food options while at school.
Vending machines will be available for use.
The best way for students to pay for their lunch is using their lanyard student ID that is linked to their Meal Pay cafeteria account.
Students will have access to microwaves and will not be allowed to share food.
Eating spaces will be expanded on campus to allow for greater physical distancing. No food or drink is allowed on the field.
Regular sanitizing of cafeterias and other eating spaces will continue.
Students may not use food delivery services from outside of the school such as GrubHub, Postmates, Uber Eats, etc.
Cafeteria staff will wear face coverings and gloves at all times. Any unattended lunch boxes and water bottles will be thrown away.
Food will not be allowed in any area of the school outside of the designated eating spaces. This will be strictly enforced.
We encourage students to bring a reusable water bottle from home. Filling stations will be available. Drinking fountains will be cleaned regularly.
Any concerns of a person in the building operating outside of these protocols should be immediately reported to school administration. Safety Concerns or feedback can be sent to email@example.com.Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSHA) also enforces workplace safety rules and statutes. Oregon OSHA will address employees’ and others' inquiries and complaints and provide advice to employers related to any potential violation of existing Oregon OSHA rules or directives issued by Gov. Kate Brown if they involve potential workplace exposure. If you believe a school is not in compliance with the RSSL guidance, you can file a named or confidential complaint with Oregon OSHA at 1-833-604-0884 or online.