The goal of a 2nd semester opening is to bring families, teachers, and staff back to the Embry Hills Preschool campus as safely as possible. Because CDC and DPH recommendations and numbers are fluid, we too must remain so.
1. Health Screening and Infection Control
Teachers, staff, and students will have temperature taken before entering the building. No teacher, student or staff member should willingly come to campus ill. Anyone who is noticeably ill or becomes so during the school day will be isolated in a room near the front office and sent home immediately. The CDC Diagnostic Flowchart guides the next steps.
Prior to school each morning, all parents must assess their student(s), and every teacher and staff member must perform a self-assessment, by answering each question below:
1. Does your child have any of the symptoms listed below? If your student has experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 48 hours, do NOT send them to school:
• Fever of 100°F and above
• Body aches
• Nasal congestion or runny nose that differs from your typical seasonal allergies
• Loss of smell/taste
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Sore throat
*If your EHUMCK student has taken medication to address any of these symptoms, he/she must be medication-free for 48 hours before a return to school can be considered. If your EHUMCK student has a documented preexisting condition (i.e. allergies), you should take that into account as you review the above symptoms. If any of the above are present, your student must STAY HOME.
2. Within the past 10 days, have you received a positive nasal swab test result for an active COVID-19 infection?
If any of the answers are yes to any of the above OR the student/faculty/staff member has a temperature reading of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above, the individual is not cleared to enter the school/building. A temperature of 100 or above will be logged and tracked. Please note: Screening questions may change as additional information regarding symptoms and spread is known.
(Derived from Children’s HealthCare of Atlanta (CHOA) Human Resources Employee Plan)
What to do if your child has symptoms:
Regardless of testing results, symptoms will always outweigh test results. Individuals showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are presumed positive and should follow the 10 days isolation rule. A negative test result does not necessarily mean that an individual does not have COVID-19 and depending upon exposure/symptoms, the individual may still be required to quarantine.
If your child is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, your child should not come to school.
When you can return to school after illness:
EHUMCK is following the latest Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Guidance regarding the Return to School Strategy, which is determined based on a person’s health status (December, 2020):
“DPH recommends a time-based return to school strategy that is determined based on a person’s health status. Decisions about “return to school” for persons with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should be made in the context of local circumstances (community transmission, resource needs, etc.).
Isolation of Cases
Symptomatic persons with confirmed COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 can return to school after:
• At least 10 days† have passed since symptoms first appeared AND
• At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND
• Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved
Asymptomatic persons with confirmed COVID-19 can return to school after
at least 10 days† have passed since the positive laboratory test, AND the person remains asymptomatic
• Note, asymptomatic persons who test positive and later develop symptoms should follow the guidance for symptomatic persons above.
Quarantine of Contacts
All close contacts in schools MUST be quarantined and excluded from the childcare/school setting and all extracurricular activities,
regardless of students, teachers, or staff wearing masks or the use of physical barriers (e.g., plexiglass).
A 14-day quarantine period is still recommended; however, individuals may opt for a shorter quarantine period by meeting the below criteria. NOTE: The day of exposure is day 0.
Asymptomatic persons who have a known exposure to a person with COVID-19 can return to school:
After 7 full days have passed since their most recent exposure, if they fulfill all THREE of the following criteria:
• Test‡ for COVID-19 (PCR/molecular or antigen test) no earlier than day 5 of quarantine AND
• Receive a negative result AND
• Do not experience any COVID-19 symptoms§ during the quarantine period
After 10 full days have passed since their most recent exposure, if they are not tested for COVID-19 AND do not experience any COVID-19 symptoms§ during the quarantine period:
After stopping quarantine after day 7 or 10, individuals who do not have symptoms§ should:
• Closely monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from their most recent date of exposure
• For at least the entire 14 days, they should strictly adhere to mitigation measures including appropriate mask usage, staying at least 6 feet from others except for brief transitional movements (e.g., changing classes), washing their hands, avoiding crowds, and taking other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19
If an individual, who is a close contact AND ended quarantine after day 7 or 10, develops symptoms § they should be sent home immediately and follow the guidelines for symptomatic individuals and seek COVID-19 testing.
Additional quarantine guidance can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/contact
Both CDC and DPH DO NOT recommend using a test-based strategy for children or adults returning to school or childcare (2 negative tests at least 24 hours apart) after COVID-19 infection. ‖CDC has reported prolonged PCR positive test results without evidence of infectiousness. In one study, individuals were reported to have positive COVID-19 tests for up to
12 weeks post initial positive.
*Please find criteria for being a close contact at https://dph.georgia.gov/contact
† A limited number of persons with severe illness (those admitted to a hospital and needed oxygen) or persons with a weakened immune system (immunocompromised) due to a health condition or medication may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days that may warrant extending the duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset. Consider
consultation with a medical provider and/or infection control experts for these patients.
‡ The test must be a PCR/molecular or antigen test performed no earlier than day 5 of quarantine. If an individual is tested earlier than day 5, they must be retested on day 5 or later OR follow the 10-day guidance.
§ If the individual experiences ONE of the following COVID-19 symptoms (fever, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new cough, or new loss of taste or smell) OR two of the following symptoms (sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, extreme fatigue/feeling very tired, new severe/very bad headache, new nasal congestion/stuffy or runny nose) they must follow the guidance for symptomatic individuals.
‖ Completing a test-based strategy is contingent upon the availability of ample testing supplies, laboratory capacity, and convenient access to testing and requires two samples taken at least 24 hours apart. If a facility requires the test-based strategy for return (which is discouraged by DPH), this should be done by a private physician through a commercial lab. The test-based
strategy is not fulfilled by a single test, nor should it be used for screening of all persons returning to school.“
2. Masks and Face Coverings
We are requiring that teachers, staff, and students 3 and older wear a face
covering when inside the building. CDC: How to Select, Wear and Clean Your Mask
3. Healthy Hygiene
Teaching, modeling, and reinforcing good health habits on campus is a must. Posters from CDC for hand washing guidelines will serve as visual reminders. Hand sanitizer will be readily available to teachers and staff but safely out of the reach of students. With safe and easy access to soap and water in mind, in-classroom toileting as well as common-area restrooms will have all the supplies necessary to facilitate hand health. New, sturdy stepstools allow students to more readily help themselves. Hands-free soap and paper towel dispensers already in place are added benefits.
4. Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Ventilation
With Carl Craig leading his custodial team, Embry Hills Preschool classrooms, playgrounds, restrooms and common areas will benefit from the disinfecting procedures successfully executed at Embry Hills UMC. We will have daily, professional cleaning. Teachers and staff will be provided the training and equipment necessary for day-long sanitizing. Most of our preschool classrooms are generously sized and have ample fresh air
accessibility while students are indoors.
ADJUSTING OUR DAY
While carpool has historically been optional, it will now be mandatory. Parents will not have access to the inside of the school building – picking up and dropping off instead.
2. Bags and Lunches
In an effort to streamline each student’s coming and going from the building, book bags and backpacks will not be required on a daily basis. The majority of communication will be via email. Lunches should be packed in disposable containers (brown bag) and leftovers will not return home. Ideally, on Fridays, any accumulated work and a weekly summary will go home in hand. Details to follow.
In accordance with our carpool policy, no outside volunteers will be required or admitted for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. We appreciate our parents, grandparents, and church community, acknowledge the value of their willingness to contribute, and look forward to reinstating their help!