Pandemic Contagious Virus Plan

The School District of Lee County
PANDEMIC CONTAGIOUS VIRUS PLAN

Pandemics of contagious viruses are extreme infectious disease outbreaks. It is an explosive global event in which most, if not all, populations worldwide are at risk for infection and illness. In past pandemics, viruses have spread worldwide within months and are expected to spread even more quickly today given modern travel patterns.

A pandemic virus outbreak causes emerging fears due to the increase rate of illness and death among all age groups.

Although it is unpredictable when the next pandemic will occur and what strain may cause it, the continued and expanded spread of a highly contagious virus across several countries represents a significant pandemic threat.

LEVEL ONE

Mitigation/Prevention addresses what can be done to reduce or eliminate risk to life and property

Trigger: Any confirmed novel contagious virus with human to human transmission.

District Goals:

  • Health Services Coordinator (appointed by Superintendent as Pandemic Manager) to communicate with Director of the Florida Department of Health in Lee County and will continue to attend meetings with them.
  • Chief of Operations will review, approve and oversee implementation of plan.
  • Maintenance Department to identify policies for Custodial Services cleaning procedures.
  • Transportation Department to identify policies for cleaning buses and transporting students to cluster schools.
  • Food Services to identify policies for Food Sanitation and Safety.
  • Health Services Coordinator to collaborate with Florida Department of Health in Lee County regarding preparation of public service announcements and updates for distribution to school/site administrators via the Communications Department.
  • Communications Department to develop and record information on awareness of influenza general precautions and pandemic preparation, with broadcast to schools and cable stations. Collaborate with Health Services Coordinator to update broadcast information. Prepare news media release for Superintendent or designee.
  • Communications Department to establish link to all CDC approved information sites on District Home Page.
  • Payroll Department to identify policies to continue essential functions.
  • Student Services to establish plan for continuing plans for educational opportunities for students and addressing work force.

 School Location Administrators Should:

  • Prepare with the information provided below to keep staff, students and parents well informed and help them understand their roles in preventing influenza spread. (Information provided by the Communications Department).
  • Review and inform staff on District Infection Control Practices.
  • Review food and facility safety administrative regulation in the Food Services Procedures Manual.
  • Update contact information for staff and students.
  • Brief key staff on roles and responsibilities.
  • Prepare and purchase recommended supplies from the District Warehouse tobe added to the Crisis Box.
    • 2 boxes of gloves
    • 10 masks
    • Hand sanitizers
  • Identify isolation room.
  • Review payroll procedures with appropriate staff.

 Contagious Virus Transmission

Viral infections usually takes place within the respiratory tract. Preventing direct and indirect infection of the respiratory tract is of utmost importance for preventing person-to-person transmission of a virus.

  1. Contact
    • Direct-contact involves skin-to-skin contact and physical transfer of microorganisms to a susceptible host from an infected or colonized person,such as occurs when persons perform activities that require physical contact,e.g. playing sports or holding hands.
    • Indirect-contact involves contact of a susceptible host with a contaminated intermediate object in the environment.
  2. Droplet
    • Contagious virus are easily spread when droplets containing microorganisms are generated from a source person during sneezing, coughing or talking, make contact with the conjunctiva of the eye or mucous membranes of the nose or mouth of a susceptible person.
  3. Airborne
    • Although there is no evidence that viral infections can occur across long distances such as through ventilation systems, transmission can occur through inhalation of small-particle aerosols particularly in shared air spaces with poor air circulation.

Recommendations for Infection Control

  1. Basic Infection Control for Preventing the Spread of Contagious Viruses.
    The following apply to any setting where persons with pandemic viruses may congregate.
    1. Limit control between infected and uninfected persons.
      • Isolate infected persons (e.g., confine ill students, staff in designated area until they are able to leave school site.)
      • Promote spatial separation in common areas. Sit or stand as far away as possible – at least 3 feet- from potentially infectious persons.
    2. Contain infectious respiratory secretions.
      • Instruct persons with “flu-like” symptoms to use respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette.
      • Alert: Symptoms of viruses include fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, sore throat and cough. Children may also have earaches, nausea and vomiting.
  2. Management of Infectious Persons. Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette has been promoted as a strategy to contain respiratory viruses at the source and to limit their spread. Elements include:
    • Education of staff, students and visitors on the importance of containing respiratory secretions to help prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses.
    • Posted signs in appropriate languages with instructions to staff, students and parents to immediately report symptoms of respiratory infection to Clinic Assistant and/or School Nurse.
    • Hand hygiene after contact with respiratory secretions, and
    • Spatial separation, ideally, at least 3 feet, of persons with respiratory infections in common areas when possible.
  3. Infection Control Practices for District
    1. In schools, infection control should focus on:
      • Keeping sick students, staff and workers away while they are infectious.
      • Promoting respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette and hand hygiene as for any respiratory infection. The benefit of wearing masks in the school setting has not been established.
    2. School administrators should ensure that materials for respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette (e.g., tissues and receptacles for their disposal) and hand hygiene are available.
    3. Non-latex, disposable gloves should be available for all staff and employees.
      • A single pair of non-latex gloves should be worn for contact with blood and body fluids, including hand contact with respiratory secretions.
      • Gloves should fit comfortably on the wearer’s hands.
      • Wash hands after glove removal.
      • If gloves are in short supply (e.g., the demand during a pandemic could exceed the supply), reserve gloves for situations where there is direct contact with blood, body fluids or respiratory fluids in large quantity and use other barriers such as paper towels or paper napkins when there is limited contact such as in cleaning up used tissues. Hand hygiene should be strictly reinforced in this situation.
      • Alert: All persons should take special care not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth with contaminated hands, gloved or ungloved.
    4. Hand hygiene has been frequently cited as the single most important practice to reduce the transmission of infectious agents in any setting.
      • If hands are visibly soiled or contaminated with respiratory secretions, wash hands with soap and water.
      • Always wash hands between person contact and removing gloves.
    5. Cleaning and disinfection of student-occupied rooms should be done daily. EPA-registered disinfectant and District approved chemicals should be used on all frequently touched surfaces such as desks, telephones, lavatory surfaces, and doorknobs in addition to floors and other horizontal surfaces. Clinic areas should be given special attention.
  4. Recommendations for Preventing the Spread of Pandemic Contagious Viruses in Schools. The focus should be on keeping sick students, teachers and staff away while they are infectious and promoting respiratory/cough etiquette and hand hygiene.
    1. Keep ill persons separate from non-ill persons.
      • Excuse students, teachers and staff from their duties if they develop symptoms.
      • Each school should develop a plan to allow for coverage when teachers and other staff must be home.
    2. Identify illness early.
      • Training will be provided for students, teachers, parents and staff on contagious viruses including routes of transmission, signs and symptoms, treatment and infection control strategies.
    3. Prevent exposure to student/staff and the spread of disease outside the school building.
      • Consider rescheduling extracurricular activities such as sports events, plays, dances, PTO meetings during pandemic.
      • Consider rescheduling field trips.
      • If absenteeism is high in certain classes, combine classes to limit exposure to/from substitute staff.
      • Superintendent approval required for all travel
    4. Encourage the use of infection control measures within the building.
      • Ensure that hand-washing supplies are available and an alcohol-based hand gel, if possible.
      • Have tissues and trash receptacles available in classrooms,
      • Use an EPA-registered disinfectant to clean environmental surfaces.
      • Review cleaning procedures with housekeeping staff.
    5. Communicate information.
      • Absences of 15% over the normal rate should be reported immediately to the Health Services Coordinator at 337-8245 or by e-mail. For example, if your daily absentee rate for any given day is 100, a report shall be made when absence exceeds 115 students.
      • Notify families of status and reinforce prevention strategies.
      • Post visual alerts on doors advising visitors to not enter a building if ill or report to the office if they exhibit symptoms of respiratory illness.
  5. General Health Information
    • All personnel should be educated on issues relative to pandemic contagious viruses.
    • Symptomatic personnel should be sent home until they are physically able to return.
    • Personnel who have recovered from a pandemic contagious virus should develop protective antibody against future infection with the same virus. They are advised to check with their health care provider to confirm antibodies against such virus.

LEVEL TWO

Confirmed Case in the United States, but not Florida
Preparedness focuses on the process of planning for the worst-case scenario

Trigger: The World Health Organization or CDC reports a case of human to human transmission of a contagious virus within the United States, but not Florida.

District Goal:

  • Health Services Coordinator will update the Superintendent or designee, Chief of Operations and maintain links with relevant agencies and community support networks.
  • Superintendent or designee will initiate LEVEL TWO.
  • Heighten awareness and precautionary measures in schools, departments and school community.
  • Communications Department and ITV to update District Websites, broadcast information and parent notifications.

School/Location Administrators Should:

  • Ensure all contact information is current for staff and students.
  • Provide ongoing briefings for key staff on roles and responsibilities.
  • Ensure all Infection Control Practices for District are being followed. Remind staff, students and parents about:
    • The difference between symptoms of common cold, influenza,and other contagious viruses.
    • The importance of good hygiene practices.
    • The importance of staying home when sick.
    • The gravity of the pandemic through scenarios/stories of historical pandemics, etc.
  • Initiate surveillance of staff, students, and other school visitors and personnel to assist the Florida Department of Health in Lee County in close monitoring of symptoms. Follow the Communications Department information provided and report abnormal rate of absences to Health Services Coordinator at 337-8245.
  • Ensure all food and facility safety administrative regulations are being followed.
  • Ensure adequate recommended supplies are added to the Crisis Box (recommended supplies: at least 2 boxes of gloves, 10 masks and hand sanitizers to be used during this event only and in the event there is loss of water).
  • Prepare isolation room indicated under recommendations for infection control.
  • Review payroll procedures with appropriate staff.
  • Review Student Services plan for continuing educational opportunities and address work force.
  • Send prepared District notices to Parents provided via the Communications Department.
  • Monitor recent domestic and international travel of staff, students and parents (as far as possible). Superintendent or designee approval required for all travel.

LEVEL THREE

Suspected case within the State of Florida
Response is the steps to take during the crisis

Trigger: Florida Department of Health in Lee County notifies District contact (Health Services Coordinator) warning of suspected case(s) of a pandemic contagious virus within the State of Florida.

District Goal:

  • Health Services Coordinator will update the Superintendent or designee, Chief of Operations and maintain links with relevant agencies and community support networks.
  • Superintendent or designee will initiate LEVEL THREE.
  • Health Services Coordinator to confirm role in local response plans with Florida Department of Health in Lee County
  • Communications Department and ITV to update District Websites, broadcast information and parent notifications. Endeavor to keep community calm and reduce panic.
  • Student Services Director shall prepare for possible school closure. Schools to be closed only by specific direction from the Superintendent or designee.
  • Student Services Director will prepare to mobilize the Crisis Intervention Response Team.
  • Coordinator of Safety and Security to coordinate with EOC if schools are required for community use.
  • Prepare for another wave of the contagious virus a few weeks after the first.

School/Location Administrators Should:

  • Continue to ensure all contact information current for staff and students.
  • Continue briefings for staff on roles and responsibilities.
  • Continue to ensure all Infection Control Practices for District are being followed. Remind staff, students and parents about:
    • The difference between symptoms of common cold, influenza and other contagious viruses.
    • The importance of good hygiene practices.
    • The importance of staying home when sick.
    • The gravity of the pandemic through scenarios/ stories of historical pandemics,etc.
  • Continue surveillance of staff, students, and other school visitors and personnel to assist the Florida Department of Health in Lee County in close monitoring of symptoms. Follow the recommendations for preventing the spread of pandemic contagious viruses in schools (section e) provided and report abnormal rate of absences to Health Services Coordinator at 337-8245.
  • Continue to ensure all food and facility safety administrative regulations are being followed.
  • Implement isolation room and supplies.
  • Implement payroll procedures.
  • Implement Student Services plan for continuing educational opportunities for students and addressing work force.
  • Send prepared District notices to parents provided by the Communications Department.
  • Monitor recent domestic and international travel of staff, students and parents (as far as possible). Superintendent or designee approval required for all travel.

ALERT: As the scope of the pandemic escalates, State and local officials may choose to close Lee County Schools either for short periods or for the duration of the pandemic.

Prepare for possible school closure:

  • When directed by the School Superintendent or Designee to close schools
    1. Make preparations for securing the premises.
    2. Keep staff, students and parents informed.
    3. Prepare staff and student contact lists for the Florida Department of Health in Lee County in order to trace infected people. Make it clear that contact details will only be used for the purpose of pandemic management.
      • Two emergency contacts for each student.
      • Staffs home contact details.
      • Should schools be used by the community, follow hurricane procedures.
    4. Provide notification to parents if another location will be available for students who are not sick.
    5. Post “Closure Notices” on entry points and main buildings.
    6. Collaborate with local agencies through Coordinator of Safety and Security (EOC Liaison) if EOC is activated.

LEVEL FOUR

Recovery deals with how to restore the learning and teaching environment after a crisis

Trigger: Florida Department of Health in Lee County notifies District contact that the pandemic has been abated in Lee County and schools can be reopened

District Goals if schools remained open:

  • Health Services Coordinator will update the Superintendent or designee, Chief of Operations and maintain links with relevant agencies and community support networks.
  • Schools/Departments ensure continued well-being of staff and students and education services are fully restored, recognizing possible work force reduction impact.
  • Communications Department to update Web and prepare media announcement for Superintendent or designee and prepare briefings, emails and newsletters.
  • Chief of Operations arranges debriefing for Administrators and Principals.
  • Student Services to mobilize the Crisis Intervention Response Team.
  • Chief of Operations and  Health Services Coordinator will evaluate the success of the Pandemic Contagious Virus Plan and make adjustments.

District Goals if schools were closed:

  • Health Services Coordinator will update the Superintendent or designee, Chief of Operations and maintain links with relevant agencies and community support networks.
  • Communication Department to update Web and prepare media announcement for Superintendent or designee and prepare briefings.
  • Chief of Operations arranges debriefing for Administrators and Principals.
  • Student Services to mobilize the Crisis Intervention Response Team.
  • Superintendent or designee reopens schools.
  • Chief of Operations and Health Services Coordinator will evaluate the success of the Pandemic Contagious Virus Plan and make adjustments.

School/Location Administrators Should:

If School Remained Open:

  • Assess capacity of staff to continue normal school operations: report information to Chief of Operations.
  • Prepare for District debriefing.
  • Arrange for debriefing of staff and students, if appropriate.

School/Location Administrators Should:

If Schools Closed:

  • Assess capacity of staff to resume normal school operations: report information to Chief of Operations.
  • Arrange for cleaning, disinfecting of affected areas including school buses and remote locations.
  • Prepare for District debriefing.
  • Arrange debriefing of pandemic event for staff and students if appropriate.
    • Reassure parents/staff that the school environment, transportation vehicles are safe and have been inspected for proper cleaning/disinfection to resume operations.
  • Evaluate the success of the School Pandemic Contagious Virus Plan and make adjustments. Provide suggestions to Security Services Department for the District Pandemic Contagious Plan.