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COVID-19 FAQ for Schools

 

 

1.    What’s the “Isolation” timeframe (person is positive) for symptomatic individuals?

At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared AND you haven’t had a fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and other signs of illness are improving.

 

2.    What’s the “Isolation” timeframe for asymptomatic individuals?

10 days from specimen collection date unless symptoms develop then follow criteria stated above for symptomatic individuals.

 

3.    What are the options for quarantine (they were exposed)?

 The incubation period (how long it can take to become sick after being exposed) is between 2-14 days from the date of last close contact with the person infected with COVID-19. Petersburg City Public Schools have opted to keep a 14 day quarantine. Shorter days (7 or 10 days) are optional.

 

4. Can I test out of isolation?

No, a negative test does not get an individual out of isolation. They must serve their 10 days.

 

5. Does someone who is fully vaccinated and was exposed to COVID-19 have to quarantine?

People who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 do not have to quarantine if they meet one of the following criteria:

Those who have received their booster dose

Those who are ages 5-17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines Individuals less than six months out from their second mRNA (Moderna or Pfizer) dose or Individuals greater than 2 months after the viral vector (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine

 

 6. Fully vaccinated people who have received their booster should still get tested 5 days after close contact exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings.

If you have been exposed, VDH recommends taking a COVID-19 test 5 days after exposure. If you do develop symptoms, you should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not from COVID-19.

 

7.    Are there any other exceptions to quarantine?

Yes, people who are considered “Household” Contacts must add 14 days to the last day of the positive case’s isolation period which could result in 24 days (or longer) quarantine time. (See additional information below)

 

8. If a person who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 is exposed again, do they need to quarantine or be re-tested? (Last updated 12/30/21)

 

VDH guidance states that anyone who has tested positive for

COVID-19 within the last 90 days and were exposed again do not need to quarantine, as long as they continue to mask, and isolate immediately if symptoms developed.

 

9.    What is the infectious period for COVID-19?

A person with COVID-19 is considered to be contagious starting from 2 days before they became sick (or 2 days before specimen collection date if they never had symptoms) until they meet the criteria to discontinue isolation.

 

10. Should I require a doctor's note for students to return to school after being diagnosed with COVID-19?

No, making them bring a note can cause an undue burden on the family and the doctor's office. Also, this can potentially expose them to other diseases and cause others to be exposed to them. However, the decision to require a doctor’s note is left up to the school district.

 

 

11. When are masks required by the public health order?

“the State Health Commissioner, pursuant to§ 32.1-13 and 32.1-20 of the Code of Virginia, hereby issues this Order finding that a public health emergency due to COVID-19 continues to exist, and requiring all individuals aged two and older to wear masks when indoors at public and private K-12 schools in order to inhibit spread of the virus, as recommended and described by the CDC. Exceptions to this Order include: Individuals eating, drinking, or sleeping; Individuals exercising or using exercise equipment; Any person who is playing a musical instrument when wearing a mask would inhibit the playing of the instrument (e.g., wind or brass instrument) so long as at least six feet of physical distance can be maintained from other persons” Though state requirements may change regarding mask wearing, PCPS will continue to require mask wearing in all division buildings.

 

12. What is the timeframe for a quarantine if a household member is positive? (House- hold Contact)

If you live with someone with COVID-19, you should stay home (quarantine) for 14 days after the last sick member of your household can end isolation and safely be around others again. This can end up being 24 days. If household members are able to be completely separate from the sick person, then they should stay home for 14 days after their last contact with the person. Complete separation means having no contact, not spending any time together in shared spaces, staying in a separate bedroom, and using a separate bathroom.

 

13. What is the timeframe for quarantine during an outbreak?

You should always use a 14-day quarantine during an outbreak

 

14. A physician gave a positive individual a shorter timeframe then the 10 days is this allowed? No, they must serve their 10 days. You can report any inaccurate guidance to VDH and we can follow up with the provider to help with education

 

15. Where can I find data about COVID-19 in Virginia?

VDH posts lots of data externally, so feel free to take a look at different dashboard: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-in-virginia/

 

16. Should I count a positive at home test as valid?

Yes, keep this individual out of school. Please try and get a non at home test (Ex. from their doctor’s office, or a pharmacy) to confirm. At home tests do not verify an employee’s information (Employee Name/Date of Test etc.)

 

17. An individual tested positive again should they re-isolate?

If it has been less than 90 days from their original infection, no, as long as they served out their isolation and met all criteria to be released from isolation. VDH and CDC strongly advise against retesting within 90 days of a positive test result.

 

18. Can a fully vaccinated person test positive?

Yes, this would be called a vaccine breakthrough infection. No vaccine is 100% effective. Some cases occur for all vaccine preventable conditions in those who have received the vaccine.

Vaccines are working as they should—they are preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated

 

Distancing/Close contact scenarios:

Student to student (both properly masked) 0-3 feet: The exposed person would have to quarantine

Student to student (both properly masked) greater than 3 feet: The exposed would not have to quarantine

Student to staff less than 6 feet: The exposed person would have to quarantine Student to staff greater than 6 feet: The exposed person would not have to quarantine Staff to staff less than 6 feet: The exposed person would have to quarantine

Student to student (one or both not wearing mask) 3-6 feet: The exposed person would have to quarantine

Student to student (one or both not wearing mask) greater than 6 feet: The exposed would not have to quarantine

 

Definitions:

Asymptomatic- Without symptoms

Close contact- Being within 6 feet (0-6 feet) of a person who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, or

Having direct exposure to respiratory secretions (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, sharing a drinking glass or utensils, kissing), or

Caring for a person who has COVID-19, or

Living with a person who has COVID-19.

 

Exception: In K-12 settings, a student who was within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student is not considered a close contact as long as both students wore well-fitting masks the entire time. VDH expanded CDC’s K-12 exception to include both indoor and outdoor settings. This exception does not apply to students on school buses. This exception also does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults.

 

Fully vaccinated- Fully vaccinated means 2 weeks or more have passed since getting the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (e.g., Comirnaty/Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine), or 2 weeks or more have passed since getting 1 dose of a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). This also applies to COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford).

. Everyone ages 12 years and older is recommended to get a booster shot at least 5 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. Teens 12-17 years old can only get a Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster Use of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for a booster dose is preferred even for those who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine for their single-dose primary series.

 

COVID-19 Incubation period- 2-14 days

 

Isolation-The separation of people with COVID-19 from others.

 

Quarantine-The separation of people who were in close contact with a person with COVID-19 from others.

 

Reporting to Assigned Work Location – Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this document is to provide answers to questions of employees reporting to assigned work locations for the 2021-2022 school year.

  1. While working on-site, will I be required to wear a facial covering?

Yes, all staff members will be required to wear facial coverings as well as practice social distancing. Staff members will need to be mindful of limiting face-to-face meetings and congregating in groups. Staff members not complying with the wearing of facial coverings that cover the nose and mouth may face disciplinary action.

 

  1. I have underlying medical conditions and believe I should not be required to return to my work location to work. What are my options?

 

Employees may seek guidance from the Department of Human Resources regarding options such as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations or Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); however, all employees are required to report back to work unless accommodation or FMLA has been approved by the Department of Human Resources. Employees will have to provide supporting documentation and each request will be thoroughly reviewed with a decision rendered in a timely manner. Please understand, submitting a doctor’s note noting you should not work does not constitute approval. Additional questions regarding leave should be directed to the leaves@petersburg.k12.va.us email account that is monitored by the HR Department.

 

  1. What should I do if I am not feeling well with COVID-19 related symptoms?

Employees not feeling well with COVID-19 related symptoms should remain away from their place of work and seek medical attention. Employees are to report absences through the substitute management system. (COVID-19 related symptoms include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.)

  1. I need to take a day off because I am not feeling What steps should I take to retrieve a substitute for the school day?

 

You should continue to utilize Aesop (Frontline) when reporting an absence. By using your issued user ID and PIN/Password you will be allowed to request a substitute as well as input any special instructions for the substitute. Any absence should also be communicated to the school’s administrative staff in advance. Please follow up with the appropriate school-based administrator for access, if necessary.

 

  1. I have been diagnosed as testing positive for COVID-19; however, I no longer have any symptoms, should I report back to work?

 

Employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 must follow the VDH guidelines and Petersburg City Public Schools protocols. Employees will need to contact their immediate supervisor as well as the Department of Human Resources at leaves@petersburg.k12.va.us. Employees will be sent a Google Form to complete for documentation purposes. Employees will not be allowed to return to work until the clearance is granted from the Department of Human Resources. 

  1. I think I may have been exposed to COVID-19, what should I do?

Employees should review the When to Quarantine document and follow the guidance from the local health department as well as information provided to them by Petersburg City Public Schools. Employees that have been fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine unless they experience symptoms of COVID-19.

 

  1. I am unable to work due to being diagnosed with COVID-19 (isolation) or I have been asked to quarantine due to being identified as a close contact. How will being away from the workplace impact my leave? (UPDATED)

Employees that are required to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure will be afforded the opportunity to work from home without utilizing accrued sick leave. As noted in the answer to question #11, employees who have been fully vaccinated and boosted do not need to be quarantined unless they are symptomatic. . If you are in any administrative or instructional capacity, you are expected to work virtually as long as you are able to do so. Please note, while not mandated at this time, all employees are encouraged to get vaccinated.

 

  1. How frequently will my classroom and other frequently visited areas be cleaned during the school day?

Our custodial staff has been instructed to wipe down frequently used areas such as office countertops, entry door handles, restrooms, and hallways to name a few multiple times throughout the workday. We are asking staff to utilize the cleaning solution provided to keep desks/tables cleaned during the school day. Each evening, we will utilize more intensive cleaning measures such as disinfecting classrooms with UV light technology and electrostatic sprayers. Note: Hand sanitizing stations will be located in hallways.

 

  1. I have noticed my classroom as well as other areas throughout the schoolhouse that are not Whom should I contact to voice concerns regarding the cleanliness of my workspace and/or the schoolhouse?

All concerns regarding cleaning cycles at your work location should be directed to your immediate supervisor. Your supervisor will address concerns with the appropriate staff member(s) within the Department of Facilities.

 

  1. When am I considered fully vaccinated?

 In general, people are considered fully vaccinated if they meet the following criteria:

  • 2 weeks have passed since their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks have passed single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen
  • A Booster dose is recommended. CDC now recommends booster shots at 5 months after the completion of the primary series of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID- 19 vaccine for those aged 12 and older. Those individuals 18 and older who completed the primary series of Moderna at 5 months or after may get a booster.

 

  1. Am I still considered “fully vaccinated” if I don’t get a booster?

Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.

 

  1. If you have a cloth mask with a filter, should you still wear a disposable mask under the cloth one?

 CDC guidelines for choosing and wearing a mask include masks that have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric. Additional CDC guidance on masks can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

 

Ways to have a better fit and extra protection with cloth and disposable masks: Wear two masks (disposable mask underneath AND cloth mask on top) Combine either a cloth mask or disposable mask with a fitter or brace

Knot and tuck ear loops of a 3-ply mask where they join the edge of the mask

 

  1. How many days can a person wear a mask before it is washed and what kind of cleaner or detergent is recommended?

Reusable masks should be washed at least daily. The use of a disposable mask is the preferred method of mask usage. If you have a disposable face mask, throw it away after wearing it once. Always wash your hands before and after handling or touching your face mask.

Additional CDC guidance on masks can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html.

 

  1. We are encouraged to hold small groups inside the classroom. I am going to have students sanitize before sitting at the table and have their masks Any additional suggestions? Could we have additional plastic shields to put on small group tables?

 

A minimum of three (3) feet of social distancing and face coverings are required for students. More desk shields are coming so that all students will have them in each class. Please contact your school administrator for PPE requests. They will work with the Facilities Department to meet PPE supply requests.

 

 

  1. Can KN95 masks be reused?

KN95 masks are designed to be disposable masks. Medical grade N95 Masks should be prioritized for healthcare workers. Be careful, the CDC states “60% of KN95 respirators in the United States are counterfeit and do not meet NIOSH requirements” Please review the CDC webpage concerning face coverings and masks: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/types-of-masks.html

 

 

  1. Is it the expectation that students are not to be in groups but space 3 feet apart?

 Follow all social distancing and face-covering guidelines with students.

 

  1. Do students still need their temperatures checked at the bus stop and parent drop off?

Due to changes in CDC guidelines, at this time temperature checks are not required at school bus stops or at parent drop off.

 

  1. Can the contracted vendors who visit our schools be notified that we wear masks? Those painters have NOT been wearing masks in our buildings!

 We will absolutely continue to work with vendors to ensure they wear their masks. There should be signs on all doors that remind all visitors of mask requirements. Please notify your building administrator/supervisor to assist in ensuring all individuals in the building are wearing masks.

 

  1. Will we be receiving replacement filters for our school-issued air purifiers?

Facilities will be replacing air purifier filters on a regularly scheduled rotation consistent with manufacturer guidelines.

 

  1. If I am in isolation or quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure do I have to use my own sick time?

If you are in isolation or quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure, you will need to use your accrued sick time during your time out of work. BUT, if you can work or teach from home, you can follow work-from-home guidelines and not be charged for sick time.

Employees must have supervisor approval to determine if working from home is an appropriate option. If you are in any administrative or instructional capacity, you are expected to work virtually as long as you are able to do so.

 

  1. I have been diagnosed as testing positive for COVID-19, what should I do

 

Employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 must follow the VDH guidelines and Petersburg City Public Schools protocols. Employees will need to contact their immediate supervisor as well as the Department of Human Resources at leaves@petersburg.k12.va.us. You will need to isolate for 10 days from the date of the test (specimen date) or from the first day of onset of symptoms according to VDH and Petersburg City Public Schools guidelines Employees will not be allowed to return to work until the clearance is granted from the Department of Human Resources. The Department of Human Resources will require employees to self-certify a lack of COVID- 19 symptoms and the completion of the 10 day isolation. Any questions may be referred to the COVID-19 leader of the building.

 

 

  1. Can I still sign up for weekly testing at my school?

PCPS Employees may register for weekly testing at a school building or at the PCPS School Board Office using the following link.

 

 

 

COVID Testing Locations

 

PATIENT FIRST

1260 Temple Ave, Colonial Heights, VA 23834 (804) 518-2597

  

Better Med Urgent Care

Urgent care center · Prince George, VA · 3.2 mi · (804) 704-8655 Appointment required· Referral not required· Testing for all patients

  

CRATER HEALTH DISTRICT

https://www.petersburgva.gov/1069/COVID-19-Testing

 

CVS Pharmacy

Pharmacy · 2100 S Crater Rd · (804) 861-4191

Appointment required· Referral not required· Testing for all patients

 

COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing at Walgreens

Medical laboratory · 3298 S Crater Rd · (800) 925-4733

Appointment required· Referral not required· Tests limited to certain patients· Drive- through

 

CVS Pharmacy

Pharmacy · Colonial Heights, VA · (804) 526-3506

Appointment required· Referral not required· Testing for all patients· Drive-through

 

COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing at Walgreens

Medical laboratory · 26036 Cox Rd · 4.1 mi · (800) 925-4733

Appointment required· Referral not required· Tests limited to certain patients· Drive- through

 

Rite Aid

Drug store · Hopewell, VA · In The Crossings Shopping Center · 4.8 mi · (804) 458-8688 Appointment required·Referral not required·Testing for all patients·Drive-through

 

CVS Pharmacy

Pharmacy · Chester, VA · 10.0 mi · (804) 796-9886

Appointment required·Referral not required·Testing for all patients

 

COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing at Walgreens Pharmacy · Chester, VA · 11.0 mi · (804) 706-1419

Appointment required·Referral not required·Tests limited to certain patients· Drive- through