COVID-19 Guidance for Employees and Staff

  • District Priorities
    Spartanburg School District Seven is committed to keeping employees and staff safe.  Once of the main ways to ensure this is by encouraging all faculty, staff, and students to stay home if they are sick.  The District also encourages all employees to adhere to the following when reporting to school buildings:

    • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds;
    • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth
    • Try to social/physical distance (at least six feet when possible) from people;
    • Cover your mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow whenever you sneeze or cough. If a tissue is used, dispose of it immediately; and wash your hands adhering to proper protocol
    • Clean objects you touch frequently. Use disinfectants on objects like phones, computers, doorknobs, etc.

    COVID-19 Symptom Check
    Masks
    The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidance that all individuals should wear a cloth face mask covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community (public) setting.  Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people.  This is considered an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not-instead of) physical/social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventative measures.  

    COVID-19 in the Workplace
    Individuals who are sick with COVID-19 may or may not be symptomatic.  If you are sick or think that you may have COVID-19, remain at home and contact your health care provider.  report your absence using the standing District procedures.  Notify your supervisor and Human Resources if you have a medically documented case of COVID-19 so your time away is tracked as Emergency Paid Leave related to COVID-19.

    Supervisors, administrators, and HR staff members are obligated to respect the privacy of District employees’ health conditions which is covered by Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA).

    Process for Potential Exposure Notification
    When Spartanburg School District Director of Health Services/ Human Resources is informed of a confirmed COVID-19 case, school administration will facilitate informing appropriate fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  District Seven will coordinate with local health officials in order to determine best practice for school attendance.

    What to do if an employee comes to work with symptoms of COVID-19?
    Employees who have COVID-19 symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day should immediately be provided a mask if not already wearing one and immediately separated from other employees, students, and visitors and sent home.  Employees who develop symptoms outside of work should notify their supervisor and stay home.

    COVID-19 symptomatic employees should follow CDC-recommended steps (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fsymptoms.html ).  Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider and state or local health department.

    What to do if an employee is suspected or has a confirmed case of COVID-19?
    In most cases, you do not need to shut down your facility.  However, close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time (fifteen minutes or more) by the sick person:

    • If possible, wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other employees being exposed to respiratory droplets.
    • During the waiting period, open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in these areas.

    Follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations:

    • Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them.
    • To disinfect surfaces, use products that meet EPA criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface.
    • Always wear gloves and gowns appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting
    • You may need to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) depending on the setting disinfectant product you are using.

    What to do if an employee has been exposed to COVID-19 but shows no symptoms?
    Employees may have been exposed if they are a “close contact” of someone who is infected, which is defined as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more:

    • Potentially exposed employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate, contact their primary physician, and follow CDC recommended guidelines.
    • Potentially exposed employees who do not have symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days.

    All other employees should self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.  If they develop symptoms, they should notify their supervisor and stay home. 

    See Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure for more information (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/public-health-recommendations.html).

    See Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 for more information (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html).

    What to do if you find out several days after an employee worked, that he/she were  COVID-19 positive?

    • If it has been less than 7 days since the sick employee used the facility, clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick employee following the CDC cleaning and disinfecting guidelines.
    • If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfecting are not necessary. Continue routine cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.
    • Employees may have been exposed to the virus if in close contact. Those with potential exposure should follow guidelines listed above.  Those who have symptoms should self-isolate and follow CDC recommended guidelines.
    • Those potentially exposed, but with no symptoms, should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days.

    When should employees suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive be allowed to return to work?

    Sick employees should follow steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html).

    Employees should not return to work until they meet the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider and state or local health department 

    Options for returning to work after (home) isolation period criteria have been met?

    • Option 1

    If, in consultation with a healthcare provider and local public health authorities knowledgeable about locally available testing resources, it is determined an employee will not have a test to determine if they are still contagious, the employee can leave home and return to work after these three conditions have been met:

    • The employee has had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is, 3 full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fever)  AND
    • The employee’s respiratory symptoms have improved (for example, cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
    • It has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared.
    • Option 2

    If, in consultation with a healthcare provider and local public health authorities knowledgeable about locally available testing resources, it is determined the employee will be tested to determine if they are still contagious, the employee can leave home and return to work after these three conditions have been met:

    • The employee no longer has a fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fever) AND
    • The employee’s respiratory symptoms have improved (for example, cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
    • They have received two negative tests in a row, at least 24 hours apart. Their doctor should follow CDC guidelines.