Health & Safety | Reducing Risk
LTHS is following Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requirements for Phase 4 in-person instruction to keep students and staff safe while they are in the building. Key safety measures are below.
- Require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
- Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
- Require physical distancing be observed, as much as possible;
- Conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require that individuals self-certify that they are free of symptoms before entering school buildings;
- Increase in schoolwide cleaning and disinfection, particularly the use of handwashing and hand sanitizing.
Face coverings must be worn at all times in school buildings even when physical distancing is maintained in accordance with the Illinois State Board of Education Guidelines. Face coverings do not need to be worn outside if physical distancing is maintained.
If a student is unable to wear face-covering due to a medical condition, the parent/guardian must contact the school nurse and a physician's note is required.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Staff only uses EPA-approved disinfectant with one minute kill time.
- The focus is on cleaning for health by reallocating staff and resources to increase the frequency of disinfecting in high touch areas.
- After the custodial staff has cleaned and disinfected, desks are tested regularly using an ATP meter to verify cleanliness.
- Multiple Electrostatic Sprayers are used to effectively and efficiently disinfect large spaces, buses, and athletic equipment.
- The entire custodial staff has taken a ten-part tutorial on Infectious Control and Prevention this summer. They learned how to break the chain of infection, limit cross-contamination, and use certain techniques to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Steps to Prevent the Spread
- Every classroom has disinfecting wipes.
- Hand sanitizing machines are available throughout buildings and in every classroom for students to use as they enter.
- There is assigned seating in every classroom setting.
- All shared items and equipment have been removed from classrooms.
- All drinking fountains have been shut down.
Response to Potential Cases
LTHS has established protocols to respond in the event of a positive or suspected case of COVID 19 on campus. All individuals who have come in "close contact" with a person who has tested positive for COVID 19 or been exposed to someone who is positive would be notified, while also maintaining confidentiality. A "Close contact" is anyone (with or without a face covering) who was within 6 feet of a confirmed case of COVID-19 (with or without a face covering), for at least 15 minutes throughout the course of a day. The period of close contact begins 2 calendar days before the onset of symptoms (for a symptomatic person) or 2 calendar days before the positive sample was obtained (for an asymptomatic person). If the case was symptomatic (e.g., coughing, sneezing), persons with briefer periods of exposure may also be considered contacts. Close contacts to a confirmed case of COVID-19 are required to remain in quarantine at home for 14 calendar days starting from the last day of contact with the confirmed case.
Cases are to isolate for a minimum of 10 calendar days or if symptoms persist, when released by the local health provider, while close contacts are to quarantine for 14 calendar days. This is because the incubation period--the time they might develop symptoms after an exposure—is 14 calendar days, while the infectious period when a case can transmit illness is approximately 10 calendar days.) The health department also will provide guidance on how to safely quarantine and isolate within the household.
Individuals who have not had close contact would return to school and monitor their symptoms. The District would properly clean and disinfect the areas in a building used by the sick person.