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TK-12 Schools

COVID-19 Toolkit

Page updated 10-19-21

Elementary, middle, and high schools are critical components of communities and have tremendous impact on the health, growth, and development of students and the overall well-being of families in Los Angeles County. This COVID-19 Transitional Kindergarten to 12th Grade (TK-12) Education Toolkit is designed as a resource to help you prepare for, prevent, and respond to COVID-19 in schools. The toolkit includes guidance documents which detail specific requirements and recommendations for prevention of COVID-19 spread, documents applying general prevention principles to specific educational contexts, templates to use in carrying out your role in COVID-19 prevention, answers to frequently asked questions for the education setting, as well as selected resources from local, state, and national sources. The toolkit should enable you to manage prevention strategies and reporting of COVID-19 cases at your educational organization.

Guidance Documents

Reopening Protocols for TK-12 Schools

State and County health orders currently permit all TK-12 schools to fully re-open for all students and staff with modifications in place in order to ensure safety for all students and staff. with protocols in place. In addition to the conditions imposed on schools by the State Public Health Officer and the California Department of Education, employee and student safety and infection control requirements and recommendations are detailed in the Protocol for Reopening TK-12 Schools. Schools newly re-opened for the 2021-2021 school year should complete a brief online form if they have not yet received a visit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health School Technical Assistance Team (STAT). The information provided in the form will assist DPH in data tracking and knowing which schools are open for which services. It will benefit your schools by allowing STAT to connect with your administrators to ensure that they have the technical support they need to maintain COVID-19 safety throughout the school year. If schools or administrators have questions regarding the protocols they can contact TASchoolSupport@ph.lacounty.gov.

Child Care of School-Aged Children

Schools that offer day care services for children on school campuses should refer to the DPH Guidance for Early Care and Education Providers for recommendations and requirements for how to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 in these programs.

Guidance for Overnight Organized/Children’s Camps

This guidance includes requirements and recommendations specific to Overnight Organized Camps permitted to be open by the Order of the State Public Health Officer. In addition to the conditions imposed on these specific venues by the Governor, these types of businesses must also be in compliance with the conditions laid out in this Protocol for Overnight Organized/Children’s Camps. Organized Camp (Camp) includes Children’s Camps that are defined in Los Angeles County Code, Section 8.04.081 and required to have a Public Health Permit to operate. An organized camp is a site with program and facilities established for the primary purpose of providing an overnight group living experience for recreational or other purposes for five days or more during one or more seasons of the year. A Notice of Intent to Operate must be submitted to the Environmental Health Division Communityhealth@ph.lacounty.gov.

COVID-19 Resources for Exposure Management

What To Do When You Have A COVID-19 Case At Your Facility (COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan)
  • This Exposure Management Plan (EMP) for K-12 Schools details action steps to take after you have identified a COVID-19 positive case in your facility. Immediate implementation of an exposure management plan after identifying a single case of COVID-19 at a TK-12 site can accelerate the ability to contain spread of COVID-19 and prevent that single case from becoming an outbreak at the site. This short training video walks you through the elements of COVID-19 exposure management in your facility.
  • There is a separate Exposure Management Plan (EMP) for Youth Sports. Please refer to this document if you have a case affiliated with a Youth Sports activity.
Reporting Cases at Your Institution

K-12 School Institutions are required to notify the Department of Public Health of employees and students with confirmed COVID-19 at the site. To complete this education sector reporting requirement, the K-12 Institute should use one of the reporting methods described below to provide information on (1) students and staff with confirmed COVID-19 who were on campus at any point within the 14 days prior to the illness onset date and (2) persons at the institution who were exposed to the infected person during the infectious period. The illness onset date is the first date of COVID-19 symptoms or the COVID-19 test date, whichever is earlier. All case notifications should be submitted within 1 business day of being notified of the case.

  • Online reporting: Secure online reporting is the preferred method for notifying the Department of Public Health of COVID-19 exposures and can be done on a computer or mobile device with access to the secure REDCap web application: http://www.redcap.link/lacdph.educationsector.covidreport.
    • This training video walks you through the process of submitting an online report for COVID-19 cases and contacts at your Institution.
  • Excel line list: If online reporting is not possible, reporting can be done manually by downloading and completing the COVID-19 Case and Contact Line List for the Education Sector and sending it securely to ACDC-Education@ph.lacounty.gov. A Spanish version of the Excel line list is located here.
    • This training video walks you through the process of filling out the Excel COVID-19 Case and Contact Line List for reporting to DPH. A Spanish version of the training video is located here.
  • Data dictionary
    • This data dictionary describes each of the variables being collected as part of the education sector reporting requirement.
Exposure Management Tools
  • Notification Letter Guides
    • These model letters are designed to assist with communication to parents, students and staff following identification of a COVID-19 positive case or a person with suspected COVID-19 in your facility and can be tailored to your facility's needs. The model letters include:
      1. Exposure Notification Letter for Educational Sites
        Educational sites providing activities and services for children, students, and staff are required to notify all children, students and staff who had an exposure to a person with COVID-19 during their infectious period while at the facility.
      2. Multi-team Exposure Notification Letter for Youth Recreational Sports Programs
        If an individual with confirmed COVID-19 participated during their infectious period in any games, tournaments, or other Youth Recreational Sports Program-related activities involving other teams, the Youth Recreational Sports Program Compliance Officer is required to not only notify members of their own team, but must also notify the opposing team(s) of potential exposure. Compliance officers for all affected teams must work collaboratively to identify any individuals who meet the criteria for having been exposed.
      3. General Exposure Notification Letter for Educational Sites
        Educational sites providing activities and services for children, students, and staff may choose to notify the general community of an exposure that has occurred at the site and make the community aware of precautions to take to prevent spread.
      4. Suspected-Case Exposure Notification Letter for Educational Sites
        Educational sites providing activities and services for children, students, and staff may choose to notify all children, students, and staff who have had an exposure to a person suspected of having COVID-19 at the facility.
  • Exposure Notice
    • This exposure notice is intended to make people identified as a close contact of a person with COVID-19 aware that they have been in close contact with a person positive for COVID-19.
Isolation and Quarantine, and Other Instructions for Close Contacts

Additional Guidance

  • COVID-19 Vaccine
    • VaccinateLAcounty.com (English) and VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish) provide information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including how to get the vaccine in Los Angeles County, vaccine safety, authorized vaccines, data, and information for providers.
  • Employee and Student Screening
    • This screening guidance from Los Angeles County Public Health describes actions to take after an employee or student is determined to have symptoms during the screening process or develops symptoms while at the school facility.
    • This document on Screening K-12 Students for Symptoms of COVID-19 from the CDC provides guidance to TK-12 schools on COVID-19 symptom screening as part of a school reopening process. Additional languages are available to choose from at the top of the document.
    • Note that current a target="_blank" href="https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/COVID19FAQs.html">Cal/OSHA ETS requires employers to exclude employees from the workplace who have COVID-19 symptoms or exposures and/or are not fully vaccinated and have had a close contact. Cal/OSHA does not prescribe any particular method of employee screening but implementing some method as recommended will assist in compliance with the current ETS.
  • Guidance for Masks
  • Physical Distancing
  • Reduce Risk of COVID-19
    • The webpage ph.lacounty.gov/reducerisk (English) and ph.lacounty.gov/reduceriskspanish (Spanish) provides information to help people understand who is most at risk of getting infected and sick, which situations are riskier, and what steps they can take to stay safe and slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • This Los Angeles County Department of Public Health travel guidance provides up to date travel information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Air Quality and Outside Activity
    • This guidance from the EPA lists considerations for outdoors activities at each air quality index rating. Current air quality information can be found here.
Cleaning and Disinfection
  • Cleaning and Disinfection Matrix:
    • It's important to ensure that cleaning practices in your facility are sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas. These guidelines are focused on non-healthcare facilities such as schools, institutions, offices, daycare centers, businesses, and community centers that do not house persons overnight.
Testing Guidance
  • COVID-19 Testing Guidance
    •  ph.lacounty.gov/covidtests provides information on the basics of COVID-19 testing, the different types of diagnostic viral tests and antibody tests, when testing is recommended, and what the results mean. Schools must have a testing plan in place that, at a minimum, describe the strategy for ensuring access to testing for students or employees who are symptomatic or have known or suspected exposure to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2. It is important to note that this information will change and evolve so be sure to check this website for updates.
  • COVID-19 County Testing Plan
    • The purpose of this document is to explain the County's strategy for testing to detect current COVID-19 infection. Note, it does not discuss the use of serology (antibody) tests which cannot be used alone to diagnose current infection.
  • LA County Test Sites
    • Find out where you can access appointments for free testing in LA County.
  • Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards
    • (Cal/OSHA ETS) requires employers to offer testing at no cost to employees during paid time for:
      • Symptomatic unvaccinated employees, regardless of whether there is a known exposure
      • Unvaccinated employees after an exposure
      • Vaccinated employees after an exposure if they develop symptoms
      • Unvaccinated employees in an outbreak (3 or more employee cases)
      • All employees in a major outbreak (20 or more employee cases)
    • For more information, see the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs and poster.

Additional Resources

LA County
  • COVID-19 frequently asked questions provide background information about COVID-19 including how to identify symptoms, get tested and prevent the spread of the virus.
  •  LAC DPH COVID-19 webpage ph.lacounty.gov/Coronavirus with Information , guidelines, data, health officer orders, and local resources.
LA County Office of Education COVID-19 Resources
  • Health and Safety During COVID-19
    • This web page provides helpful resources for districts and schools in preparing for and handling COVID-19.
  • Strategic Communications Planning
    • The Los Angeles County Office of Education developed this toolkit to support the region’s 80 TK-12 districts in their communication with stakeholders. Included are templates for messages on a variety of topics pertinent to COVID-19 and school reopening.
LA County Department of Mental Health
  • Emotional Wellbeing During a Pandemic
    • The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) supports the wellbeing of every member of our communities. The COVID-19 information home provides mental health resources for LA County residents. LACDMH's 24/7 Help Line at (800) 854-7771 is available to provide mental health support, resources and referrals.
  • Free iPrevail Access
    • LA County residents have free access to iPrevail.com, an online mental health resource to help with life's everyday stressors. After a short assessment, you are connected to customized support to meet your needs. Options include:
      • on-demand chat with trained Peer Coaches,
      • self-paced lessons on a variety of topics to improve wellbeing, and
      • community support groups
    • iPrevail is offered in English and Spanish and is available 24/7 from any smart device.

  • Free Mental Health Resources
    • LACDMH is also a part of PsychHub's COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub, which is dedicated to providing free resources to help people address their mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDPH Guidance
  • TK-12 Reopening Guidance
    • CDPH developed consolidated guidance for K-12 schools, the COVID-19 Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework & Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California. New evidence about COVID-19 transmission, including variations by age, and the effectiveness of disease control and mitigation strategies continues to emerge regularly. Recommendations regarding in-person school reopening and closure should be based on the available evidence as well state and local disease trends.
  • California's Safe Schools for All Plan
    • In January 2021, the State of California launched their Safe Schools for All initiative to provide the support and accountability to establish a clear path to minimize in-school transmissions and enable, first, a phased return to in-person instruction, and then ongoing safe in-person instruction. The Safe Schools For All Hub consolidates key resources and information related to COVID-19 and schools. New resources will be added to the Hub on a routine basis.
CDE Guidance
  • Coronavirus Response and School Reopening Guidance
    • This webpage provides information and resources regarding CDE's COVID-19 response efforts, including the guidance document for safely reopening schools for the 20-21 school year.
  • COVID-19 School Closures and Services to Students with Disabilities
    • Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-26-20 requiring the California Department of Education (CDE) to issue guidance on several topics, including ensuring students with disabilities (SWD) receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) consistent with their individualized education program (IEP) and meeting other procedural requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and California law. This guidance provides additional information based on questions received by the CDE in recent weeks.
State Department of Developmental Services COVID-19 Information
  • This page provides links to general information about COVID-19 and resources and special educational supportive services for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Resources
  • Safely Making California
    • A partnership between the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA), Autodesk, and the State of California has created the "Safely Making California" Marketplace to help fill a critical gap for all sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will connect CMTA member manufacturers and other manufacturers to employers who have the need to purchase non-medical grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
CDC Guidance
  • Schools and Childcare Guidance Website
    • This link provides access to the CDC landing page for Schools and Child Care Programs. From here, you can navigate to all available education and childcare related guidance that CDC offers.
  • TK-12 Reopening Guidance
    • This guidance is intended to aid school administrators as they consider how to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of students, teachers, other school staff, their families, and communities and prepare for educating students this fall.
  • Coping with Stress
    • The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may be stressful for students, staff and the school community. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

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