420 - Procedures - Students and Employees with Communicable and Infectious Diseases

Incident: Infectious Disease - Epidemic/Pandemic

I. General Information

A. Definitions:

1. Epidemic - An outbreak or unusually high occurrence of a disease or illness in a population or area. (May include pertussis, mumps, meningitis, encephalitis, etc.)

2. Pandemic - an epidemic that is geographically widespread; occurring throughout a region or even throughout the world. (May include: pandemic influenza, avian flu, SARS, COVID-19 etc.)

B. The information in this incident plan is a general overview of preparedness planning and early detection. The response to an epidemic incident or a pandemic incident will have a varying response depending on the type of disease/illness and how widespread it is. County, state and federal public health agencies will become involved as cases are identified and geographical areas determined. The district is working with these officials to develop a complete preparedness and response plan.

II. Preparedness Hints

A. Protect yourself – wash hands, often, using soap and warm water.

B. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

C. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including eating healthy, getting exercise and getting enough rest.

D. Maintain a good fluid intake.

E. Use disinfectants or cleaning wipes on phones, desks, etc.

F. Check with your doctor to ensure that your immunizations, including annual influenza immunization, are up to date. If not, get the appropriate immunizations.

III. During School Hours

A. Students or staff showing signs of illness will report to the Health Office. Health Office employees will use designated procedures, including the use of personal protective equipment, to evaluate their condition.

B. Students or staff may be sent home or advised to seek medical care for further diagnosis or treatment.

C. The Health Office, through a reporting process with the St. Paul - Ramsey County Department of Public Health or Washington County Department of Public Health, or Anoka County Public Health Department, (depending on where the suspected or known cases reside), will track cases. The school district will refer to Hennepin County’s “Infectious Diseases in Childcare Settings and Schools Manual”. (https://www.hennepin.us/ChildcareManual)

D. The Health Office will notify the building administrator when the presence of the infectious disease or the number of cases reaches the reporting level for that disease. (Diseases Reportable to the Minnesota Department of Health)

E. The school nurse or building administrator will notify the Director of Student Support Services (651-407-7552) and the Superintendent (651-407-7563) or Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning (651-407-7567).

F. The district will work with the appropriate local, county and state agencies.

G. A determination will be made whether or not to cancel school and/or to send students home.

H. Plans for long-term school or district closing will be determined as needed.

I. Designated District Administrator/Communications Coordinator will disseminate appropriate information to staff and students.

J. The police department, in coordination with designated district representatives, will release information to media.

K. Implement post-crisis procedures. (See: “Procedures – Post Crisis Review” section)

IV. Incident Occurs After Hours

If an outbreak happens inside our school facilities after school hours the following steps should be followed.

A. Call (9) 911.

B. Locate Assistant Head Engineer/Custodian (see: Appendix: Emergency Phone Numbers)

C. Assistant Head Engineer/Custodian will contact the building administrator. If an outbreak happens in our community, not within our facilities, the building calling system will be used to contact staff regarding procedures to follow. Students and families should watch media reports for school closings, these procedures will be similar to the current school closings – snow procedures that the district uses.