Health, Safety and Training
Health and safety encompass all aspects of district operations including training, facilities, transportation, nutritional services, instruction and classroom operations, and impacts all people within the district. The regulations, rules and guidance are based upon the most current information from various governing authorities such as the Washington State Department of Health and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Health and safety encompass all aspects of district operations including facilities, transportation, nutritional services, instruction and classroom operations, and impacts all people within the district. The regulations, rules and guidance are based upon the most current information from various governing authorities outlined on the previous page.
Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Hand hygiene is performed by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol content until the content dries.
Hand sanitizing dispensers and/or bottles are located throughout the facility/campus where sinks and other hand washing facilities are not readily available. Handwashing or use of sanitizer should occur:
- Upon entering and exiting the school building and when transitioning within the school environment
- When individuals have close contact with other people
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing (encourage individuals to cough or sneeze into the upper sleeve or elbow, not onto their hands)
- After using the restroom
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before and after touching your face (encourage individuals to avoid touching their face with their hands)
- After any type of play or physical activity
- Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g., a child who needs help with a coat or face covering, supporting an individual with special needs)
- Before putting on and after removing masks and gloves
- After touching frequently touched areas (e.g., doorknobs, handrails, shared computers)
- When individuals provide close contact services, they should perform hand hygiene before and after contact with each person, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and after removing PPE, including Hand hygiene after removing PPE is particularly important to remove any pathogens that might have been transferred to bare hands during the removal process.
Detailed information from the CDC on hand washing can be found on the CDC website for When and How to Wash Your Hands.
Face coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Mukilteo School District has youth three-ply, disposable masks and adult three-ply, disposable masks on hand for use whenever a student, staff member, or authorized visitor is without one or needs a replacement. All buildings and school buses have masks on hand. Additionally, N95, KN95 masks and other types of PPE, including face shields, gowns, goggles and gloves are available for distribution to staff who are in positions where duties require higher levels of PPE.
Performing arts guidance requires 3-layer face masks for students and staff in performing arts classes and while participating in performing arts activities. The district will supply 3-layer masks for students to meet these purposes. Elementary students should wear the 3-layer masks in general music and elementary classrooms when singing is performed. Secondary school choirs may use choir-specific cloth masks for singing. Cloth masks may be used for non-aerosol producing classes (e.g., percussion, etc.) Additionally, woodwind and brass instruments require bell covers while playing and the district will provide those.
Staff who are in positions/roles that meet the defined high risk situations outlined in the above guidance will be provided with the appropriate and allowable PPE. Student-specific situations where masks may not be able to be worn because of medical situations or other qualifying exemptions will be reviewed by appropriate personnel including, but not limited to, the site supervisor, IEP team, district administration, district nurses and the Safety Department. The parties will help determine whether a student will be permitted to be at school or whether their disability will require any additional protective measures needed for the students and others.
The use of face coverings along with social distancing protocols, frequent handwashing, and other health and safety mitigation measures outlined in this guide work together to create a multi-layer approach to reducing transmission of any COVID-19 virus that may exist.
Exceptions for Required Face Coverings
For staff, masks shall be worn at all times by every individual not working alone. Someone is considered to be working alone when they are isolated from interaction with other people and have little or no expectation of in-person interruption. How often an employee is able to work alone throughout the day may vary.
Student-specific situations where masks may not be able to be worn because of medical situations or other qualifying exemptions will be reviewed by appropriate personnel including, but not limited to, the site supervisor, IEP team, district administration, district nurses and the Safety Department. The parties will help determine appropriate accommodations which may include a remote assignment, approved leave of absence, or any additional protective measures needed for the student and others.
Younger students must be supervised when wearing a face covering or face shield. They will be supported and educated on the health and safety protocols. Students will need help with their masks and becoming comfortable wearing them. This type of interaction will be allowable based on current guidance for the definition of close contact.
The state of Washington and the Department of Health advise schools to provide appropriate physical distancing standards whenever possible as a layer of safety used in combination with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other safety measures. This standard does not apply to school buses, although precautions and protocols have been developed and will be in place. Distancing will occur as follows:
- Classrooms will be arranged with 3-feet spacing between student desks, to the degree possible, ensuring seating is available for all students enrolled for in-person learning.
- Cafeterias will be arranged to maximize distancing between seated students, to the extent possible.
- While moments such as passing in hallways or during play at recess will present situations where students are not physically distanced, schools will maximize physical space between students and limit interactions in large group settings.
Schools are no longer required to collect paper or electronic attestations from staff or families. However, it is expected staff and students are self monitoring for any symptoms and that families are checking their children's health each morning before school. Staying home when sick is an essential approach toward reducing transmission.
Students and staff are not permitted onsite if they:
- Are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 including
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea or
- Have been in close contact (within three feet for at least 15 minutes when both parties are wearing face coverings) with someone who has confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or
- Have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, or are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test; or
- Within the past 14 days has had a public health or medical professional tell them to self-monitor, self-isolate, or self-quarantine because of concern about COVID- 19 infections.
- Even if a student is vaccinated, they should not attend school if they have any of the above symptoms.
COVID-19 symptoms are described as “class A” or “class B.” The class of symptoms determines the timeframe for isolation and a staff member’s or student’s return to school.
- Are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 including
COVID-19 vaccinations are not required for students. Should they become mandatory as required by state officials, necessary procedures and protocols will be put in place to meet those requirements.
On August 18, 2021, Governor Inslee announced a vaccine mandate for all K-12 staff by October 18, 2021. An FAQ regarding the mandate was issued by OSPI. Mukilteo School District’s Human Resources department is issuing information and procedures for staff.
Whether an individual is vaccinated or not, everyone is still required to wear face coverings and follow existing safety protocols.
To reduce transmission, volunteers are not allowed in Mukilteo School District schools until further notice. Visitors who are permitted beyond the office area include:
- District staff who are not assigned to the work site and who need to conduct essential work including, but not limited to, facility maintenance and cleaning, and addressing a student’s physical or emotional well-being and care. This includes identified itinerant district staff.
- Persons providing on-site services to students under contract with the district.
- Persons involved in MSD school construction or facility maintenance activities including, but not limited to, general contractors, sub-contractors, architects, engineers, and involved inspectors or other required parties. All such activities that must occur during school hours will be coordinated via the district’s Capital Projects department with building administrators.
- In-person meetings with student’s parents/guardians in support of the student’s health, well-being, or academic progress. Zoom should still be considered a viable and effective method for these meetings.
- A scheduled or routine outside delivery service.
- Personnel necessary for emergency response including guardians.
Incident Reporting/Response Plan
Mukilteo School District has a COVID-19 Building Response Plan, created by district nurses and the Safety Department consistent with guidance from Snohomish Health District. The plan provides clear and consistent direction for responding to situations where a student or staff member displays COVID-19 related symptoms and/or has a positive case of COVID-19. Each building has a response team which includes the COVID-19 Site Supervisor, Building Nurse, and Director of Safety who respond to confirmed or suspected cases. Each case is unique and may require response details beyond the general steps listed below.
There are three scenarios involving response protocols:
- Persons exhibiting symptoms:
- Stay home when sick
- If symptoms develop onsite they are sent home (student will be isolated) and may be offered a voluntary rapid antigen COVID-19 test, with required consent.
- Symptomatic individuals receiving a negative COVID-19 test may return 24 hours after symptoms resolve.
- Enact cleaning response protocols.
- Prepare potential contact tracing list in the event it becomes a confirmed positive case.
- For reference, see Snohomish Health District Return-to-Work/School Flowchart
- Confirmed positive cases:
- Response team activated (COVID Site Supervisor, Building Nurse, Director of Safety)
- Determine timeline (begins 48 hours before onset of first symptom or upon positive test result if asymptomatic)
- Determine if any close contacts occurred and conduct review of specifics
- Notify and quarantine any close contacts and Snohomish Health District to determine next steps
- Enact cleaning response protocols
- Determine communication needs based on situation specifics.
- Confirmed close contact:
- Snohomish Health District will use the following parameters in determining close contacts in schools:
Generally, a close contact is someone who was within six feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period during the period of time when the person with COVID-19 was infectious. This definition still applies to staff, teachers and other adults.
In a K-12 indoor classroom, the close contact definition excludes students who were at least three feet away from an infected student when (a) both students were wearing face coverings/masks and (b) other prevention strategies were in place.
The definition of a close contact may vary in some situations (e.g., less time spent in close proximity to an unmasked person who is coughing, direct cough/sneeze spray, or other contact that is more intense like sharing drinks, eating utensils, etc.). The ultimate determination of close contact is made by the local health jurisdiction during its investigation; it may delegate this determination if appropriate.
Close contacts who are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms do not need to quarantine, but should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- Unvaccinated close contacts quarantine for 10 days from the date of the last close contact with the positive individual. If symptoms develop during the 10 days, they should isolate for 10 more days from symptom onset and get tested.
- Response team confers regarding situation specifics to determine any necessary next steps
Staff and student health information is protected by law and others should respect the confidentiality associated with such information.
- Persons exhibiting symptoms: