HSD Community Health FAQs
HSD Health & Safety Protocols
Can the district guarantee protection from COVID-19?
No. Please understand that no school district can offer 100% protection from exposure to COVID-19. The CDC recommended mitigation techniques have been implemented in buildings and buses.
What safety protocols are in place?
Buildings and buses are disinfected with hospital-grade electrostatic spray units daily/nightly. Also, alcohol-based hand sanitizing stations have been placed in buildings, classrooms, and on school buses. Each building also has social distancing signage and specific hallway/bathroom procedures. Employees and substitute teachers are required to complete a Daily Health Screen form on the district’s website before entering any HSD building. Additionally, Parents are asked to monitor their student for symptoms each day before sending their student to school.
Are face masks required?
Yes, masks are required for all employees and students (Pre-K – 12 grade). Face masks and shields can be worn together, but wearing a shield alone is not allowed. Every person must wear a face mask. The district will provide extra PPE for students and employees who arrive without them.
Will the district install desk shields/sneezeguards?
Plexiglass desk shields/sneezeguards have been purchased for student and staff desks. Plexiglass desk shields/sneezeguards have also been installed in appropriate areas of offices, kitchens, clinics, and on/around cubicles.
Will students and employees be able to use the public water fountains?
To limit individuals touching surfaces and contacting a virus, bottle fillers/touchless water dispensers have been installed at every building. Disposable cups are provided by Child Nutrition.
Will the buildings be cleaned each day?
Yes. Each building has an electrostatic disinfectant Clorox 360 system and larger buildings have additional handheld systems.
Will the district send school or district-wide notifications each time there is a positive COVID-19 case?
No. Only those who are determined to be close-contacts through contact tracing will be contacted. Sending school or district-wide notifications is problematic for the following reasons: 1) It can result in parents and employees receiving excessive emails, calls, and texts. 2) It can cause distractions and create unnecessary panic. 3) It can lead to community members treating district emails like spam. If people want to keep track of COVID-19 metrics in each building, they can view the HSD Community Health Dashboard. The dashboard can be viewed here.
How do I report a positive COVID-19 test?
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, their parent/guardian should contact the school nurse. For additional support and resources, parents/guardians can contact Christian Bertel, Coordinator of Health Services.
If an employee at a school tests positive for COVID-19, they should contact the school nurse and their immediate supervisor. Employees who work at The Learning Center or don't have an assigned building should contact their immediate supervisor and Christian Bertel, Coordinator of Health Services.
Please see the school nurses’ contact information here.
What happens when a student or employee tests positive?
Each building has a trained contact tracing team that will conduct building-level contact tracing and will attempt to notify the close contacts via phone numbers and/or email addresses on file after a thorough investigation. Building principals/assistant principals will send a follow-up letter to close contacts through SIS. Additional CDC and St. Louis County Department of Public Health guidance will be followed.
What happens if a student or employee displays symptoms of COVID-19 in an HSD building?
Students who display symptoms will be taken to a special isolation room. Their emergency contact will be notified and instructed to pick them up immediately and depending on the number and type of symptom(s), they will be asked to stay home for 24 hours, contact their pediatrician, and with multiple or high-risk symptoms, seek a COVID-19 test. Employees who display COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home immediately and instructed to get a COVID-19 test and/or contact their primary care physician for the next steps if the symptoms are determined to be a diagnosis other than COVID-19.
How should I handle a positive test for COVID-19 versus a regular illness?
Everyone must stay home if they are sick. Report normal absences and illnesses as usual. However, positive or suspected cases of COVID-19 need to be reported immediately to allow the schools to take appropriate action. Please report such cases as follows: Parents should contact their child’s school nurse. Employees should contact their building administrator or supervisor. Additional CDC and St. Louis County Department of Public Health guidance will be followed.