Responding to COVID-19
This page was updated September 20, 2021
WHAT HAPPENS IF A STUDENT BECOMES ILL AT SCHOOL?
A child who is ill and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be given a mask to wear if they are not already wearing one and supervised in a separate area until parents arrive to pick them up.
WILL THEY BE REQUIRED TO BE TESTED FOR COVID-19?
If the child/youth is symptomatic (regardless of vaccination status), they will need to be tested for COVID-19 with a PCR or an FDA approved rapid molecular test immediately, and be excluded from campus for 10 days if they test positive. A PCR test will be provided by the school site. They may not come back until they have a negative test result, or a Dr’s note explaining that their symptoms were not COVID related. They’ll need to also be fever free for at least 24 hrs with improvement in other symptoms.
If a student or staff test positive, they will receive instructions to isolate for 10 days and at least 24 hours with no symptoms. Close contacts at school will be identified and notified with public health department instructions for testing and quarantine. A public health department "general advisory" letter may be provided. Close contact is defined by the California Department of Public Health as within 6 feet of a positive case for 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period.
WILL PARENTS, STUDENTS AND STAFF BE MADE AWARE IF SOMEONE ON CAMPUS TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
The California Department of Public Health guidance states that schools should document/track incidents of possible exposure and notify local health officials. While maintaining confidentiality as required under FERPA and state and federal law related to privacy of educational and employee records, if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, close contacts at school will be identified and notified with public health department instructions for PCR testing provided by the site and quarantine. An FDA approved rapid molecular test is also acceptable. A public health department "general advisory" letter may be provided. Close contact is defined by the California Department of Public Health as within 6 feet of a positive case for 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period.
If it is confirmed that a student or staff member has been in close contact with a positive case within their own home, they would follow the public health department guidelines, including home quarantine for at least 10 days if unvaccinated. Their quarantine process would not begin until after the isolation period for the positive case has ended. If that student or staff member is fully vaccinated, quarantining is not required. A student who is self-isolating or in quarantine will work with their teacher to complete coursework from home.
WHAT HAPPENS TO TEACHING AND LEARNING IF AN ENTIRE CLASSROOM OR SCHOOL NEEDS TO CLOSE?
The teachers and students would transition into an online distance learning model until they can return to the classroom.
HOW DO I REPORT POSITIVE TEST RESULTS OR CLOSE CONTACT EXPOSURE?
You will report directly to your site administrator via email or phone call. Our reporting protocols follow all HIPAA guidelines and we may release information to public health officials as required.
WHERE CAN I FIND UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ABOUT CONFIRMED CASES AT PAUSD?
All confirmed COVID-19 incidents related to Palo Alto Unified school sites and offices will be posted to our COVID-19 Data Table.
WILL STUDENTS BE SENT HOME DUE TO COVID-19 EXPOSURE MOVE TO THE INDEPENDENT STUDY PROGRAM?
No. These students will not be enrolled into the distance learning program. A student who is self-isolating will work with their teacher to complete coursework from home.