2020 Reopening Plan

GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR ALL STAFF

Last Revised: September 10, 2020 

 

Goals of the 2020 Reopening Plan:

At Luzerne County Head Start, Inc. (“LCHS”) it is our priority to keep our staff and their families healthy, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we will abide by governmental guidelines when possible as we strive to balance public health concerns with the needs of our business. This 2020 Reopening Plan details how we plan to reopen our business and still keep all of our staff safe. This plan, which pulls from guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDOH), Office of Head Start (OHS), National Head Start Association (NHSA), Pennsylvania Head Start Association (PHSA), and Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) highlights the responsibilities of managers and staff, and outlines the steps LCHS is taking to address COVID-19.  Please keep in mind that guidance and best practices regarding COVID-19 is continually changing.  As such, this 2020 Reopening Plan may need to be adjusted and revised to align with state and local guidance from time to time.

While we will implement various protocols to help ensure your safety, it is up to you and your co-workers to execute on these protocols daily. By releasing this 2020 Reopening Plan, LCHS hopes to clearly communicate our plans moving forward, highlight workplace protocols in place to help protect your safety, and establish a level of comfort for all of our staff as we ask you to return to the work site. 

Any questions or concerns relating to COVID-19 or returning to work should be directed to Human Resources. Managers and supervisors receiving questions or concerns relating to COVID-19 will be referring such questions to Human Resources as well.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the CDC, anyone can have mild to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from the COVID-19 illness.  People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, from mild symptoms to severe illness. According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. This list is not all-inclusive of all possible symptoms.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?

According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

When should you seek medical attention?

If you do not feel well, or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, as described by the CDC and referenced above, we recommend that you consult your private health care provider to determine if your symptoms are appropriate for testing.   For the protection of your co-workers and our community, PLEASE DO NOT REPORT TO WORK.  PLEASE STAY HOME.

If someone is showing any of the following emergency warning signs, the CDC recommends seeking medical care immediately: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face. This list is not all-inclusive of all possible symptoms.  Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.  If you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19, call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility.

What should you do to protect yourself and others?

As COVID-19 evolves, we continue to monitor guidelines and recommendations from local, state and federal officials. The situation is changing rapidly, and we are responding in kind.  We expect all staff to comply with the following guidelines to protect themselves and others, which have been established by the CDC, and further developed by our state officials.

Open windows.  If possible, open all windows in offices and classrooms while in the building.

Wash your hands often. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home.  If possible, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between the person who is sick and other household members. Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.  Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. Stay at least 6 feet from other people. Do not gather in groups. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. All staff and visitors are required to wear masks that cover their mouth and nose while on LCHS grounds at all times. Staff are permitted to use their own cloth masks that comply with CDC requirements. To the extent that staff do not have masks available to them, LCHS will make disposable masks available on site. Cloth masks should be washed after each use. Masks are not a substitute for social distancing and staff are expected continue to keep at least 6 feet of space between themselves and others, even when they are wearing masks.

Staff are not required to wear masks while they are eating or drinking when spaced at least 6 feet apart from others or when alone in an office or a similar location that is completely separated from other individuals by physical barriers with sides that extend above the heads of any individuals present, such as cubicles.  Staff who have a physical disability that prevents easily wearing or removing a face covering, who are deaf and use facial and mouth movements as part of communication, who have been advised by a medical professional that wearing a face covering may pose a risk for health-related reasons, or who have trouble breathing or are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance may be eligible for an exception from the mask-wearing requirement. Please contact Human Resources if you believe that you fall into one of these categories.

Cover coughs and sneezes. If you are in a private setting, eating, or do not have on your mask for some other reason, remember to always cover our mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.  If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a household disinfectant.

Please also refer to guidelines from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/) and the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/) for more information on what you can do to lower any risk of contracting the virus as well as how to prevent its spread.

See also:

What should you do if you experience symptoms of COVID-19?

 Staff who experience the following symptoms should stay home and should not report to work:

  1. Cough; or
  2. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; or
  3. Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or higher; or
  4. More than one of the following symptoms: chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, new loss of taste/smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or other symptoms as determined by the CDC.

If staff start to experience these symptoms while they are already on-site at LCHS, they must immediately leave the premises and notify their supervisor.  Supervisors must then notify Human Resources. Staff will be contacted by Human Resources regarding next steps and when they can return to work. 

Staff who experience symptoms of COVID-19 will generally not be permitted to return on-site without a doctor’s note.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE 2020 REOPENING

 Phases of 2020 Reopening[1]

  •  Phase I – Beginning Monday, July 27th
    • The following department teams are scheduled to return to work through a hybrid model of both in person and telework: Administrative Offices including: Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director, Finance, Human Resources, Director of Early Childhood Education, Director of Operations, Maintenance, Administrative Assistant staff, Specialists (HS/EHS), MIS, ERSEA/Recruiters and Program Assistants (Family Engagement, Early Head Start)
    • EHS Family Educators, Nurse Educator, and Program Managers will continue to telework
  • Phase II – Beginning Monday, August 1st and continuing through August 24th based on previously determined start dates
    • The following staff are scheduled to return to work through a hybrid model of both in person and telework: Center Managers/Center Assistant, Teachers, Family Workers, Regional Nurses, Associate Teachers, Classroom Aides, Cooks and Nutrition Aides.
    • EHS Family Educators, Nurse Educator, and Program Managers will continue to telework.
  • Phase III-Monday, August 31st
    • Students will begin school in a virtual format.
    • Federal and State Head Start, as well as Pre-K Counts, will have 10 children per virtual classroom.
    • HS Family Educators, Nurse Educator, and Program Managers will continue to telework.
  • Phase IV- Date to be Determined
    • Based on the health and wellness of our community and state, students and staff in Federal and State Head Start, as well as Pre-K Counts, will begin with in-person classroom learning on a staggered start.
    • All classrooms will have 10 children and up to 3 direct staff per classroom, practicing social distancing and face mask guidelines.

Steps taken by LCHS:

LCHS has created a COVID-19 Task Force that is comprised of Direct Service Staff, Specialists, Administration, and Community Partners.  This Task Force has been busy at work to implement a safe and beneficial return to work for staff. Staff should expect the following procedures to be practiced when they return to work.

  • Daily Staff Screening QuestionnaireEach day, before arriving on-site at LCHS or making deliveries to homes, staff will be expected to complete a screening questionnaire that will be electronically available to them. Staff who are unable to affirm the questions provided on the questionnaire will not be permitted to report to work on-site at LCHS and should immediately contact their supervisor pursuant to normal call-out procedures and Human Resources to determine next steps. A copy of the screening questionnaire is affixed to this document as “Exhibit B”.
  • Staggered and monitored schedules—LCHS will implement a tracking system for staff to request and record their attendance at the work site. Additionally, rotating schedules to minimize staff contact will be used until all restrictions are lifted.
  • Workstation modifications—LCHS will modify the office layout to create at least 6 feet of distance between staff desks, and face-to-face desk layouts will be changed. When an office does not allow at least 6 feet of distance between staff desks, a plexiglass sneeze guard will be added to the desk top.
  • Prohibition of in-person meetings—Until all social distancing requirements are lifted, LCHS will ban in-person meetings that do not meet social distancing guidelines. Instead, staff should conduct virtual meetings. Staff who are in the office should avoid gathering in groups.
  • Masks and social distancing required—Staff will have an assigned area of the building where they will be required to report to work. Staff will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing (at least six feet apart) throughout the entire time that they are on the premises, including meeting spaces, office suites, kitchens, restrooms, and break rooms, subject to the mask exceptions outlined in the general guidelines in this document. Staff should limit the areas of the building visited during the day; instead of making in-person visits, staff should use the phone to contact whoever they are required to contact when feasible.  Staff who share office space or sit at the front reception areas will be provided with a sneeze guard (plexiglass) to be placed on their desk as a barrier for added protection.
  • Hand sanitizing and hand washing—Hand hygiene and proper handwashing techniques will be completed regularly while staff are on-site. All staff will use hand sanitizer prior to entry to the building. LCHS also will have hand sanitizer stations at various locations which must be used throughout the day.
  • Telework—LCHS will consider telework for certain positions, if appropriate. As business needs change, there may also be a need for employees to assist LCHS in different capacities and LCHS expects cooperation from all staff during this unprecedented time.

Cleaning and Disinfecting of LCHS Facilities

LCHS will be taking every reasonable precaution to make sure the premises are safe for staff and the community.  LCHS will use cleaning agents as well as disinfectants throughout the day and follow a strict cleaning and disinfecting protocol throughout the building that includes regular cleaning with specified frequency in all hallways, shared bathrooms, food prep area and other spaces including but not limited to offices, vehicles, printers, copiers, pens, countertops, kitchenettes, and all other common areas.

All staff are required to be part of the continuous cleaning and disinfecting process to help maintain the building’s cleanliness, including offices, kitchenette, training rooms, and bathrooms.  LCHS encourages staff to open windows if accessible in offices.

Frequently touched surfaces will require more frequent cleaning and disinfection based on their frequency of use.  Surfaces and objects in public places, such as keypads-copier, fax, alarm panel, entrance to building should be cleaned and disinfected by staff after each use.  Disinfectant wipes will be provided so that the following areas can be cleaned throughout the day:

  • Copy machines
  • Fax machines
  • Door handles
  • Light switches
  • Desks
  • Sinks
  • Countertops
  • Handles-Refrigerators, microwaves, drawer handles, etc.
  • Phones
  • Keyboards
  • Toilets
  • Faucets
  • Other high-touch surfaces that cannot be sprayed

Staff will be responsible to clean and disinfect the toilet and sink after each use. Bottles of hypochlorous acid (effective for two weeks-all bottles will be labeled and dated) will be placed on counters of bathroom sinks.  Once a staff member has washed hands for at least 20 seconds using water and soap, they will spray the toilet seat, the toilet handle, and sink handles with soap and water and then wipe off. Then the staff will spray the hypochlorous acid on the above listed areas to air dry.

Guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting:

  • Clean
    • Clean surfaces using soap and water (LCHS will have prepared solutions/spray bottles available for staff use)
      • Cleaning with soap and water reduces the number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface.
    • Disinfect
      • LCHS will use a diluted household bleach solution and/or hypochlorous acid to disinfect (both are listed on the EPA list as a disinfectant against COVID)
        • Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.

Additional Changes to General Operations

  • Deliveries—LCHS will accept deliveries from vendors inside of the building as long as the delivery driver is wearing a mask. The employee of LCHS will disinfect all areas that were touched by the driver after delivery has been made.
  • Visitors—Until further notice, all nonessential visitors are prohibited and any interviews should be conducted virtually. For business-critical visits (e.g., material deliveries), LCHS will take appropriate steps to safeguard employees and visitors.

 Guidelines for LCHS Vehicles

  • LCHS vehicles will be limited to use by one staff per vehicle.
  • Vehicle use should be limited and supervisor approval must be obtained for the use of any vehicle.
  • Vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected on return by the staff using the vehicle with supplies provided as follows:
    • Commonly touched surfaces in the vehicle should be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning and end of each shift if the same person is using the vehicle.
    • Doors and windows should remain open when cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle.
    • Staff should wear masks and disposable gloves compatible with the products being used during the cleaning and disinfecting process.
    • All hard non-porous surfaces within the interior of the vehicle such as hard seats, arm rests, door handles, seat belt buckles, light, radio and air controls, doors and windows, and grab handles, should be cleaned with a soap and water solution provided by LCHS prior to disinfectant application.
    • Once cleaned, staff will disinfect using a wipe over all non-porous surface areas as described above.
  • When filling a vehicle up with gas, gloves should be worn.
    • Place gloves on prior to touching gas pump
    • Keep gloves on while pumping gas
    • Take gloves off once gas nozzle is returned to pump
    • Throw gloves in gas station garbage
    • Clean and sanitize after gloves are removed

EXHIBIT A

 

What If I…?

What Do I do?

Who to Contact?

Experience a cough, shortness of breath, or a fever of 100.4 or higher

 

While at home before getting to work?

*Follow normal call-off procedures and stay home.

Supervisor & HR

While I am at work or when I arrive to work?

*Leave the premises and return home.

Supervisor & HR

Experience more than one of the following symptoms: chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, or new loss of taste/smell

 

While at home before getting to work?

 

*Follow normal call-off procedures and stay home.

Supervisor & HR

While I am at work or when I arrive to work?

* Leave the premises and return home.

Supervisor & HR

Was in close contact (within 6 feet for 10+ minutes) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or exhibited COVID-19 symptoms.

 

   

Supervisor & HR

EXHIBIT B—–STAFF SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE

Revised: 7/24/20

I hereby affirm the following representations are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge:

1. I am not experiencing any of the following COVID-19 symptoms: 

   a. Cough; or 
   b. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; or
   c. More than one of the following secondary symptoms:
       chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, or new loss of taste/smell

2. I took my temperature prior to coming to work today and my temperature was less than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. I have not been exposed to anyone with any of the CDC-specified symptoms identified in Question No. 1 in the last two weeks.
4. I am not currently waiting for COVID-19 test results and I have not been exposed to anyone currently waiting for COVID-19 test results.
5. I have not tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks.
6. I have not traveled to any region or states that have been identified by the PA Department of Health and Center for Disease Control where there are a high number of COVID-19 cases and for which it has been recommended that you quarantine for 14 days upon return. Please see the links provided for up-to-date lists of such regions and states:

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

I understand that by signing below I am making these representations to Luzerne County Head Start, Inc. and if they are false or inaccurate, I will be subject to discipline up to, and including, termination from employment.

_______________________________________

Signature

_______________________________________

Date

[1] These reopening phases are tentative and are subject to change based on state and local guidance, and the pandemic itself. Should our staff be exposed to COVID-19 after the work site reopens, our plan may change in an effort to protect our employees. In addition, if cases of COVID-19 spike again in our state or locality, we will reconsider whether to remain open and proceed with the planned reopening phases.