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2022-2023 COVID Protocols

Risk Management in a COVID-19 Environment


Although there is no amount of preparation that will provide a risk-free environment, Baltimore Lab School is layering mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections in our school community. Our planning has been guided by the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland Department of Education, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as our own public health nursing staff.

To promote health and safety this school year, our layers of protection include:
  • Vaccines: BLS highly encourages all eligible students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. BLS employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or produce negative test results weekly.
  • Staying home for illness and exposure: Morning wellness checks are required for both students & staff through the Magnus Health App.
  • Quarantine and Isolation: Strict compliance with Maryland Department of Health guidelines for exclusion and return to school and directives from the Baltimore City Department of Health (BCDH)
  • Masking: Staff and students have the option to wear masks indoors and/or outdoors.
  • Ventilation: HEPA filters installed in each classroom and office, along with open windows and doors.
  • Physical distancing: Distanced classroom and hallway layouts, with reduced interaction between groups.
  • Hygiene: Hand-washing and respiratory hygiene reinforced, and touchless hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the building.
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting: enhanced cleaning protocols with daily schedules.
  • Health Care: Full-time Registered Nurse with expanded Health Suite including private isolation room.
  • Outside exposure: Reduced visitors allowed during the day. Contact tracing coordinated with BCDH.


Health and Safety Protocols


Daily Health Screening
  • Health checks of all students and staff will be submitted daily via the Magnus Health mobile app before 7:30am daily.
  • Car-riders who do not pass screening requirements will not be able to enter the building. Bus-riders who do not pass screening and are sent to school will immediately be isolated and sent home.
  • Individuals without access to a smartphone will be provided with paper form.
  •  Symptoms, exposure, and testing status precluding a student from attending school will be based on current CDC and Maryland State guidelines.
  • If you do not have a login to Magnus Health, please contact amber.cooper@baltimorelabschool.org or ashley.gladfelter@baltimorelabschool.org.
  • Instructions for using the Magnus Health app can be found here.
Face Coverings
  • As of January 2022, masks at Baltimore Lab School are optional for all staff and students.
  • Masks are highly recommended while in the building to prevent spread of droplets from Covid-19. Masks with exhalation valves, vents, bandanas, scarves, or “neck gaiters” are not acceptable face coverings.
  • Outdoor mask use is optional when physical distancing can be maintained. 
  • Symbols and words printed on masks must comply with BLS dress-code guidelines.
  • Students should carry at least 2 extra masks in their backpack.
  • CDC information on face coverings can be found here.

What to do if a student or staff member is sick
  • Stay home when experiencing any ONE of the following symptoms: fever of 100.4 or higher, runny nose, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea or vomiting, new onset of severe headache (especially with fever), or new loss of taste or smell.
  • Contact the school:
    - Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.:
               - Call the school directly at 410-261-5500
    - Between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. the next day:
               - Email amber.cooper@baltimorelabschool.org. Please provide as many details as possible, as well as a phone number 
                 where you can be reached. If you do not hear back by 7:30 a.m., call the school directly.
  • Seek guidance from your physician.
  • Obtain an RT-PCR COVID-19 test from a medical professional at a testing facility/office. No home tests (regardless if it is a RT-PCR or not) will be accepted. Submit results to the school nurse.
  • Students with symptoms at school will be isolated and sent home. Parents must pick up their ill child within 30 minutes of being notified by the school.

What to do if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19
  • All persons who test positive for COVID-19 or have suspected COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should complete isolation as follows: 
  • Stay home for at least 5 full days from the date of symptom onset if symptomatic or from the date of the positive test if no symptoms. 
    Day 0 is considered the day symptoms started in symptomatic persons or the day of the positive test (based on the date of testing) if asymptomatic. 
    After day 5, if the person has no symptoms or if symptoms are improved and they have had no fever for at least 24 hours without medication, they may return to school if they wear a well-fitting mask* for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10). ○ If they are unable to wear a mask, they should remain at home for day 6 through day 10. A negative test at day 10 or after is not needed to return. 
    * Masks do not need to be worn in schools or child care programs while eating, drinking, sleeping or outside. 
     
  • Isolation vs. quarantine is explained here
    • Make every effort to limit contact between the person in isolation and other people, including other household members, during the isolation period. Even if the person in isolation is wearing a mask, contact with other people should be limited. Avoid contact with other members of the household by staying in a separate room and using a separate bathroom if possible.
    • If the individual is young and needs regular assistance from an adult, designate one person in the household to be the primary caregiver during this time, and ensure the caregiver wears a mask as well. 
    • Monitor symptoms. If the infected individual develops an emergency warning sign, seek emergency medical care immediately. Emergency warning signs include trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; the inability to wake up or stay awake; and pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds (depending on skin tone).
  • Contact the school immediately! (see “what to do if a student or staff member is sick” for contact options). It is imperative that the school notifies all close contacts as soon as possible.

What to do if a student or staff member who is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • Contact the school immediately (see “what to do if a student or staff member is sick” for contact options) if you are notified outside of school.
  • Staff and students/children who may be close contacts, regardless of their vaccination status, can continue to attend school as long as they remain asymptomatic and wear a mask for 10 days.
    ○ A test at 3-5 days after exposure is needed to keep coming to school.
  • If the close contact is identified in school, the student will be isolated and will be assessed for signs and symptoms. 
  • Please isolate the individual and notify the school immediately if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive (rapid antigen or RT-PCR).
 
What to do if a household member of a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19
  • Stay home. Do not attend school.
  • Contact the school:
    - Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.:
              - Call the school directly at 410-261-5500
    - Between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. the next day:
              - Email amber.cooper@baltimorelabschool.org. Please provide as many details as possible, as well as a phone number 
                where you can be reached. If you do not hear back by 7:30 a.m., call the school directly.

What to do if a student or staff member is waiting for results of a COVID-19 test?
  • Stay home. Do not attend school.
  • Contact the school if the school nurse is not already aware of the situation.

What happens if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
  • The school will contact the Baltimore City Health Department for support with contact tracing and to confirm isolation and quarantine requirements.
  • The student or staff member will isolate for 5-10 days.
  • Close contacts will be identified, notified,  and instructions for quarantines and testing will be provided. 
    - If you are not notified directly, your child has not been identified as a close contact.
  • The BLS community at large will be notified if the infected individual was in contact with the BLS community within 48 hours of the start of symptoms, or if asymptomatic, the date of test collection.
  • The identities of infected individuals and close contacts will be protected.
     

Practice safe, respectful, and responsible health behaviors even when outside of the BLS Community.

These protocols are subject to change throughout the course of the year. The School will update any changes to these policies. However, it is important for community members to appreciate that there are no strategies that can eliminate transmission risk entirely. These policies are designed to help keep risk of transmission as low as possible among our community, while keeping students as engaged in the learning process as possible.

 

COVID-19 Points of Contact for Questions

Our full-time School Nurse serves as the medical point of contact for COVID-19 questions. Please direct your medical questions to:
Amber Cooper - amber.cooper@baltimorelabschool.org

Please direct your questions for at-home learning during quarantines and isolation to the appropriate Division Head:
Maggie Bove Tyler (Lower School) margaret.tyler@baltimorelabschool.org
John Morgal (Middle School) john.morgal@baltimorelabschool.org
Ned Bartlett (High School) ned.bartlett@baltimorelabschool.org

 


 

This page was last updated on July 29, 2022.

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