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COVID-19 Information & Updates

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 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: Masks worn indoors at all times, except while eating or drinking. Outdoor masking is optional in circumstances where distancing can be maintained.
  • 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 molly.watt@baltimorelabschool.org or ashley.rossiter@baltimorelabschool.org
  • Instructions for using the Magnus Health app can be found here.
Face Coverings
  • Masks must be worn by all persons, at all times while in the school building, Lovely Lane UMC, and riding transportation vehicles. Masks with exhalation valves, vents, bandanas, scarves, or “neck gaiters” are not acceptable.
  • 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, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, 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 molly.watt@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
  • Isolate immediately
    • Stay home from school and all other settings outside of the home for 10 days starting the day after symptoms started, or if asymptomatic, 10 days starting the day after the date of the positive test, using the date the test was collected. People can spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, for a full 10 days from when they get infected, even if they don’t have symptoms or are feeling better. 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 NOT fully vaccinated 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.
  • If the close contact is identified in school, the student will be isolated and immediately sent home.
  • Obtain a COVID-19 test from a medical professional at a testing facility/office.
  • Quarantine immediately
    • Stay home and away from others for 14 days after last contact with the infected person and monitor their health. The day of exposure counts as day zero.
    • If possible, stay away from people they live with, especially those who are at high risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
    • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for the entire 14-day quarantine. Symptoms include fever (100.4 F), cough, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, diarrhea or vomiting, new onset of severe headache, new loss of taste or smell, or sore throat. 
    • If they initially test negative, they should be tested again 5-7 days after their exposure and continue to quarantine for the remainder of the 14-day quarantine period. 
  • RT-PCR test results taken 5-7 after exposure must be submitted to the school nurse before returning to school on day 15.
  • A date for a return to the  school building will be determined in consultation with The Baltimore City Department of Health.
  • Unvaccinated close contacts of a household member will have their quarantine extended due to household exposure.
  • 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 student or staff member who is fully vaccinated is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • Contact the school before attending school.
  • Obtain an RT-PCR COVID-19 test from a medical professional at a testing facility/office 5-7 days after the last contact with the infected individual. Submit results to the school nurse
  • Fully vaccinated close contacts of an infected household member may not return to school until negative RT-PCR test results are received.
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 molly.watt@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 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 Registered Nurse serves as the medical point of contact for COVID-19 questions. Please direct your medical questions to:

 

 

Please direct your questions for at-home learning during quarantines and isolation to the appropriate Division Head:

 


 

This page was last updated on December 2, 2021.