HEALTH & WELLNESS
It’s important to note and familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If your student exhibits any of the listed symptoms, he or she should not come to school and you should contact your medical/health care provider.
Signs/Symptoms of COVID-19:
- Fever of 100.4 or above
- Body chills/aches
- Swollen hands/feet
- Unexplained rash/red eyes
- Severe sore throat
- Loss of taste/smell
Emergency Symptoms/Call 911:
- Respiratory distress/difficulty breathing
- Decreased level of consciousness
- Bluish lips
PUTNAM COUNTY SCHOOL HEALTH ASSESSMENTS & SCREENINGS
Parents should complete a daily questionnaire with a temperature check BEFORE THE STUDENT LEAVES HOME IN THE MORNING. If a student exhibits symptoms or temperature, the student should be kept home. Students and staff who are ill will be sent home. If a student exhibits any symptoms or complains of not feeling well, they will proceed to the office or designated area for a questionnaire checklist and temperature check. If the student has any symptoms or has a temperature, parents will be called to pick up promptly from school. Parents must have a contingency plan for student pick up and a number that is accessible to the school.
Employees also need to do a daily questionnaire and temperature check prior to leaving home. Any employee that is not feeling well, has any symptoms of COVID-19 or has an elevated temperature of 100.4 needs to stay home. If an employee becomes symptomatic during the school day, proceed to the office for a questionnaire and temperature check. If the employee is symptomatic for COVID-19 or elevated temperature of 100.4, he or she will need to leave school premises immediately and call his or her health care provider.
Schools will be limiting nonessential visitors and activities involving external groups or organizations. Symptom screening will be conducted for all visitors entering the building, including family members, vendors, and others. Screening may be provided at the main entrance or school office. Individuals waiting to be screened must stand six (6) feet apart. Visitors to the school will be restricted to the front office area, administrative office, counseling office, or conference areas. Each school will have protocols for entry into the building. Hand sanitizer will be available and shall be used by visitors upon entry to the office area. Visitors are not permitted in common areas, cafeterias, or classrooms. Adults authorized to sign students in or out of school may be held in the visitor vestibule area rather than being admitted into the school during the sign-in/sign out process. Once a student has signed out of school, they shall not re-enter the school the remainder of the day without authorization by the school principal.
Recommendations for School Visitors:
- Non-essential visitors to any Putnam County School building will be extremely limited.
- Signs concerning visitors must be displayed at all entrances to school buildings.
- All essential visitors approved must be assessed by a designated employee (trained by the school nurse) before entering the school building.
- All visitors are restricted to the designated visitor area.
- Visitors must properly wear mask/face covering/shield.
- Visitors are not permitted in commons areas, cafeterias, or classrooms.
- Communication and meetings should be virtually conducted as much as possible.
- Emergency Service Personnel responding to emergencies are not considered visitors.
Staff and students in grades K-12 shall wear a face covering in buildings when:
- Social distancing cannot be achieved outside their core group (elementary) and in congregant areas.
- The only exceptions shall be: a) during snack or meal periods, b) during strenuous activity in the gymnasium, c) for verified medical conditions, d) when not appropriate due to developmental, medical, or the behavioral status of the student. Medical exemptions are required.
- All staff and students shall wear a face covering while on a school bus.
- Students in grades Pre-K through 2 are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
- If requested, Putnam County Schools will provide face coverings for students or staff.
Frequent handwashing with soap and water must occur throughout the school day. Hand Sanitizer of 60% alcohol base can be used in place of soap and water. However, this should not replace the washing hands with soap and water. After using hand sanitizer three times, it is encouraged that students and staff wash hands with soap and water.
Social Distancing includes a 6-foot distance from individuals. School buildings will have signage in hallways, bathrooms, cafeterias, and classrooms to be used as reminders to staff and students regarding hand washing, face masks, and social distancing measures.
- Persons in school buildings and on school campuses should maintain a 6-foot distance at all times. If a six (6) foot distance cannot be maintained face covering/mask must be worn.
- Hallways have directional and spacing reminders throughout school buildings.
- Building entrances and exits are designated to reduce face-to-face interactions.
- Student desks face the same direction whenever social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Students face the same direction while sitting at tables unless physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, are utilized.
- Individual schools will communicate campus-specific arrival and dismissal procedures.
- Administrators will notify parents/guardians of procedures for dropping off and picking up students including, but not limited to, traffic flow, time frames, entry/exit locations, and bus schedules.
REFERRALS TO SCHOOL NURSE OR DESIGNATED ISOLATION AREAS
If a student is having symptoms of COVID-19, the student should be directed to go to the office or designated area for further evaluation. If the student has symptoms and/or elevated temperature of 100.4, then the student will remain in the isolation room and the parent or guardian will be contacted.
Note: Face mask/coverings should be removed immediately for any individual exhibiting signs of respiratory difficulty or has a decreased level of consciousness. Parents should not be permitted in the designated isolation areas in buildings to sign out their child.
Isolation areas will be kept separate from regular nurse areas and/or offices that are used by students that need daily procedures. School Administration and nursing staff will identify areas for use in each building. Students in isolation areas must be visible to school staff supervising the area. Proper PPE, ventilation, and cleaning of areas should follow WVDE/CDC guidelines.
ATTENDANCE POLICIES AND ABSENCES
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the attendance policy will be modified as needed. Please refer to the Attendance Director for specific questions on this issue. If a student or staff member is sick, they need to go home and not expose any of the other students or staff to illness.
RETURNING TO SCHOOL AFTER COVID-19
Student/Employee returning to School after testing positive for COVID-19. If a person tests positive for COVID-19 must complete a questionnaire and answer Yes to the following questions:
- Have you been fever free without taking fever-reducing medication and have had no symptoms for 24 hours?
- Has it been at least 10 days since having the first symptoms of COVID-19?
- Has it been 24 hours since symptoms have totally resolved?
- If a person tests positive for COVID-19 but has no symptoms, the individual shall stay home for 10 days after testing.
- If a student/employee tests negative for COVID-19, the person may return to school after the student/employee is fever-free without taking fever-reducing medication and is feeling well for 24 hours.
Student’s health and safety are paramount. Students with underlying medical conditions are at a greater risk for illness of COVID-19 and severe complications. Parents/guardians of students with medical concerns or who are medically fragile will need to speak with their health care provider about the best educational option for their child.
Students at Risk (may include but not limited to):
- Lung Conditions (Ex. Cystic Fibrosis, Asthma)
- Heart Conditions
- Immune Compromised (Ex. Cancer, Post-Transplant)
- Neurologic (Ex. Cerebral Palsy)
- Metabolic Conditions
Considerations at School:
- Students unable to wear masks are required to submit proper documentation for medical exemption.
- Structure of the school day may be altered for student safety.
- Any and all medical equipment that is used throughout the day will be cleaned frequently by staff.
MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS
Putnam County Schools has counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and school nurses to address the physical, social-emotional, and mental health wellness of students, staff, and families. School Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers, and School Nurses are trained to provide social-emotional and mental health supports to students.
PCS Emotional Support Hotline
Feeling isolated, overwhelmed, or alone? Need to talk? Do you or does your family need emotional support during the COVID 19 pandemic?
The Putnam County Schools Emotional Support Hotline provides resource referrals for students and families experiencing emotional distress. Student support staff are available to talk, offer resources, and provide referrals to other local agencies if needed.
If you are experiencing an emergency crisis, please contact the West Virginia Children’s Crisis Line at 1-800-HELP4WV (1-800-435-7498) or call 911 immediately. West Virginia Children’s Crisis can also be reached on their website: https://wwwhelp4wv.com/ccl.
We are available to help and provide supports. Give the Putnam County Schools Emotional Support Hotline a call at 304-586-4947, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
POSSIBILITY OF SCHOOL CLOSURE
Any possible school closure would be determined by the Governor in collaboration with WVDE/WVDHHR and health officials.
Any situations of potential positive COVID-19 case exposure will be determined by PCS in collaboration with Putnam County Health Department. Contact tracing of individuals may be necessary and determined by state/local health departments. Confidentiality will be maintained by the school administration as required.
Confidentiality: School administration will coordinate with local health officials to notify staff and families immediately of any possible exposure to COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality.