Health & Safety
Riding the Bus
All students riding a bus or transportation vehicle must wear a face covering unless they cannot tolerate a face covering due to developmental, medical, or behavioral health needs or due to a sincerely held religious belief. If a student cannot wear a face covering, parents will be required to contact the school nurse to receive a verification of medical exemption document for their health care provider to sign and endorse.
CCS employees driving the bus or transportation vehicle will be required to wear a face covering.
Every bus will be cleaned between morning and afternoon runs and at the end of each day by approved cleaning products as required by guidelines. Touch points, including doors and windows, grab handles, arm rests, hard seats, door handles, and seat belt buckles, will be cleaned and disinfected between each bus run with an EPA approved disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Every attempt will be made to distance students on the bus under Plan A. However, this may not be possible on individual buses with large ridership numbers. This may lead to more than one student seated per seat in some cases. For that reason, families are encouraged to utilize alternative modes of transportation to and/or from school when available.
School buses or transportation vehicles will have adequate ventilation at all times.
Help prevent the spread of the virus by making sure your child does not have symptoms before they get on the school bus. And please remind children to practice staying apart (social distancing) while waiting at the bus stop. Families will need to be patient. Bus routes, pick-up and drop-off times, and vehicles may need to change because of new health safety precautions.
Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. All employees should wash their hands immediately upon reporting to work. The CDC recommends everyone wash their hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Employees will be teaching handwashing in the classroom, incorporating handwashing breaks into the school day, and reinforcing handwashing during key times throughout the school day, such as before and after eating, using the restroom, and touching shared objects.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) will be provided at every worksite, school entrance and exit, in the cafeteria, and in every class. If a student has known sensitivities to hand sanitizer, employees must provide them other opportunities to clean their hands. Review hand sanitizer best practices on the CDC website.
North Carolina requires a face covering for all employees, adult visitors, and all students when inside school buildings and anywhere on school grounds, while traveling on buses or other contract transportation vehicles. Every student will receive 5 cloth face coverings. Be sure your child has a clean cloth face covering when they leave for school.
- A face covering must be secured safely over the nose, mouth, and under the chin.
- State health officials strongly recommend face coverings for all people over the age of two.
Please review face covering best practices on the CDC website and practice wearing face coverings appropriately for extended periods of time.
Face coverings are not required for individuals who:
- Cannot tolerate a face covering due to developmental, medical, or behavioral health needs
- Are “actively” eating or drinking
- Are seeking to communicate with a hearing-impaired person in a way that requires the mouth to be visible
- Are working at home or are in a personal vehicle
- Have found that a face covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle
- Are children whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place a face covering safely on the child’s face
Parents who believe their child(ren) meet the criteria listed above and who are seeking an exemption from wearing a face covering may contact the school nurse to receive a verification of medical exemption form for the child’s health care provider to sign and endorse. These are expected to be extremely rare.
Please notify your supervisor if you meet one of these qualifications and cannot wear a face covering.
CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. The state has provided face shields for school nurses and staff delegated as health screeners. These will be worn over the required face covering. Face shields may also be allowed as a temporary accommodation for one of the exemptions noted above. If face shields are used without a mask,they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin. Disposable face shields should only be worn for a single use. Reusable face shields should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
There will be signage and floor markings in all schools and office buildings to remind students and employees of social-distancing practices, changes to foot-traffic flow through buildings and on campus pathways, furniture placement in classrooms and much more. This is to ensure all campus spaces and buildings support the health and safety of the entire community.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
Buildings will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and every evening. Multiple times a day, custodians will perform the following duties, among others:
- Sweeping, dust mopping and spot mopping hallways, steps, and stair landings, as well as the cafeteria;
- Cleaning and disinfecting hall water fountains; i.e. refill station
- Cleaning and disinfecting bathroom floors, sinks, toilets, urinals, and stall handles; monitoring hand sanitizer, soap, and paper products;
- Wiping and disinfecting touch points in halls, common areas, and classrooms, if accessible.
Our disinfectant is an EPA-approved disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Current cleaning and disinfecting protocols will continue to be reviewed and enhanced in terms of frequency and intensity.
Only essential visitors will be allowed on school campuses and in work sites in an effort to protect the health and safety of our community by minimizing the number of people on sites.
All efforts will be made to keep necessary visitors to a minimum, including the use of virtual or telephone meetings with families and guests.
All visitors are required to follow guidelines in the Cloth Face Covering section of this document. Any meetings with a family member or visitor must follow social-distancing guidelines.
Everyone is encouraged to bring their own bottled water and/or reusable water bottles. Individuals will not be permitted to drink directly from water fountains. Water fountains will be utilized as a refill station.
Use of elevators should be limited where possible to avoid close proximity with others in a confined space.
Please note that Cabarrus County Schools strictly adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidelines following travel abroad. Therefore, families returning from international travel are required to self-quarantine after their return to the United States before returning to in-person learning. Listed below is the guidance for students returning from travel outside of the United States:
0 days for students who present documentation of being fully vaccinated and have no symptoms (this includes receiving a booster for people over age 16 who are eligible)
7 days and upon presentation of a negative test on or after day 5 of the return and have no symptoms. If testing is not attainable students may return on day 7 strictly adhering to mask wearing through day 10 from their return from international travel.
Ten days for neither of the above and without symptoms
Reporting COVID-19 on Campus
We will report suspected, presumptive, or positive cases of COVID-19 to the Cabarrus Health Alliance and work with them for follow-up and contact tracing. If a person with COVID-19 was in a CCS facility while infectious, we will coordinate with local health officials to notify employees and families while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with FERPA, NCGS 130A-143, and all other state and federal laws.
In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school, the district will follow CHA/CDC protocols on cleaning and disinfecting the affected areas.
If a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, the local health department will be notified and the communicable disease staff and school nurses will work to identify the parameters of exposure and actions to contain the spread of the virus.
The school, in collaboration with the health department, will send a general notification to families and staff if a cluster of cases are identified (5 or more positive cases) in a school. This notification will not include identifying information about the case (staff or student, names, or grade) and will maintain confidentiality in accordance with FERPA, NCGS 130A-143, and all other state and federal laws. Those who have been identified as close contacts will be individually notified and instructed on next steps by the CHA.
Every response will be based on the unique circumstances of the occurrence of the virus. There is no single response to all cases that occur in school settings.
Positive and Symptomatic Students
Students who are COVID positive or symptomatic are required to quarantine for 5 days regardless of vaccination status.
COVID positive students who do not have symptoms can return to school after 5 days from the time of the positive test.
Students who have symptoms of COVID can return after 5 days from the onset of symptoms as long as they have been fever-free and improving for a period of 24 hours or more.
If the district is in a mask-optional status then the student must wear a mask upon her or his return through day 10. If a student is unable to wear a mask they will have to remain out of school for the entire 10-day period.
Exposures as Close Contacts
When the district is mask mandated
Only students who are household members of COVID positive people or people with COVID symptoms are required to quarantine as close contacts.
When the district is mask optional
Students and staff who are wearing a mask and are exposed to another person who is also wearing a mask are not required to quarantine if they do not have symptoms.
Students who are wearing a mask can be quarantined in the circumstances listed below:
- If they had their mask off for fifteen minutes or more within a 24 hour period AND were within six feet of a COVID positive person in the last 48 hours
- If they were within six feet of a COVID positive person (student or staff) who was not wearing a mask
- If they have COVID symptoms (fever, loss of taste and smell, cough, etc.)
Students and staff who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine unless they have COVID symptoms.
- For students under the age of 18 this means that it has been 2 weeks since receiving the second dose
- For staff and students who are 18 years old and older this requires a booster shot if you are eligible (six months from the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer OR 2 months from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine)
- For staff and students who have completed vaccinations and are eligible for but have not yet received boosters and for whom quarantine is not feasible a return is allowable provided the person wears a mask through day 10 and tests negative on day 5 from the time of exposure
Additionally, students and staff who have a lab-confirmed previous COVID-positive test (but not currently infected or symptomatic) within the last 90 days are not required to quarantine.
Parents of vaccinated students are invited to submit a copy of their vaccination card to their school nurse to eliminate quarantining. Parents can also submit a copy of a verifiable medical diagnosis of COVID within the last 90 days to their school nurse to eliminate quarantining.
If close contact develops symptoms and/or becomes COVID positive, please follow the guidance listed above for Positive and Symptomatic Students regardless of vaccination status.
Finally, community and household-based exposures are required to quarantine as close contacts.
If you have further questions please contact your principal or school nurse.