PA Schools That Report COVID Case Won't Need To Be Evacuated

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HARRISBURG (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - School administrators in Pennsylvania are being told buildings do not have to be evacuated when a student or staff member is identified with COVID-19.

New guidance from the state health and education departments says in a moderate risk county like Allegheny, a few cases over 14 days mean a school should be shut for five to seven days.

 More than five cases bring a two week closure.

 Officials should wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting, including buses and vans.

And every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality.

The following guidance is on the Department of Education’s website:
  • If the person is present on school property when DOH or CMHD staff notify the school of the positive case information, the person should immediately, but discreetly, be taken to the COVID-19 related isolation space for pick up (if student) or asked to return home (if staff).
    • Establish procedures for safely transporting home sick individuals.
  • Contact DOH or the CMHD for further guidance if a parent/guardian/caregiver notifies the school of potential exposure by a student, staff member, or school visitor.
  • The entire building does not need to be evacuated.
  • Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If not feasible, wait as long as possible. If seven days have passed since the sick individual was in the affected area, cleaning is not needed.
  • Close off areas used by the sick person and do not use again before cleaning and disinfecting. Follow CDC Guidance on Cleaning and DisinfectingOpens In A New Window protocols.
  • Create a communication system to self-report symptoms and for notifying staff and families of exposures and closures. Schools should, however, take every measure to maintain the confidentiality of the affected individual.

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