COVID-19 Decision Tree- ESC 16 Staff
Terms and definitions
Exposed - this occurs when an individual is in close contact with another person who has COVID-19 or is later diagnosed with COVID-19
Close contact (High/Medium)
Close contact (Low)
Direct Contact - occurs when individuals are within 6 feet of each other over an extended period of time.
In-direct Contact - examples would be passing in the hall, having a conversation with another person, and staying well over six feet apart, having a conversation with someone who had direct contact with an individual who possibly had COVID-19.
Asymptomatic - an individual who has COVID-19 but is showing no outward symptoms of the illness
Self-isolation - allows individuals who may have been infected with COVID-19 to recover while trying not to infect others. Based on medical professionals’ understanding of how long an individual is infectious after fever and other symptoms disappear, self-isolation can end when a symptomatic or lab-confirmed individual:
Meets all three of the following conditions for return to school:
Screening is an activity that campuses conduct to identify and temporarily exclude from campus those who may have been exposed to COVID, in an effort to keep the virus out of campuses.
Screening is accomplished by asking questions via electronic methods, by phone, and/or in person to determine that individuals:
Case Investigation- Discussions with a COVID-19-positive individual to determine who may have spread and/or been infected and how that spread may have occurred
Contact Tracing -The identification of individuals who have been exposed as close contacts to COVID-19 and are as a result possibly infected themselves, but pre-symptomatic.
Individuals Confirmed or Suspected with COVID-19
Any individuals who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to the workplace until the center screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for re-entry have been met:
i. at least three days (72 hours) has passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications).
ii. the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
iii. at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Guidance for Returning to the Workplace
Region 16 ESC
The following document is provided as a guide for Returning to the Workplace at the Bell Street Cleveland Street, and Nelson Street. It has been formulated with input from our leadership team and questions that staff have posed to our team. We will continually update this document as we monitor the situation. Please seek your Director’s guidance if you have questions not covered by this document.
Guiding Resources: “Opening Up America Again” (OUAA), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), and “Texans Helping Texans”, The Governor’s Report to Open Texas.
As you are aware, on April 27th, Governor Abbott outlined his plan for reopening the State of Texas so that we might all return to work and get back to a sense of normalcy. We have taken the past 11 weeks seriously, and we will also return to work in a responsible manner.
I think we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the amazing work that the Region 16 staff has accomplished in the last 2 months. The move to work remotely and speed at which our staff transitioned and prepared to take care of one another and our clients is truly amazing. Given that accomplishment, I have been asked, “Could we successfully work remotely 100% of the time in the future?” I do believe we have done a great job; however, I do not believe we are ready to expand our work remotely. For that to happen, we need to look at every job description, determine expectations, discuss evaluative criteria, and see if some positions merit such consideration. This will take some time and some change organizationally. We have proven that in the middle of a crisis, we can change our model and successfully continue to serve. Now, it is time to move forward and enter a new time of returning to normal operations.
We believe entering back into the workplace will foster employee engagement, continue to build our culture, and take us to the next “new normal”. I think the bigger question is “What has made Region 16 so successful over the past 53 years?” I believe our level of customer service is probably number one on the list. From there, I believe our strong relationships and the talent of the employees in our organization rank right up at the top. While distancing those relationships has been required for the past few months, it is time to slowly return to the successful model that has been so important to our students, families, and educators across the Texas Panhandle.
Those things being in the forefront, we also want to return responsibly and ensure our employees’ health and safety. Our hope is to help you feel as safe as possible under new circumstances. If you have tracked the data using number of new cases in Potter and Randall Counties, you will see that since May 15th, the number of new cases has fallen off drastically to less than 60 each day and in some cases, 10 to 12 new cases a day.
Throughout the past several weeks, the COVID-19 situation has been fluid. It will continue to be fluid and we will continue to monitor the numbers of new cases, total cases, recovered cases and total loss of life in Potter and Randall Counties to make informed decisions. These dates may change or be adjusted according to the data.
Employees have returned to the buildings during the past 11 weeks in order to better do their job. These returns are usually associated with a need to be at their workstations to better perform their duties. These are usually for short periods of time to get what is needed and to return to home for teleworking. Some of our staff have continued to work from our buildings to accept freight, run payrolls, update records, fulfill technology needs, move employees’ workspaces, and clean and disinfect. Beginning on Monday, June 1st, Region 16 employees will begin transitioning back to their workplace buildings. A smaller number of staff identified by the Directors will return with certain guidelines to follow to allow us to line up with CDC guidance. We have referred to this as our “soft opening”.
During the “soft opening” we will follow the guidelines below:
In addition to temping employees, requiring the Attestations of Health Status Related to Covid-19 to be completed each Monday, making gloves available, making hand sanitizer available at stations and at each desk, and requiring employees to wear protective masks outside of their workspaces, we have other processes which will aid in the control of spread.
Employees who self-identify as having an underlying health condition that could place them in higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Region 16 Health and Safety Decision Tree will be used to determine next steps. The HR team will work with you and your doctor to review your unique situation and determine what that means for your safe return to working onsite. Documentation will be required to be completed by your doctor for the request to be considered.
Employees experiencing challenges with finding childcare for their children due to COVID-19 related reasons should explore their options for open childcare facilities. Please contact HR at the ESC to discuss your options. The Region 16 Child Care Decision Tree document will be used to determine next steps.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is a temporary regulation that provides certain legal benefits and protections to employees for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. Please contact HR for more information.
Travel is an essential part of the work we do at Region 16. Serving clients in our region and attending statewide and sometimes nationwide training is necessary and many times required. However, if we put employee safety as a high priority, along with our clients’ safety and well-being, we must take extra precautions.
To minimize risks, we are issuing the following guidance:
Please click the link below and complete the questionnaire before each Monday morning.
5800 Bell Street | Amarillo, TX 79109-6230
Phone: 806-677-5000 | Fax: 806-677-5001
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