GST BOCES Adult Education Reopening Plan
The Greater Southern Tier BOCES

GST BOCES Adult Education Reopening Plan

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GST BOCES Adult Education Reopening Plan

August 17, 2020

This plan applies to the reopening of in-person adult education activities on BOCES property or in BOCES programs. The BOCES intends to resume such in-person adult education activities on August 17, 2020. This plan is effective August 17, 2020 and will end on June 30, 2021.

In developing this plan, the BOCES has considered the phasing and quantity of adult education students brought back to in-person education activities, faculty and staff at locations where adult education programs are operating. The BOCES has reviewed factors such as ability to maintain social distance in public spaces, testing capabilities, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) availability, quarantine and isolation capacity, local medical capacity, and availability of safe transportation.

The BOCES will utilize its instructional space for adult education programs to implement social distancing, where possible, to maximize in-person educational activities for adult education students. Remote instruction will be provided if regional infection rates rise above a point deemed to be unsafe to continue in-person educational activities, as directed by New York State authorities. Such infection rate will be a 7-day average in the Southern Tier region of New York State above nine percent (9%).

Physical Distancing

The BOCES will ensure that a distance of at least six feet is maintained among individuals in a location where adult education programs are operating, inclusive of employees and students, to the extent possible. This includes when seated in a classroom setting or meeting, unless safety or the core activity (e.g., moving equipment, using an elevator, performing a transaction) requires a shorter distance or individuals are of the same residence.

Any time individuals come within 6 ft. of another person who does not reside in the same residence, acceptable face coverings must be worn.

Personal Protective Equipment

The BOCES will advise employees, students, and visitors that they are required to wear face coverings in common areas or situations where social distancing may be difficult to maintain, such as riding in elevators, entering/exiting classrooms or student centers, and traveling around the campus.

Acceptable face coverings for COVID-19 include but are not limited to cloth-based face coverings (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, and face shields that cover both the mouth and nose. However, cloth, disposable, or other homemade face coverings are not acceptable face coverings for workplace activities that typically require a higher degree of protection for PPE due to the nature of the work. For those activities, N-95 respirators or other PPE used under existing industry standards should continue to be used, as is defined in accordance with OSHA guidelines.

The BOCES will provide face coverings to employees who directly interact with students or members of the public while at work, at no cost to the employee.

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Students and employees may use their own acceptable face coverings. Employees may wear their personally owned protective coverings (e.g. surgical masks, N95 respirators, or face shields), as long as they abide by the minimum standards of protection for the specific activity.

The BOCES will train employees on how to adequately put on, take off, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE, including but not limited to, appropriate face coverings.

The BOCES has obtained and is in process of obtaining and providing acceptable face coverings to all BOCES employees who directly interact with students or members of the public.

PPE is required for employees, students, and other individuals at locations where adult education programs are operating, in accordance with state and local public health laws, regulations, and policies.

Hygiene, Cleaning and Disinfection

In reopening its in-person adult education programs, the BOCES has Implemented plans to safely reopen buildings such as cleaning and disinfection, and restarting ventilation, water systems, and other key facility components, as applicable.

The BOCES has established campus-wide cleaning and disinfection protocols for classrooms, restrooms and other facilities. The BOCES will promote hand and respiratory hygiene among all individuals in locations where adult education programs are operating.

The BOCES will adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain logs that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection. Identify cleaning and disinfection frequency for each facility type and assign responsibility.

The BOCES will provide and maintain hand hygiene stations throughout BOCES buildings, including handwashing with soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels, as well as an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not feasible.

The BOCES will conduct regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities and more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high risk areas used by many individuals and for frequently touched surfaces. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and should occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.

The BOCES will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms.

The BOCES will ensure distancing rules are adhered to by using signage, occupied markers, or other methods to reduce restroom occupancy at any given time, where feasible.

The BOCES will provide for the cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas in the event an individual is confirmed to have COVID-19, with such cleaning and disinfection to include, at a minimum, all heavy transit areas and high touch surfaces.

The BOCES will notify the occupants of such exposed areas of the presence of an individual in such location who had a COVID-19 positive result.

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The BOCES will shut down facilities, if necessary, in consultation with the applicable county department of health. The BOCES will communicate any such shutdown through email (i.e., addresses the BOCES has on file) and any "telephone trees" that instructors may establish.

Communication

The BOCES will post this reopening plan for adult education students and employees to access on its website.

The BOCES has designated Doug Johnson, Director of Employee Relations, as its COVID-19 Safety Coordinator. The Coordinator is responsible:

  • For continuous compliance with all aspects of the BOCES' adult education reopening plan.
  • To be the main contact upon the identification of positive cases and for related, subsequent communication.
  • For answering questions from students and employees regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and plans implemented by BOCES.
  • For working closely with local health departments to monitor public health conditions and jointly develop monitoring strategies.

The BOCES affirms that it has reviewed and understands the state-issued industry guidelines and has submitted its required reopening plans for adult education prior to reopening its adult education programs.

Screening

The BOCES will encourage adult education students and instructors to obtain diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 upon return to in-person adult education activities, especially any individuals with recent international or long-distance travel, particularly from areas with widespread community transmission of the virus.

The BOCES will implement a mandatory web-based health screening questionnaire for students, employees working in locations where adult education programs are operating, and, where practicable, scheduled visitors (not including delivery personnel) that will ask about:

  • (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days,
  • (2) positive COVID-19 test in past 14 days,
  • (3) close or proximate contact with confirmed or suspected COVID19 case in past 14 days,
  • (4) travel internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days, and
  • (5) the individual's temperature (more than 100°F).

Assessment responses will be reviewed every day by the adult education students' instructors or by employees' supervisors and such review will be documented. Individuals who later experience COVID-19 symptoms or exposure during or outside work or school hours must notify their instructor or their supervisor, as applicable. The BOCES will provide the name of that individual on the questionnaire.

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Employees reporting to work where adult education programs are operating will be screened on a daily basis. Students will be screened each day they have class.

An individual who screens positive for COVID-19 exposure or symptoms must be immediately sent home, to their residence, or to the designated quarantine or isolation location with instructions or arrangement for health assessment and testing.

The BOCES will immediately notify the state and local health departments of any confirmed positive cases, including employees, students and visitors.

In the case of an individual testing positive, the BOCES will cooperate with the applicable county health departments to trace all contacts of the individual, in accordance with the New York State Contact Tracing Program.

Confidentiality will be maintained as required by federal and state law and regulations.

The BOCES will consider vulnerable populations in locations where adult education programs are operating who may not feel comfortable returning to in-person educational activities, to allow them to safely participate in such activities and accommodate their specific circumstances.

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