Safety and Hygiene Protocol

COVID-19

Updated on June 29, 2021

Background

During the Corona pandemic, it is our highest priority to minimize health threats for students, teachers and other school staff and to ensure that on-site teaching can be conducted as regularly as possible. We want the whole FIS Community to feel safe and school operations to run largely as usual.

This safety and hygiene protocol informs FIS parents, students, teachers and all other employees about the individual measures and routines.

Code of Conduct

Personal hygiene

  • Regular washing of hands (washing with soap for at least 20-30 seconds)
  • Maintaining social distance of at least 1.5 meters in the whole school building, unless this hygiene protocol allows exceptions
  • Adhering to cough and sneeze etiquette (cough or sneeze into elbow or a tissue)
  • Refraining from physical contact (e. g. touching, embracing, handshaking), as long as the physical contact does not result from pedagogical needs arising during lessons
  • Refraining from touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Refraining from sharing items/materials with others

Mask use

All people on the school premises are obliged to wear a mouth and nose cover – also in classrooms and in offices.

The following applies in detail:

  • All staff must wear medical mouth and nose cover (so-called surgical masks).
  • From June 7, the obligation to wear a medical mask (so-called surgical mask) also applies to all students from Grades 5 to 12.
  • Students in Grades 1 to 4 can, as before, use the so-called community masks. However, the Ministry of Health recommends that they also wear medical masks, which are available in children´s sizes. Please make sure that these masks fit correctly on your child(ren).
  • FFP2 masks are recommended for all staff, and students aged 15 and over. The wearing instructions must be observed.

Mask use is not compulsory for:

  • Students in all grades as well as for teachers in the classrooms after taking up their seat or workplace
  • Outside – for all students and staff
  • Students younger than six years
  • Pedagogical procedures – with the teacher’s consent (e. g. experiments)
  • Break times inside the school building – while eating and drinking
  • Medical reasons
  • During PHE classes and other sports activities, while actively participating

“Recovery” (no-mask) phases are allowed:

  • Inside: in the classrooms for short periods of time when the windows are fully opened

A mask provides adequate coverage if it is either all-round and flush with the skin or if a gap is left between the mouth and nose covering and the skin that is only large enough to allow comfortable breathing.

Visors (face shields) and plastic (transparent) masks which do not flush with the skin are not to be used in the school.

Jurisdiction / Decision Making Responsibility

The school management has an obligation to inform the health authorities about both suspected illness and the occurrence of COVID-19 cases in the school.

Also, depending on the infection rate in the respective district, various measures are planned. Incidence values are for guidance only and no automatism decisions are made.

Rather, the decision on the measures to be ordered is made after a detailed analysis of the infection chains on site by the locally responsible health department in consultation with the school inspectorate.

The local health authorities or a higher-ranking authority are responsible for ordering all measures based on the Infection Protection Act.

Attending School / Staff Employment in Case of Symptoms

For all EY Students

School attendance is possible with:

  • Runny nose or cough due to an allergy,
  • Blocked nasal breathing (without fever),
  • Occasional cough,
  • Scratching throat or clearing throat,
  • Brief runny nose (e.g. when changing from outside to inside).

School attendance is also possible for:

  • Mild cold symptoms, if a negative Corona-test is being presented.

Re-admission to school after an illness is only possible if:

  • A child only had mild symptoms and is healthy again; Corona-test is not necessary;
  • A child was sick and is healthy again or has only mild symptoms; a negative Corona-test is necessary in this case. However, students with unclear symptoms should initially stay at home and see a doctor if necessary.

For ES and Secondary Students and Staff

In the following cases, despite mild symptoms of illness, school attendance is possible without submitting a negative test result base on a POC antigen rapid test or a PCR test:

  • Runny nose or cough due to an allergy (e.g. hay fever)
  • Blocked nasal breathing (without fever)
  • Occasional cough
  • Scratching throat or clearing throat

In all other cases, even with mild symptoms, school attendance is only permitted if a negative test result based on a POC antigen rapid test or a PCR test is presented. An antigen self-test in not sufficient.

After recovering from an illness with mild symptoms, it is possible to attend the school without submitting a negative test result base on a POC antigen rapid test or a PCR test.

Sick students and staff with reduced general conditions like fever, cough, difficulty with breathing, loss of smell or taste, throat or earache, stuffy nose with fever, body aches, severe belly aches, vomiting or diarrhea may not attend school.

Re-admission to school after an illness is only possible once:

  • The person concerned is in good general condition again (except for a slight runny nose and occasional cough)
  • In any case, a negative test result base on a POC antigen rapid test or a PCR test must be presented before returning to school. The submission of a self-carried out rapid test is not sufficient for proof. If no negative test result is presented, school can only be attended again if the person concerned no longer shows any symptoms of illness and has not attended school for seven days from the onset of the illness symptoms. The person may visit the school without submitting the above-mentioned test, providing that only mild symptoms of the disease (see above) are present and they take part in self-test at the school.

Persons who have been infected with the coronavirus or who show respective symptoms, or are in touch with an infected person, or who have had contact with an infected person less than 14 days ago, or are under any other quarantine measure, must not enter the school.

The responsible health authority decides if students and employees must undergo quarantine on an individual basis.

Procedure for a Confirmed COVID-19 Case in School

From now on, for contact person classification in the school environment, a risk assessment performed by the responsible health authority. Based on the recommendations of Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on contact person management, the health authority classifies students as well as teachers, and if necessary, other school staff as close contact persons.

Regular Procedure in all Classes outside of Examination Phases

With regard to quarantine in the case of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the school, the latest RKI recommendations and instructions from the health authorities apply.

Procedure in Graduating Classes During the Examination Phase

If during the examination phase a confirmed case of COVID-19 disease occurs in a graduating class, all students and teachers involved will be tested with a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 as a priority. All close contact persons are allowed to interrupt the quarantine to participate in the final exams, subject to strict compliance with the hygiene concept and an extended safety distance of at least 2m. However, a negative test result is a prerequisite. Arrival and departure for the examination should be as low-contact as possible.

Attending School with Chronic Diseases, Pre-existing Conditions

Early Years: Students with chronic diseases for which the cause of the symptoms is clear (e. g. hay fever, asthma), may attend school. A doctor’s certificate is not necessary.

Elementary and Secondary School: Due to the diversity of possible conditions with different characteristics, the individual risk assessment can always only be carried out by a doctor, who determines whether attending school on site is possible. If legal guardians or students who are of age ask for a release from on-site lessons, this can only be granted with a respective doctor’s certificate. The doctor’s certificate is valid for a maximum of three months. For a further release from on-site lessons, a renewed assessment by the doctor is necessary, together with the submission of a new doctor’s certificate, which is again valid for a maximum of three months.

Also for students whose pre-existing condition may be known to the school, the release from on-site lessons will only be approved on request of the affected person and after providing a respective doctor’s certificate.

It is also necessary to provide a respective doctor’s certificate if persons with pre-existing conditions live in one household with the student.

Staff Employment

Due to the current number of infections, there are generally no limitations regarding the school’s whole staff employment. On principle, it is possible to protect oneself in every situation by adhering to the above-mentioned infection protection and hygiene measures, as well as by keeping social distance to students and other persons. For persons with risk factors that may result in a particularly heavy course of disease if infected with COVID-19, schools have received separate information.

For all pregnant employees, an employment ban is currently in place for the time being. It can be considered on an individual basis whether it is possible to create work conditions in a way which avoids dangers for the pregnant woman or her child to a maximum extent and excludes any irresponsible dangers.

Visitors/Builders/Cleaning Staff

Visitors will be asked to complete a questionnaire before they may move around the school facilities. Wearing a medical mouth and nose cover (so-called surgical masks) is compulsory. Children under 6 years are exempted from this. Builders and Cleaning Staff, who are operating during the official FIS opening hours, are obliged to wear a mask when in a room with other people.

Documentation

The tracking of contact persons has to be ensured by the school (who had contact with whom and when?), including visitors like parents, technicians, etc.

Classrooms

Wherever possible, tables will be placed with a 1.5 meters distance, however it is not compulsory. The tables must be placed in rows with every student at their own desk.

If classes are mixed (e. g. language lessons), students from one class should be included in one group and sit with a distance of at least 1.5m to the next group.

Partner and group work is possible.

In the warm season, lessons should be taught with the windows open, if possible. Otherwise, the classrooms must be ventilated at least every 45 minutes, and unless the CO2 limit value is checked with CO2 traffic lights, once during the lesson for at least five minutes with the windows completely open. The doors have to be opened as well to ensure the air exchange. Tilting windows is not sufficient!

Food brought from home must not be shared.

Keyboards in IT Labs and IPads have to be cleaned after every use.

 Offices

Social distancing has to be adhered to and masks have to be worn, but there is no obligation to wear a mask while working at a desk and no other person is present in the room. Non-teaching staff must wear at least a medical mask if the requirements for room occupancy (10m2 for each person in the room) or the minimum distance of 1.5m cannot be complied with, or if they are exposed to the risk of increased aerosol emissions when performing their work. The rooms have to be aired every hour out with the windows completely open. The doors have to be opened as well to ensure air exchange. Tilting windows is not sufficient!

Conferences, Meetings and Assemblies

For the time being, conferences, meetings and assemblies are to be held as video conferences if possible or, if necessary, in separated small groups and have to be carried out while adhering to the hygiene protocol and infection control regulations.

Field Trips

Field trips that take multiple days are possible under the conditions published in the KMS from May 20, 2021. One-day trips have been approved if they are absolutely necessary. All official regulations have to be adhered to, e. g. when visiting museums or theaters.

FIS Buses

Every person on the bus must wear a mask except children under 6.

Toilets/Bathrooms

The toilets/bathrooms should only be used by one person at a time. If it cannot be avoided, masks must be worn and/or social distance must be kept.

Lockers

Lockers may only be used by Secondary School students before school, during break, beginning/end of lunch, and after school while adhering to the respective Safety and Hygienic Guidelines.

Kitchen

The kitchen has its own hygiene protocol, which can be viewed there.

Cafeteria and Kiosk

Social distance of 1.5 meters has to be kept while eating in the Cafeteria. Mask may be taken off at the table during in order to eat and drink, but have to be worn when moving around the Cafeteria. Cutlery will be given out only by the kitchen staff, who wear gloves. A second portion will be given out on a new plate. The kitchen staff wears mask during lunch distribution.

EY students do not have to keep social distance during lunch. 

Playgrounds

Outdoor areas should be used more extensively. The teacher on duty will encourage students to keep social distance. Masks have to also be worn outside, except when one is eating or drinking.

Laboratory

The security protocols can be viewed at the laboratory. Every student remains at their allocated seat. Materials will not be shared or have to be disinfected. The protective gowns will be washed after every use. Regular airing out of rooms will be carried out according to the regulations.

Gym/PHE

PHE classes and other sport activities can generally take place in compliance with governmental requirements and hygiene rules. The gym will be used according to the regulations in place. Currently it is sufficient to restrict the time of exercising to two lessons. Sports can be practiced both outdoors and indoors without a mask. The minimum distance requirement must be observed.

Music

A short song can be sung for teaching and pedagogical reasons, provided a minimum distance of 2.5 meters in the direction of singing and 2 meters to the side is maintained and a mouth and nose cover is worn.

In the open-air lessons, playing wind instruments and singing can take place at the distance of 2.5 meters, not only within one class but also in combined-class ensembles (if the distance is observed, even without a mask).

Instruments provided by the school must be cleaned appropriately after each use.

Accumulated condensate in wind instruments may only be drained without air being blown through and must be collected with disposable towels, which are then disposed of in closed containers. A short-term rental or exchange or use by several people is excluded. After the wind instrument lesson, the room must be ventilated for at least 15 minutes.

Ventilation after lessons in wind instruments or singing – the following principle applies: 10 minutes of ventilation after every 20 minutes of lesson.

Procedure in the Case of a Positive Self-test

If a self-test is positive, the person concerned should isolate themselves immediately.

The school management immediately informs the health authority.

The health authority immediately orders a PCR test and informs about how to proceed.

Changing Rooms

Changing rooms in enclosed facilities may be used while keeping social distance of 1.5m.

First Aid Room

Masks have to be worn if social distance cannot be kept. The room has to be aired out regularly. Materials and equipment has to be disinfected after use. No more than four patients may be in the room at the same time.

Cleaning and Disinfection

The routinely disinfection of surfaces (floors, furniture, sanitary areas) is not necessary. Cleaning with a customary cleaner is sufficient. In specific sensitive areas (e. g. kitchen, first aid room) it may be necessary to use disinfectants and treatments.

It is always necessary to use disinfectants after contamination with possibly infectious material (vomit, feces, urine and blood). The used disinfectant has to be classified as “limited virucidal”, “limited virucidal plus” or “virucidal”.

Cleaners and disinfectants have to be stored safely.

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