Health and Safety Protocols


Durham Academy’s prevention and protection protocols are informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for the reopening of schools, as well as state public health directives, specifically reopening guidance for K-12 schools issued by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

With health and safety as our first priority, our ability to offer in-person and/or hybrid educational experiences hinges on the willingness of our campus community to come together in support of our collective health and safety. Each of us has a responsibility to know and act on these standards and policies in a way that maximizes a safe and healthy environment for us to teach, work, learn and live.
 


 

Returning to School

From K-12 NCDHHS Reference Guide for Suspected, Presumptive or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 (updated: Nov. 5, 2020)

Durham County COVID-19 Hotline 919-635-8150

Category

Scenario

Criteria to Return to School

Diagnosis

Person has tested positive with an antigen test but does not have symptoms of COVID-19.

If the person takes a repeat PCR/molecular test performed in a laboratory within 24 – 48 hours of their positive antigen test, and that PCR/molecular test is negative: the positive antigen test can be considered a false positive and the person can immediately return to school; OR

If the person does not take a repeat PCR/molecular test, or takes one within 24 – 48 hours and it is also positive: the person can return to school when they complete 10 days of isolation. Isolation should begin starting from the date of their first positive test.

Diagnosis

Person has tested positive with a PCR/molecular test but does not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Person can return to school when they complete 10 days of isolation. Isolation should begin starting from the date of their first positive test.

Symptoms

Person has symptoms of COVID-19 and has tested positive with an antigen test or PCR/molecular test.

Person can return to school when:

  • They complete 10 days of isolation. Isolation should begin starting from their first day of symptoms, AND
  • It has been at least 24 hours since the person had a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) AND
  • Other COVID-19 symptoms are improving.

Symptoms

Person has symptoms of COVID-19 but has not been tested for COVID-19 nor has visited a health care provider. Therefore, the person with symptoms is presumed positive.

Person can return to school when:

  • They complete 10 days of isolation. Isolation should begin starting from their first day of symptoms, AND
  • It has been at least 24 hours since the person had a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) AND
  • Other COVID-19 symptoms are improving.

Symptoms

Person has symptoms of COVID-19 but has visited a health care provider and received an alternate diagnosis that would explain the symptoms of fever, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new cough or new loss of taste or smell, and the health care provider has determined COVID-19 testing is not necessary.

Person can return to school when:

  • It has been at least 24 hours since the person had a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) AND
  • They have felt well for at least 24 hours.

Note: The health care provider is not required to detail the specifics of the alternate diagnosis.

Exposure

Person has been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

Person can return to school after completing 14 days of quarantine. The 14 days begin after the last known close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual.

The person must complete the 14-day quarantine, even if they have a negative test during the quarantine period.

Household Member, Exposure

Person is a household member (e.g. a sibling) of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

Person can return to school after completing 14 days of quarantine. The 14 days of quarantine begin at the end of the 10-day isolation of the person with COVID-19.

Household Member, Symptoms

Person is a household member (e.g. a sibling) of someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 but who has not been tested for COVID-19, nor has visited a health care provider. Therefore, the person who has symptoms is presumed positive.

Person can return to school after completing 14 days of quarantine. Because COVID-19 was not ruled out, presumption is that person may remain infectious for up to 10 days after symptom onset. The 14 days of quarantine begin at the end of this 10-day isolation period.

Household Member, Symptoms

Person is a household member (e.g. a sibling) of someone who symptoms of COVID-19 but has visited a health care provider and received an alternate diagnosis that would explain the symptoms of fever, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new cough or new loss of taste or smell, and the health care provider has determined COVID-19 test is unnecessary.

Person can return to school when household member receives their alternate diagnosis.

Note: The health care provider is not required to detail the specifics of the alternate diagnosis.

 

DA will notify the Durham County Department of Public Health about any positive COVID-19 test results and follow their guidance about notifications of students, families and faculty/staff, and follow any additional instructions about facilities closures and contact tracing.

The CDC defines close contact as "any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.”


After School

Extended Day and Enrichments

On-campus after-school programs will follow DA’s health and safety protocols including health screening, temperature checks, mask-wearing, grade-level cohorting in the Preschool and Lower School, frequent handwashing, physical distancing and outdoor activities.

Registration will be limited for these programs, and DA will only be offering an annual-contract, in-person option for Aftercare and Extended Day (drop-in and part-time contracts will not be available for the 2020–2021 school year.) After-school Enrichment classes will be offered online only, and space is limited for these programs as well. More information about registration dates, fall orientation meetings for parents and fall offerings can be found here



Athletics

Durham Academy will continue to follow the guidance of the North Carolina Independent School Athletics Association, National Federation of High Schools as well as DA’s medical advisory team when implementing policies and protocols for winter sports of basketball and swimming.

Please see this information from DA Athletics regarding winter practices and competitions. 

  • Athletes must have a Pre-Participation Form on file with the head athletic trainer, verify their medical and emergency contact information on Veracross and complete a COVID-19 waiver before they can participate in practice.
  • Coaches will complete a health screening and will conduct health screenings and temperature checks for all athletes before each practice.
  • Coaches or athletes who feel ill should not attend practices. If an athlete is registered to participate and does not attend, coaches will follow up to determine the reason for the absence.
  • All athletes are required to wear a mask any time they are not actively participating in practice.
  • All coaches are required to wear a mask during the duration of the practice.  
  • Teams will be divided into groups of 10 students or less. Social distancing will be practiced between groups, and they will not intermingle.
  • Parent attendance of practice sessions is not permitted.
  • Any person with positive symptoms reported will not be allowed to take part in practices and will be advised to contact their primary care provider. The school will take action as noted in the Responses and Management section of this handbook.
     


Communications

Durham Academy will coordinate with the Durham County Department of Public Health to determine when and how to inform families, students, faculty and staff as appropriate and maintain privacy and confidentiality as required by law. DA may also decide to issue notifications above and beyond what public health notification guidelines call for. Suspected, presumed and confirmed cases will be reported to the DA COVID Response Team, including, but not limited to the Administrative Team and Health and Wellness Team.

DA’s Office of Communications will keep families informed about announcements and information related to COVID-19 and the school's learning environments. Families can sign up to receive updates via email alerts through DA's website or via RSS feed.