COVID -19 Protocols
OVERVIEW OF IST COVID-19 SCHOOL GUIDELINES
Throughout this document reference is made to “fever” and/or “COVID-19 symptoms.” In accordance with Chinese regulations, a “fever” is a body temperature ≥ 37.3 degrees C. “COVID-19 symptoms,” other than fever, include dry cough, fatigue, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include sneezing, sore throat, body aches, runny nose, diarrhea and/or nausea.
BEFORE RETURNING TO SCHOOL (and throughout the school year)
- In order to enter the IST campus all family members residing in Tianjin must have either been present in Tianjin for the previous three weeks, or completed a minimum period of 14 days formal quarantine in a designated hotel and seven days of home-based quarantine in accordance with government regulations. All adults must also hold a current Tianjin Green Health Code that indicates that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 (i.e., showing a gold shield, or provide a medical clearance) and a Green Travel Code.
- At any time thereafter a Green Travel Code that indicates that the individual has subsequently visited a wider Orange or Red health risk zone within the last two weeks (as indicated by an asterisk*), will require that the individual justify his or her travel history and health status to the Director in order to be granted approval to enter the campus.
- Parents must check their children’s temperatures each day before they leave for school, and if they have a fever they must be kept home from school. In the absence of other COVID-19 symptoms students must remain at home until they are fever free for a minimum period of 48 hours without taking fever reducing medication.
- A fever that presents together with one or more other COVID-19 symptoms requires that the student then remain at home for a period of 14 days. A medical clearance must be provided in order that the student be permitted to return to school.
- Parents must immediately inform the school if one of their children shows symptoms of influenza so that other students can be monitored accordingly.
- Students must be kept at home if any other member of the family shows symptoms of COVID-19.
- Any confirmed fever (≥ 37.3 degrees) accompanied by other COVID-19 symptoms that is identified at school will result in the student being sent home for a period of 14 days. By State regulation, the school will report all such observations to the relevant authorities. A medical clearance must be provided in order that the student be permitted to return to school. When in doubt parents are therefore strongly advised to keep unwell children at home so as to avoid this possibility.
- Community members must wear protective masks, including when travelling to and from school using IST school buses.
- Community members must follow all general health and hygiene guidelines stipulated by the school, including social distancing and frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
- Parents must advise the school if any member of their family travels to a location that is not considered a green health zone, or if any member of the family’s loses his or her green health code status.
SCHOOL BUS PROTOCOLS
In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment while on the school bus, the following protocols must be followed:
The bus driver and bus monitor (ayi) must:
- Be free of a fever and/or COVID-19 symptoms and must wear protective masks and gloves at all times
- Clean and disinfect the bus in the morning and afternoon before pick up and after drop off
- Keep the bus windows open for proper ventilation, weather permitting
- Check student temperatures and issue hand sanitizer
- Line up at the bus stop, keeping a distance of 1 meter between each student
- Wear a protective mask at all times before, during and after the bus ride
- Have a temperature of ≤ 37.2 degrees (those with temperatures ≥ 37.3 degrees will not be permitted to board the bus)
- Sanitize their hands before entering the bus
- Sit in designated seat with social distancing taken into consideration and family members seated together.
- Disembark the bus upon arrival and proceed immediately to the Qin Building foyer for temperature checking.
ENTERING THE CAMPUS
A: All Day Registration Protocol at the Front Gate (and Morning Registration at OC Gate)
- Entry to the campus will be permitted for IST employees holding IST IDs if they have a current Tianjin Green Health Code registered with the school (including vaccination gold shield). An active Green Travel Code indicating that the ID holder has not visited an Orange or Red travel risk area in the past 14 days must be presented upon entry, along with an active IST ID. A digital forehead temperature reading below 37.3 degrees is required.
- Any employee with a temperature reading of 37.3 or higher will be checked again at the gate by the Guard Supervisor using an ear canal thermometer.
- Entry to the campus for those with both digital scanner and ear canal temperature readings of 37.3 and above will only be permitted with the approval of the Director and following a further check using a mercury-in-glass thermometer administered by the Nurse in the Isolation Room (Qin 109).
- Employees must wear a face mask and sanitize their hands before entering the campus. PassTab registration shall be completed at the entrances to the Han and Qin buildings. Note: employees using school transport will register when disembarking the bus.
- Employees entering the campus after the 7:30-8:15AM Qin entrance formal temperature recording window must have their temperature read and recorded by a school guard at the front gate. The reading will be registered with the front desk secretary.
Adult IST ID holders (non-employees, including parents and private drivers)
- Entry to the campus will be permitted for non-employees holding IST IDs if they have a current Tianjin Green Health Code registered with the school (including vaccination gold shield). An active Green Travel Code indicating that the ID holder has not visited an Orange or Red travel risk area in the past 14 days must be presented upon entry, along with an active IST ID. A digital forehead temperature reading below 37.3 degrees is required.
- Any IST ID Holder with a temperature reading of 37.3 or higher will be checked again at the Weishan Lu gate by the Guard Supervisor using an ear canal thermometer.
- Entry to the campus for those with ear canal temperature readings of 37.3 and above will only be permitted with the approval of the Director and following a further check using a mercury-in-glass thermometer administered by the Nurse in the Isolation Room (Qin 109).
- IST ID holders must complete standard PassTab registration at the school gates, wear a face mask, and sanitize hands before entering the campus. Failure to present an IST ID will require Visitor Registration at the front gate.
- IST Parent ID holders entering the campus after the 7:30-8:15AM Qin entrance formal temperature recording window must have their temperature checked by a school guard at the front gate. Parents must wear a temperature check clearance sticker (separate for morning and afternoon).
- Private drivers may not enter school buildings.
- Visitors are not permitted to enter the campus unless otherwise formally approved by a member of the school’s Senior Administration. Campus access shall only be permitted via the Front Gate.
- Visitors approved entry must show a current Tianjin Green Health Code (including vaccination gold shield). An active Green Travel Code indicating that the visitor has not visited an Orange or Red travel risk area in the past 14 days must be presented before entry will be permitted entry. A digital forehead temperature reading below 37.3 degrees is required.
- Visitors must then undergo standard PassTab registration protocols.
- Visitors will be escorted by a guard to the front desk of the Qin or Han Building where their temperatures will be recorded by the front desk secretary and met by the approving Senior Administrator or his/her designee. Visitors must wear a temperature check clearance sticker (separate for morning and afternoon).
- Students are checked at the main Qin entrance between 7:30AM and 8:15AM.
- Students arriving after 8:15AM are temperature checked at the front gate using a digital scanner.
- If a student registers a digital forehead temperature of 37.3 degrees or higher at the Weishan Lu gate, the guard shall inform the school nurse and escort the student to Isolation Room A for further checking by the nurse.
B: Morning Registration at the Main Qin Building Entrance (employees, long term contractors, students, and approved parents/visitors only)
- All persons entering the school between 7:30AM and 8:15AM must register their temperature at the main Qin entrance. Morning entry to school buildings is not permitted via any other entrance in the school.
- Only students, parents with a sticker approval, IST staff, and approved contractors and visitors(with a sticker approval) may enter the school buildings. Private drivers MAY NOT enter the school buildings unless otherwise approved by the director or one of the principals.
- All persons must sanitize their hands outside the Qin Building before entering the vestibule for testing, maintaining a 1 meter gap between individuals and moving one person at a time (per swinging door).
- 5 authorized personnel shall take and record temperatures of all adults; student temperatures aren’t registered unless 37.3 degrees or higher.
- Students permitted entry are then formally checked a second time in homerooms between 8:00AM and 8:30AM by designated TAs, with temperature readings recorded.
- Any person with a temperature reading of 37.3 or higher will be immediately escorted to Isolation Room A for an ear canal check. Those with an ear canal temperature reading below 37.3 may return to class/work.
- Any person with an ear canal temperature reading of 37.3 or higher will receive a further check using a mercury-in-glass thermometer. Persons with temperatures below 37.3 may return to class/work.
- Any person with a mercury-in-glass temperature reading of 37.3 degrees or higher but not exhibiting other COVID-19 symptoms shall remain in Isolation Room A for monitoring, including an additional check after 30 minutes.
- Students who return to classes from Isolation Room A will be given a GREEN CARD to indicate that they have been cleared by the Nurse.
- If a third check after one hour in Isolation Room A still indicates a temperature of 37.3 or higher, the person shall proceed to Isolation Room B, where they will be issued an N95 mask and held under observation until such time that their parents can be contacted (for students). Parents shall be responsible for arranging transportation to a medical facility.
- Any person with a repeated temperature reading of 37.3 or higher, or with an initial reading of 37.3 degrees or higher and presenting with COVID-19 symptoms shall proceed immediately to Isolation Room B, where they will be issued an N95 mask and held under observation until such time that their parents can be contacted (for students), and transportation to a medical facility arranged.
- All medical data and treatment decisions shall be formally recorded and reported to relevant school personnel (e.g., Director, HR Manager, principals, Office secretaries, and homeroom teachers) and relevant government authorities.
C: Pre-Lunch/Afternoon Protocol
- Teacher Assistants will complete pre-lunch temperature checks on all students before escorting students to the cafeteria. TAs on duty will continue to check student temperatures in the cafeteria throughout seated lunchtimes.
- Temperature Re-checks: Morning re-check protocols apply to any person with a temperature reading of 37.3 degrees or higher, with rechecks administered in Isolation Room A.
D: Procedure for high temperature and symptoms during school hours
- Teacher Assistant escorts the student(s) to Isolation Room A and transfers the student to the nurse.
- Standard temperature and health checking protocols from morning registration shall apply.
- If the student is identified by the nurse as being a concern, the student will be sent home under standard quarantine conditions.
- Students who were in the class with the affected classmate, will accept a further temperature checks, The desk, chair and other locations in which the affected student is known to have been will also be disinfected.
- Students moved to the Isolation classroom will remain in isolation for the rest of the day, with hourly monitoring.
- The school office will inform parents of affected students and update them of any changes in conditions.
E: Other Symptoms
Irrespective of temperature check readings, any person presenting COVID-19 symptoms shall be directed to Isolation Room A for further examination by the school nurse.
GENERAL HEALTH AND HYGIENE PROTOCOLS
Many of the following health and hygiene habits represent best practices even in normal times but they are especially important during times in which we work together to control the spread of disease, including COVID-19. As a way to emphasize the importance of complying with these expectations and for ease of reference, we have compiled the essential expectations below. As the situation continues to stabilize, we may be able to relax some of these protocols, such as social distancing and wearing masks, but until then we ask that everyone in the school community adhere to these expectations.
Hand Washing: Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds using the 7-step method as often as possible, but always:
- After using the toilet
- Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Before and after eating
- After sneezing or coughing or using a tissue
- After contact with garbage or a high exposure area such as a door handle, bannister, elevator buttons
- Before leaving for school and as soon as you get home from school
- Between classes
Students and adults alike are asked to pay attention to the following guidelines:
- Come to school with at least two protective masks per day.
- Do not share food or drinks – always have a personal water bottle that you clean thoroughly each day with soap and water.
- Use disposable alcohol wipes to clean your cell phones and laptops.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you need to cough or sneeze.
- If you do not have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow to block secretions from your mouth and nose.
- Mouth and nose secretions should be wrapped with tissue and discarded in a designated garbage can.
- No spitting within the school building or grounds.
- As much as possible, always maintain a distance of 1 meters between you and the people around you.
GENERAL CLASSROOM AND HYGIENE PROTOCOLS
Once arriving in their classrooms, students must:
- Wear protective masks as directed by their teachers.
- Sit in assigned seats and moving only as directed by the teacher. Classrooms will be set up to allow for as much social distancing as possible
- Not eat or drink in class
At the conclusion of each class, teachers or Teacher Assistants will spray and wipe down each desk/table/workstation/chair with approved disinfectant solution; older students will support the wiping down process for their own desk/chair only. At the start of lessons and at each dismissal, students must sanitize their hands. Where possible bathrooms shall be used so as to enable thorough hand washing with soap and water using the seven step method.
School cleaners will thoroughly clean and disinfect all classrooms and surfaces each morning and afternoon, and common spaces and surfaces (including door handles and railings) repeatedly throughout the day. Toilets and bathrooms will be cleaned hourly.
LUNCH AND CAFETERIA PROTOCOLS
All students and staff members must have their temperature checked prior to lunch. Procedure for fevers and COVID-19 symptoms during school hours shall apply. Students without fevers and/or COVID-19 symptoms will adhere to the following protocols:
- At the assigned daily lunch time, Teacher Assistants will escort homerooms to the cafeteria (following hand washing/sanitizing).
- Students shall wear a protective mask and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter between each other as they make their way to the cafeteria and line up for the food service.
- Students will eat in assigned seating.
- Students may not share food or utensils.
- A Teacher Assistant will take temperature reading throughout lunchtime using a forehead scanning thermometer.
- Lunch Schedule
Nursery 11:30AM (in shared classroom)
At the end of the school day:
- Students will go directly home, and may not visit other locations or friends.
- Students may not congregate together or loiter in unsupervised common areas. Parents on campus assume responsibility for their children and for their continued adherence to school protocols while they are on campus together.
- Students taking a school bus must move immediately to their designated bus station maintaining a distance of at least 1 meter between each other. Students must sanitize their hands before boarding school buses.
- Teachers /TAs will escort infants to designated buses, or to assigned pick-up location for parents, ayis, or private drivers.
POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE REPORTED IN THE IST COMMUNITY
- In the event that a member of the IST community is determined to have contracted COVID-19, the school will immediately defer to advice and mandates from relevant government agencies in order to best safeguard the wellbeing of the wider IST and Tianjin communities.
- It is anticipated that the school will be required to suspend operations immediately and remain closed until advised otherwise. It is also anticipated that community members will be required to undergo nucleic acid testing protocols before they can be cleared to return to school.
- The school will immediately inform parents of any such developments, and will continue to keep them informed via IST e-notifications, website and WeChat postings, and the SeeSaw, ManageBac and Teams learning platforms.
- Online Learning protocols will be activated within 48 hours of any such closure.