• COVID-19 Handbook For Employees

    Welcome

    Amphitheater Public Schools is renowned for having dedicated and creative educators who prioritize student learning to enable every student to realize the Portrait of a Graduate skills regardless of whatever obstacles life may throw at them.  To this end, every employee of this school district has a vital role in helping students receive a top-notch education during this COVID-19 pandemic. Your flexibility, creativity, perseverance and remarkably good humor will keep our school district steadfast during these trying times.  As a team, we can provide students the tools that they need to learn and develop despite the odds currently before them!

    This year, Amphitheater Public Schools offers two instructional modalities for students.  The first is a full-time online model through the Amphi Academy Online.  The second follows the more traditional school approach where students attend a brick-and-mortar school.  The students who chose this second model began the year learning remotely with a plan that they physically return to school when it is safe for them to do so.  After fall break, these students will return to schools under a hybrid approach.  This handbook has been updated to assist employees to understand the health and safety protocols that are in place during the hybrid instructional phase.

    Introduction

    Following the statewide school closure last spring, Amphitheater Public Schools implemented health and safety protocols designed to help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 community outbreak in Pima County. At the time, the District already had Policy GBGCB (Staff Health and Safety) in place to address precautions to avoid the spread of communicable diseases at work.  This policy requires the District to follow outbreak control measures and other directives of the Department of Health Services (DHS) and local health agencies as the best medical knowledge and judgments on excluding an employee who has a communicable disease. 

    After the Governor closed schools across the state in March 2020, the District implemented additional important health and safety protocols to assist to slow the spread of COVID-19.  These protocols satisfy the public safety mandates for face coverings currently in place in Pima County.[1] They also mirror guidelines from the public health departments at the federal, state and local levels for slowing the spread of COVID-19.[2]  This handbook is intended to help guide employees about these health and safety protocols and to assist them to implement the protocols at work.

    District COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

    • Face coverings must be worn at school, including occupied classrooms, hallways & bathrooms, even if continuous physical distancing is possible.
    • Employees should cover their faces when they sneeze or cough and avoid touching their face.
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
    • Employees who need to be in closer proximity to others for work should review plans for safety procedures with their supervisor before proceeding.
    • Avoid sharing equipment and supplies.
    • Employees should avoid large gatherings.  Public gatherings cannot exceed 50 people.
    • Employees must stay away from work if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or live with someone who is COVID-19 positive.
    • Employees must conduct a daily self-health check for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to work.
    • Employees should remain a continuous physical distance of 6 feet from others as much as possible and wear a mask.

    Purpose for District Health and Safety Protocols

    The District’s health and safety protocols are designed to assist with avoiding the spread of COVID-19 between employees at work. Each protocol is an important safeguard for employee safety during the pandemic. It is the responsibility of each administrator or department manager to ensure that the employees within their line of supervision remain fully compliant with each of these health and safety protocols while at work. Employees should report concerns about noncompliance to their supervisor.

    To help explain the reasoning for this, please see the image below, which is based on the “Swiss Cheese Model” designed by James Reason, Ph.D., to demonstrate why multiple safeguards are in place to improve the likelihood of workplace safety.[3] The Swiss Cheese Model analogizes workplace safeguards to Swiss cheese, and the holes in the cheese to the many different potentials for an employee to become injured at work.  Each added layer of Swiss cheese negates the chance for a workplace injury by blocking the path through the holes. 

     covid spread

    With the COVID-19 safeguards represented in the image as multiple layers of Swiss cheese, it is easy to understand how the combination of the District’s health and safety protocols can help protect against COVID-19 exposures at work. 

    It is important that all employees feel safe to perform their jobs during the pandemic. As with all District polices and regulations, employees are responsible to implement these health and safety protocols while at work.  Noncompliance with the District’s health and safety protocols may result in disciplinary consequences.

    Employees may have varying opinions about these protocols, and some may have strong personal feelings against physical distancing and/or wearing a face covering at work.  As a District, we fully support the free exchange of ideas and conversations as appropriate. However, this does not alleviate the District’s responsibility to ensure that employees comply with the laws in place for public safety.  This is no different from any other regulation or rule the District currently follows and is most similar to our policies regarding dress code.

    District Face Covering Regulation

    On July 23, 2020, Arizona Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-51, which requires school districts to “develop and implement a policy to require face coverings, such as face masks or face shields, for all staff and students over the age of five until the Arizona Department of Health Services determines that face coverings are no longer necessary or recommended to contain the spread of virus.”  Consistent with this requirement, the District, in consultation with the Amphitheater Education Association, developed Regulation GBGB-R (Staff Personal Security and Safety), which requires staff to wear a face covering while on District property.  Virtually identical regulations are in place for students (Regulation JICA-RB – Student Dress) and visitors (Regulation KI-RB – Visitors to Schools).  Here are the relevant sections of the Regulation:

    Cloth Face Coverings

     While recommended by Arizona Department of Health Services, all persons, including, but not limited to, staff, students, vendors, visitors, and volunteers, shall wear a cloth face covering while on any District property, in any District facility, at any District event, whether indoors or outdoors, and in any District vehicle, including District busses or vehicles rented or leased by the District.

    Cloth face coverings should not be worn by:

    1. Children under the age of two (2);
    2. Anyone who has trouble breathing;
    3. Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

    The Superintendent may make exceptions to the requirement to wear a cloth face covering while keeping in mind the health and safety of everyone involved.

    Cloth face coverings are to fully cover a person’s nose and mouth, ideally fitting snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face and under the chin. They are to remain affixed in place without the use of one’s hands and are to not have holes. They are to be laundered regularly or disposed of appropriately.

    A cloth face covering does not replace the need for frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and practicing physical distancing (six feet [6’] away) to the extent possible. Individuals are to be reminded to avoid touching their cloth face covering and to wash their hands frequently.  To ensure the proper use of cloth face coverings, staff and students are to be educated on how to wear and care for their cloth face coverings.

    Important Information for Employees

    Regulation GBGB-R permits the Superintendent to make exceptions to the face covering requirement. To align with the Pima County Resolution 2020-49, employees may remove face coverings when alone in a classroom or office space, and other places when a continuous physical distance of 6 feet may be maintained, as well as to eat and drink.  However, employees must wear a face covering in all common areas, including in occupied classrooms and other areas where students are present, as well as in hallways and bathrooms even if physical distancing can occur.

    How to Wash a Face Covering

    Face coverings are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.

    A cloth face covering should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove a mask correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.[4]

    Washing machine

    You can include your mask with your regular laundry.

    Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask.

    Washing by hand

    With permission from and the assistance of an adult, prepare a bleach solution by mixing:

    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
    • 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water

    Follow all precautions on bleach bottle.  Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

    Soak the mask in the bleach solution for 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.

    Dryer

    Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.

    Air dry

    Lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place the mask in direct sunlight.     

    Hand-Washing Help[5]

    hand washing

    COVID-19 Symptoms

    People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19[6]:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    COVID-19 Daily Self-Screening Questions

    Employees are responsible to conduct a daily self-screening at home before coming to work.  Employees must answer the following questions every day at home before leaving for work:

    Fever of 100.0 degrees or higher

    YES    or    NO

    Subjective fever (felt feverish) chills/shaking

    YES    or    NO

    New or worsening cough

    YES    or    NO

    Shortness of breath

    YES    or    NO

    Sore throat/muscle or body aches/headache

    YES    or    NO

    Diarrhea/nausea/vomiting

    YES    or    NO

    Loss of taste or smell or rash

    YES    or    NO

    • If you reply YES to any of the questions on the checklist, stay home.
    • If you begin to feel ill while at work, you should immediately go home.
    • If possible, avoid all public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.

    Protocols to Address Illness on Campus during Pandemic[7]

    For Use with Student or Staff

    Displays Symptoms of COVID-19:

    • Immediately ask person to put on a mask if not already wearing one
    • Arrange for the individual to leave school site if signs of illness are evident
    • Individual should remain away from school site until 1 of the following 3 alternatives for return is met:
      1. Alternative 1 (must meet all 3 bullet points to return):
        • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND
        • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers (fever free without fever reducing medication), AND
        • Other symptoms have improved
      2. Alternative 2: A negative COVID-19 test is provided
      3. Alternative 3: A physician’s note showing an alternative diagnosis is provided
    • May encourage, but not require, person to report if being tested and if test returns positive

    Displays Symptoms of COVID-19 - Awaiting Test Results:

    • Person remains away from school site until results are available
    • If results are delayed, follow guidance for when person reports a positive COVID-19 test
    • Once results are available, follow the recommendations based on results

    Displays Symptoms of COVID-19 - Refuses to Take a COVID-19 Test

    • Follow above guidance for steps to take when person displays symptoms of COVID-19

    Displays Symptoms of COVID-19 - Reports a Negative Test Result

    • Person remains away from school site until:
      1. At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
      2. All other symptoms have improved

    Sick with Non-COVID-19 Symptoms:

    • Person should remain away from school site until:
      1. At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
      2. All other symptoms have improved

    Reports Positive COVID-19 Test:

    • A person who receives a positive COVID-19 result must remain away from school site, and are encouraged to quarantine at home, until all three (3) requirements are met (must meet all 3 to return):
    1. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND
    2. At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of medicine that  reduces fevers improved, AND
    3. Other symptoms have improved

    Reports a Positive COVID-19 Test - Asymptomatic:

    • Follow above guidance for steps to take when person reports a positive COVID-19 Test
    • If symptoms develop subsequently, the procedure do not change.

    Reports a Positive COVID-19 Test – Provides Documentation of Having Tested Positive for COVID-19 within the Past 90 Days

    • Someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days may continue to test positive for COVID-19 as long as the person has the antibodies. People who provide proof of a positive COVID-19 test result within the past 90 days do not need to isolate and can return to campus.

    Reports a Positive COVID-19 Test – Provides Documentation of Having Tested Positive for COVID-19 Antibodies within the Past 90 Days

    • A person with COVID-19 antibodies may continue to test positive for COVID-19. People who provide proof that they have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies within the past 90 days do not need to isolate and can return to campus.

    Reports a Positive COVID-19 Test – Provides Documentation of Having Received a COVID-19 Vaccine

    • The CDC has not provided guidance permitting someone who has received a COVID-19 vaccination to avoid isolation or quarantine. These protocols should continue to be followed despite vaccination.

    No COVID-19 Symptoms - Awaiting Test Results:

    • People who are asymptomatic and take a COVID-19 test do not need to remain away from school site while awaiting test results unless considered a close contact (defined below) with someone who is positive.
    • For close contacts, follow below close contact guidance
    • While awaiting test results, continue to follow usual District health and safety protocols
    • Once results are available, follow the recommendations based on results

    Close Contact with Someone Positive with COVID-19:

    People are considered a close contact if they:

    • Were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more, with or without a mask, in a 24-hour period,
    • Provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19,
    • Had direct physical contact (hugged or kissed) someone who has COVID-19,
    • Shared eating or drinking utensils with someone who has COVID-19, or
    • Someone with COVID-19 sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on them.

    The CDC defines the contagious period for a close contact to be 48 hours before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

    People who are a close contact must remain away from a school site for 10 full days (returning on Day 11) after their last exposure with the COVID-19 positive individual as long as no symptoms occur from daily monitoring during the quarantine period.  

    • In limited circumstances, public health departments will allow quarantine to end as early as Day 8 (e., quarantine at home for at least 7 full days) with proof of a negative COVID-19 test and no COVID-19 symptoms having occurred during the quarantine period.  However, the test must be taken 48 hours before the end of the quarantine period for this to occur.  In other words, a person anticipating a negative test would need to take the COVID-19 test no earlier than on Day 5 of your quarantine period and, if a negative test is received and no COVID-19 symptoms have presented during the quarantine period, the person would be allowed to end the quarantine after 7 full days and return on Day 8.  Currently, there is no ability for someone to test out of quarantine earlier than Day 8.  Employees who want to proceed with this option must provide proof of their negative test result to their Supervisor before returning to work.
    • Someone with documented evidence of having been positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days or documented evidence of having antibodies for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, is not considered a close contact.
    • Vaccinated persons are not considered a close contactand do not need to quarantine if they meet ALL of the following criteria:  
    • Are not inpatients/residents in healthcare and correctional settings (i.e., hospitals, hospice, skilled nursing facilities, jail/prison); AND 
    • Are not part of an outbreak with variant COVID-19 strains; AND 
    • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., 2 weeks or more have passed after receiving the second dose in a 2-dose series, or 2 weeks or more have passed after receiving one dose of a single-dose vaccine); AND 
    • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series; AND 
    • Have remained asymptomatic since the most recent COVID-19 exposure. 

    NOTE:  Fully vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure, continue to physically distance, and wear a mask. ● If they experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should immediately self-isolate and be evaluated by their healthcare provider for COVID-19, including testing.  

    Lives with Someone with COVID-19:

    • Follow guidance for close contact above

    Had Contact with Asymptomatic (Showing No Symptoms) Person Who Had Contact with a Symptomatic Person (Showing Symptoms):

    • If a close contact, follow guidance for close contact above
    • If the person had contact, but is not close contact, then the person should continue to conduct daily health screen at home and, if answers to all questions are “NO”, may report to work as usual

    The Person or Someone Living with the Person has Traveled to an Area with Local Transmission:

    • Continue to conduct daily health screenings
    • Follow usual District health and safety protocols.

    Employee Options for Pay during Isolation or Quarantine

    • Employees who need to leave work early due to illness or close contact may use their available leave balances to be paid for the rest of the day.
    • Employees who must be away from work to isolate or quarantine can use their available leave balances for pay during their absence.
    • Employees who do not have available leave balances can contact the Benefits Department for information about the sick leave donation program.
    • Employees can be requested to provide a medical release as a condition to return to work when absent for more than 3 days.

    When Must Employees Report COVID-19 Symptoms

    Employees must notify their supervisor and follow directives for remaining away from work if they experience any of the following:

    • COVID-19 symptoms,
    • Positive COVID-19 test result, or
    • Have been in close contact (defined on pg. 11) with someone with COVID-19.

    Employees should immediately notify the Principal or Department Supervisor, and avoid discussing it with others, upon learning that someone who has COVID-19 was on a District property during their contagious period.

    Steps to be Taken When a Positive COVID-19 Test Result is Reported

    1. Information about positive COVID-19 tests should be submitted to the School Health Office or, if non-school site, to the Director of Health Services. The School Health Office (for school sites) or Director of Health Services (for non-school sites) reports all positive cases to the Pima County Health Department.
    2. The supervising administrator communicates with the individual who reported the positive case to clarify the following:
      • The date of the positive test result
      • The date that the individual first experienced a symptom of COVID-19
      • The primary working or learning locations of the individual, and
      • The date that the individual was last physically present at a District site
      • Why? For COVID-19, the CDC identifies the close contact(defined on page 11) period to be 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.[8]  
    1. If the person with COVID-19 was at a District site within two (2) days before the first symptom (for asymptomatic patients, two (2) days before the positive test date), then the supervisor:
    • Determines which areas of the site should be closed for cleaning, immediately closing them to limit others from entering the area, and submits a cleaning request for the area(s),
    • Assists Pima County Health Department officials to identify anyone at a District site who was in close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual, and follows the directives of the Pima County Health officials for notifying individuals who may have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, and
    • Send a notice to all families and staff assigned to the site, as well as any other staff members who were present at the site during the contagious period as determined by the front desk log.

    Communications for a Potential COVID-19 Exposure

    COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact.  As the World Health Organization, as well as the federal, state and local health departments continue to study COVID-19 throughout this global pandemic, their guidance about appropriate protective measures for limiting the spread evolves.  The District has protective measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but it is impossible to prevent every potential for transmission and/or to determine every potential exposure to someone with COVID-19.  During the pandemic, there is an inherent risk of contracting the infection when in the physical presence of others or in a public area, notwithstanding any precautions taken by the District or school. 

    The Pima County Health Department performs contract tracing.  The District does not conduct its own contract tracing.  If a Pima County Health official determines that someone at a District site was potentially in close contact (defined on page 11) with someone who was present at a District site while contagious with COVID-19, the Administrator will deliver a letter provided by Pima County Health to that individual.[9] Pima County Health officials identify to whom the Administrator must deliver a Pima County Health letter.  The Pima County Health letter is on the Pima County Health Department letterhead. 

    As added precaution, the District also sends a communication to all families and staff assigned to the site, as well as any other staff members who were present at the site during the contagious period (as determined by the front desk log), when it is made aware that someone with COVID-19 was physically present at a District site during the contagious period.  This District communication is provided as a courtesy to remind people at the site to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and follow the COVID-19 mitigation protocols. 

    Sample District Communication

     We are writing to make you aware that someone who has reported a positive COVID-19 test result was present at [FILL IN SITE NAME].  The Pima County Health Department has been notified.  Pima County Health performs contact tracings for positive COVID-19 test results and will communicate with anyone who may have been exposed. 

    The District has established health protocols designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.  The mitigation protocols are on the District website: https://www.amphi.com/Domain/4949.  These include:

    • Wear a face covering at school
    • Maintain appropriate physical distancing from others
    • Regular hand-washing

    Please continue to follow these protocols and perform daily health screenings.  Do not come to school if you are ill or begin to experience any of the below symptoms:

    • Fever (temperature over 100 F) without having taken any fever reducing medications
    • Loss of smell or taste
    • Cough
    • Muscle aches
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chills
    • Headache
    • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite

    Documentation for a Potential Work Exposure

    Employees who believe that they contracted COVID-19 at work should follow standard worker’s compensation protocols upon receipt of a positive COVID-19 test result (Appendix 5).  Employees should notify their supervisor after receiving the positive test so that an Employee Incident Report can be completed (Appendix 1).

    Options for Employee Pay during Quarantine

    Employees who need to quarantine due to COVID-19 have the option to use their District leave balances for pay during that time. Information about District paid leave is available in Appendix 4.

    FFCRA leave ended December 31, 2020.   FFCRA was a temporary leave option mandated by the federal government from April to December 2020.  The most recent federal legislation (Pandemic Relief Act) did not extend the FFCRA leave mandates.

    Although FFCRA leave is gone, employees can continue to use their available leave balances for pay while needing to quarantine.  Amphitheater’s Governing Board Policy GCCA (Professional Staff Sick Leave) and GDCA (Support Staff Sick Leave) authorize employees who need to be absent to quarantine to use sick leave for pay while quarantining.  Employees who need to quarantine after their available leave balances expire will be granted an unpaid leave of absence through the end of their quarantine.  The exact phrase from the policies is below:

    In case of absence due to quarantine, the employee may receive full pay to the extent of all earned sick leave. Once all accumulated leave is exhausted, an employee who remains under quarantine will be granted leave of absence without pay for the duration of the quarantine.

    Employees who need to continue to quarantine due to COVID-19 for more than 10 consecutive work days should contact the Benefits Department to arrange for an extended leave of absence.

    Cleaning Following Potential COVID-19 Exposure at District Site

    If a person notifies a supervisor that they were present at a District site within two (2) days before illness onset (or for asymptomatic patients, two (2) days before the positive test), then the supervisor should take the following steps:

    1. Clear inside space(s) where the person was present for extended time periods and close the doors to the space if possible. NOTE:  This would generally consist of all areas where the primary learning or working spaces of the positive case.
    2. Notify the Cabinet-level administrator in the line of supervision about the situation
    3. Do not let anyone at the site enter the space(s) for 24 hours
    4. Submit a cleaning request for a COVID-19 deep clean to Executive Manager of Operational Support
    5. If students are scheduled to be in the areas to be cleaned, the Principal makes plans for those students. Students will only be sent home upon direction of PCHD.

    Workstation Review

    When physical distancing is not an option, the employee workstation should be adjusted as necessary to permit the requisite 6 foot distance between coworkers for extended time periods of 15 minutes or more.  This may be as simple as relocating a computer workstation or telephone to a different part of the desk.  However, it could be more significant, such as having to move the entire desk, relocate the employee to work in a different location at the site, or permitting flexibility in reporting times so that employees in close proximity are not working at the same times. 

    Employees are encouraged to communicate with their supervisors about viable options for adjusting the employee’s workstation.  Employees do not have authority to make permanent adjustments to District property, including walls or desks, without permission from their site administrator.   Similarly, employees may not add walls or Plexiglass to work stations without supervisor permission.  When addressing such a request, consideration should be given to the overall appearance of the addition, the ability of the employee to continue to perform the essential functions of the job while satisfying District expectations for customer service, and equity for all employees at the site. 

    The District has established a COVID-19 workstation review committee to assist employees and their supervisors when a viable solution is not readily attainable without further assistance.  A fillable COVID-19 Workstation Review form is available under the Employee Resources tab on SharePoint.  The form must be filled out and signed electronically by the supervisor in order for it to be considered by the committee.  This form is for physical adjustments to a workstation.  The form should not to be used for requests to work remotely.  Please see the “Requests for Accommodation” section for information about remote work requests.

    The District has also provided signs for employees to hang in their workstation.  These signs are in Appendix 2 and can be downloaded from the Communications Department SharePoint.  Employees are requested to use these District signs for consistency.  Employees may not set additional rules for other personnel to enter their work area without supervisor approval.

    Requests for Accommodation

    UPDATE:  Effective July 31, 2020, the District has temporarily authorized supervisors to approve eligible requests to work from home on a short-term basis.  Please communicate with your supervisor to determine if your position is eligible for remote work.  The normal accommodation process for remote work is temporarily on hold and may be resumed at a later date.

    The District has an established interactive process for reviewing an employee request for an accommodation due to health-related reasons.  The Benefits Manager handles these requests.  Employees are responsible to make the request for accommodation on their own.  There is information about the process available under the Employee Resources tab on SharePoint and in Appendix 3. Supervisors are not responsible to submit accommodation requests on behalf of employees.

    Employees who are notified by the Pima County Health Department that they need to quarantine at home because they were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, but who are not themselves displaying COVID-19 symptoms and are not ill, may be permitted to work remotely under limited circumstances.  In this situation, the employee and the supervisor should jointly communicate with the Benefits Department to determine available options.

    Requests for Contract Release

    The District has an established interactive process for reviewing this type of request.  The Human Resources Manager handles these requests.  Employees are responsible to make the request for release from their contract directly to the Human Resources Manager.  Supervisors are not responsible to submit these types of requests on behalf of an employee.

    Requests for Leave of Absence

    Requests for a leave of absence without pay are processed through the Benefits Department.  Employees are responsible to submit requests for leaves of absence in excess of 10 consecutive business days directly to the Benefits Department.  Supervisors are not responsible for submitting requests for extended leaves of absence on behalf of employees.  The Health and Hardship Leave is not required by law and supervisors are not necessarily obligated to approve these requests.

    Requests for Personal Protective Equipment

    The District follows the CDC directives to identify who is at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 due to an underlying health condition.   According to the CDC website (updated June 25, 2020), people who are older are at a higher risk. CDC specifically notes that 8 out of 10 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States have been people over the age of 65.[10]

    The CDC also notes that people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions[11] are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:

    Employees who are high risk for contracting COVID-19 have the option to wear additional PPE beyond the legally-mandated face covering while at work.  Employees can wear PPE that they purchase at their own expense for added safety while at work without prior notice to or approval from their supervisor.  This may include (but is certainly not limited to) a face shield, N95 mask, or gloves.  Employees may also bring in their own hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes for personal use at work.

    Employee requests for the District to provide PPE as an accommodation should be submitted directly by the employee to the Benefits Department.  Please refer to the Requests for Accommodation section on page 14 of this handbook.

    Employee requests for specific PPE necessary to instruct students who qualify for special education services should be addressed through Executive Director of Student Services Kristin McGraw.  The PPE request must be considered in conjunction with the student’s IEP.

    Employee Assistance Program

    Employees should also remember that they can contact the Employee Assistance Program for no-cost assistance for a variety of matters.  This option is available to benefit-eligible employees and their families.  Information about the Employee Assistance Program is available in the “Employee Benefits Center” located under the “Employment” tab on the District website or in Appendix 6 to this Handbook.   

    Appendix

    1. Employee Incident Report
    2. Amphitheater Health and Safety Protocols Sign
    3. District Regulation and Forms for Requests for Accommodation
    4. District Policies and Regulations on Paid Leaves of Absence
    5. Notice of Employee Rights
    6. Employee Assistance Program
    7. Worker’s Compensation

    [1] On June 19, 2020, the Pima County Board of Supervisors implemented Resolution 2020-49 which mandates that every person 5 and over wear a face covering that completely and snuggly covers the nose and mouth while in a public place when the person cannot easily maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from all others.

    [2] The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the latest information about COVID-19 and the global outbreak: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. In addition, the District follows the guidance of the Arizona Department of Health Services (https://www.azdhs.gov) and the Pima County Health Department (https://webcms.pima.gov) related to COVID-19.  Finally, the OSHA COVID-19 webpage offers information specifically for workers and employers: www.osha.gov/covid-19.

    [3] Williamson County and Cities Health District. Reopening Business Frequently Asked Questions. Texas: 2020.

    [4] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html (July 30, 2020).

    [5] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/global-covid-19/handwashing.html (July 30, 2020).

    [6] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html (July 25, 2020).

    [7] These protocols were developed based on the guidance provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Pima County Health Department regarding when people who may be ill with COVID-19 should take precautions for isolation or quarantine.

    [8] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact-tracing/contact-tracing-plan/contact-tracing.html (July 25, 2020).

    [9] See, e.g., https://webcms.pima.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_6/File/Health/COVID-19/ Schools%20Child%20Care/PARENT%20ALERT%20COVID-19%20Schools.pdf (Sept. 25, 2020); see also https://webcms.pima.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_6/File/Health/COVID-19/Schools%20Child%20Care/PARENT%20ALERT%20COVID-19%20Schools%20Staff.pdf (Sept. 25, 2020).

    [10] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html (July 25, 2020).

    [11] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html (July 25, 2020).