In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to facilitate a safe return to school for both students and staff, a joint effort between DPS Nursing Services, Facilities, and Planning, Design and Construction was performed to assess DPS schools and provide the following operational recommendations. These recommendations were based upon our understanding of the existing use of rooms within each school and take into account guidance from both the CDC, Colorado Department of Health, and internal recommendations from DPS Nursing Services. The operational changes break down into two major categories, Existing Restroom Use and Temporary Isolation Spaces:
Existing Restroom Use
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requires that a single toilet restroom within 50 feet of the nurse station be designated as nurse use only. The plan exhibits outline which restroom is compliant and will need to be assigned to the nurse. Because this is a CDPHE requirement, this operational change will be long term and will require that staff not use the assigned restroom going forward. Paper signage should be added to the door of the assigned restroom that reads ‘Nurse Use Only.’
The Centers for Disease Control recommend an isolation space be identified that allows students or staff with COVID-19 symptoms to be separated from others in the facility. This space should be as close as possible to the nurse station, and large enough to allow for 1 cot per 400 students (i.e. if the student body is 600 students, two cots will be needed.) The plan exhibits outline the best locations for the isolation space from a planning perspective. However, we recognize that there may be operational issues that are not understood from a plan examination only, and school administrations should work with their school nurses to locate an appropriate room that satisfies the above criteria in instances where the plan exhibit recommendations are not workable. Paper signage should be added to the door of the assigned room that reads ‘Nurse Isolation Room’.
Please note that some of the operational recommendations are accompanied by larger constructions solutions, including new flooring, plumbing, and in some instances, new nurse stations or restrooms. This set of projects is being handled separately by DPS Planning, Design and Construction, and will be happening in conjunction with the attached operational changes.
For further information on guidelines, please follow the links below: