COVID-19 Response & Information

In the wake of school closures in March of 2020, USD implemented state health department protocols for students and staff. During the 2020-21 school year, students began the year in Distance Learning, and returned to school through a phased-in approach in the winter and spring of 2021.

Union School District will begin the 2021-22 school year with full-time, in-person instruction at all schools.

Health & Safety Measures

Updated January 14, 2022

We continue to support a safe return to in-person learning this school year following all health and safety protocols as directed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and local public health department.

We will continue to communicate updates or revisions of any state and local guidance and/or recommendations for schools. As a community, we will continue to ensure the health and wellness of our students, staff and USD families together.

Our Commitment

  • To provide a healthy environment in which our students can learn and thrive.

  • To comply with all state and local health orders, mandates, and guidelines in order to ensure the health and safety of all individuals on campus.

Adults on Campus and Volunteers

  • As we continue to monitor our health and safety guidance through the California Department of Public Health, we have been allowing opportunities for adults on campus to support essential programs. Schools have designated and approved essential volunteers to assist in classrooms on campus. We thank all of our parent/guardian volunteers who have donated hours of their time to support our schools.

  • As we move forward, beginning Monday, November 2nd, elementary school parents/guardians will have the option to walk their child to their classroom at our schools as long as masks are worn by all adults and students while on campus. Parents/guardians may walk their child to the classroom door, however parents/guardians must stay outside of the classroom and may be on campus for the first 10 minutes prior to the start of the school day. Non-staff adults will need to leave campus as soon as the bell rings. Middle school parents, please continue to follow the guidelines set by your school in regards to dropping off items/food for your child. And as always, adults may not enter campus during the school day without checking in with the front office first.

  • After school, parents may come onto campus after the school bell rings at dismissal time to pick up their student from their specific classroom. Please remain outside your child’s classroom door. Please note, masks must be worn at all times on campus.

Checking Symptoms & Staying Home When You're Sick

Prior to coming to school

  • In order to prevent transmission, it is critical for individuals to remain home if sick.

      • Students must also stay home if a member of their immediate household tests positive for COVID-19.

  • Staff members will submit a daily health screening.

  • Student guardians will be asked to monitor daily for symptoms including fever over 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Students may return to school when:

      • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and other symptoms have improved; AND

      • They have a negative test for SARS-CoV-2, OR a healthcare provider has provided documentation that the symptoms are typical of their underlying chronic condition (e.g., allergies or asthma) OR a healthcare provider has confirmed an alternative named diagnosis (e.g., Streptococcal pharyngitis, Coxsackie virus), OR at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset.


Once at school

  • Should a student develop symptoms while on campus, they will be brought to a CARE area and a staff member will contact the family with next steps.

Cleaning Protocol

  • Custodial staff will continue to clean school sites every day. Cleaning involves wiping down high-touch surfaces to remove surface contaminants.

  • In the event of a confirmed case of illness, custodial staff will use high-grade sprayers with a sanitizing product that is EPA approved for use against COVID-19.

  • EPA cleaning solutions are approved for use in classrooms.

  • Staff and classrooms have access to paper towels and spray bottles of a cleaning solution to wipe down any shared surfaces.

Extracurricular School-Based Activities

CDPH updated their guidance regarding School-Based Extracurricular Activities. The requirements and recommendations in this guidance apply to all extracurricular activities that are operated or supervised by schools, and all activities that occur on a school site, whether or not they occur during school hours, including, but not limited to, sports, band, chorus, and clubs:


    1. Activities may be performed outdoors without masks.

    2. Indoor mask use remains a critical layer in protecting against COVID-19 infection and transmission, including during sports, music, and related activities. Accordingly:

      Masks are required indoors at all times for teachers, referees, officials, coaches, and other support staff.

      Masks are required indoors for all spectators and observers. This applies to all adults.

      Masks are required indoors at all times when participants are not actively practicing, conditioning, competing, or performing. Masks are also required indoors while on the sidelines, in team meetings, and within locker rooms and weight rooms.

      For after school activities, sports and clubs, when actively practicing, conditioning, or competing in indoor sports, masks are required by participants even during heavy exertion, as practicable. If masks are not worn due to heavy exertion, it is strongly recommended that individuals undergo screening testing at least once weekly. An FDA-approved antigen test, PCR test, or pooled PCR test is acceptable for evaluation of an individual's COVID-19 status.

      Individuals using instruments indoors that cannot be played with a mask (e.g., wind instruments) may perform if bell coverings are used when playing wind instruments AND a minimum of 3 feet of physical distancing is maintained between participants. Modified masking may be considered in addition to, but not in place of, bell covers. Instruments that cannot be played with masks and that do not have bell covers must be played outdoors.

    3. Volunteers need to fill out the volunteer packet and must show proof of vaccination.

    4. The consent forms should state that these stipulations are subject to change and the newest guidance from the county or the state, whichever is stricter, will be followed. All parties will be notified of any changes.

    5. For choir and theater performances, parents/guardians of the student will be given the option for their child to either wear a mask or will be able to test weekly if a mask isn't worn. This applies to after school events only as during school hours, masks must be worn.

    6. Face masks should not be worn for competitive cheerleading (tumbling/stunting/flying) and gymnastics (while on the different apparatuses) because of the theoretical risk that the mask may get caught on objects and become a choking hazard or accidently impair vision. During wrestling contact, a face mask could become a choking hazard and is discouraged unless an adult coach or official is closely monitoring for safety purposes. Any face mask that becomes saturated with sweat should be changed immediately.

Face Masks

Current state guidance requires masking regardless of vaccination status by all staff and all students (TK-8th grade) while indoors on campus.

  • Wearing a face mask outdoors is strongly recommended for staff and students.

  • Each school site has a supply of face masks in case an extra face mask is needed.

  • If a student is having difficulty wearing a face masks consistently, an administrator will be in contact with the parent/guardian to determine a solution (e.g. face mask breaks as needed.)

  • Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition must wear an alternative (e.g. face shield with drape). If exempted, please contact your site principal.


Field Trips

Starting in November, USD will be allowing field trips in accordance with all applicable health and safety guidance. In order to participate in field trips and overnight events, students, staff and volunteers will need to adhere to all health and safety rules and regulations.

  • Students must wear masks, both indoors and outdoors at the destination as well as during transportation to and from events. Exemptions include when actively eating or drinking, when health factors would be jeopardized, or during rigorous exercise.

  • In addition, when transportation is via bus, students shall not sit directly behind the bus driver.

  • For overnight field trips, all participants shall be tested and receive negative results within 72 hours prior to the trip. Students and adults shall be assigned to rooms/cabins and these assignments shall remain stable. Students will not need to wear masks when in their room/cabin. For field trips where sports, instruments and singing are involved, guidance for these activities will need to be adhered to as well. Most importantly, participating students and staff shall adhere to the destination’s or Santa Clara County guidance, whichever is more strict.


Handwashing & Hygienic Practices

    • Routine, frequent and proper hand hygiene (soap and water or hand sanitizer) is one of the best ways to avoid spreading germs. Everyone should continue the habit of washing hands frequently at home and at school.

    • Schools will continue to teach and reinforce washing hands throughout the school day, as well as hygienic practices such as avoiding contact with one's eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff.

    • Handwashing stations are situated in various locations on campus and hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms.

On-Campus Events

While school dances, large assemblies, and other school-based crowded events have the potential to cause spread of COVID-19, we will work within the California Department Public Health guidance.

For our large events, such as dances, band and choir concerts, our district will adhere to following guidelines:

    • Events will be conducted outdoors;

    • Masking shall be mandatory, except when during a band concert and the playing of musical instruments that cannot be done with a face covering;

    • Attendance for the event shall be taken to assist with potential contact tracing;

    • Distancing the audience seating as practicable;

    • At school dances, if food or drinks are to be served, serve them outdoors in a place away from other areas to clearly designate spaces where masks must be worn.


Update (January 6, 2022) Regarding After School Indoor Events and Sports

Due to current conditions with COVID, USD is limiting the amount of attendees for indoor events that includes indoor athletics and other indoor events such as plays, concerts, performances. Only members of a student’s household may be part of the audience at this time in order to limit the number of individuals and contacts within an indoor space. As always, indoor guests must always wear a mask and be free from COVID symptoms.

Recess, Lunch and Physical Education

  • Snacks and Lunch: Eating meals outdoors will be prioritized and outdoor seating areas will be maximized.

  • Recess and PE: USD requires masks for all students and staff while indoors. USD strongly recommends masks for outdoor activities.

      1. If a student is having difficulty wearing a face masks consistently, an administrator will be in contact with the parent/guardian to determine a solution (e.g. face mask breaks as needed.)

  • Rainy Day COVID Guidelines (Recess and lunch indoors)

      1. Students will wear their masks and ONLY remove masks during eating and drinking.

      2. A time limit of 13 minutes for eating will be set if eating indoors. Physical distancing as practicable. Students do not necessarily need to eat at their desks.

      3. Older students are taught to replace their masks when not actively eating.

      4. Students with allergies will be accomodated per current school protocols.

      5. Covered areas outdoors with a table will be utilized in Middle School and may be utilized if available in Elementary.


Vaccinations & COVID-19 Testing

    • Union School District encourages all staff and age-eligible students to get vaccinated.

    • 95% of USD employees are vaccinated.

    • Unvaccinated staff will be required to be tested weekly, per CDPH order (August 11, 2021).

    • All USD staff will take part in monthly surveillance COVID-19 testing.

    • Students are encouraged to get routine COVID-19 testing.

    • Based on CDC guidance, individuals may continue to test positive for the 90 days following the onset of infection, even if they have recovered from the illness. For this reason, students or staff members who previously tested positive are not required to test for 90 days from the initial positive COVID test. Documentation of their diagnosis should be submitted to their site or supervisor to exempt from testing requirements.

Ventilation

  • Properly installed and maintained Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are key to ensuring healthy indoor air quality in school learning environments.

  • The HVAC systems at all sites in the district have been evaluated by a licensed contractor to ensure proper air circulation in every building in the district.

  • Ventilation systems across the district are outfitted with MERV-13 filters which are replaced three times per year. A record of the filter change date is recorded in each classroom.

District Dashboard

During the school year, USD publishes the count of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases on a weekly basis. Data counts will be updated each Friday evening at 5pm.

To ensure privacy, names or identifying information of positive cases will not be disclosed.

Isolation Procedures for COVID-19 Positive Individuals

An administrator will communicate with families in the event of a reported positive case of COVID-19, in adherence with all privacy laws.

A COVID-19 positive case will stay home for at least 5 days.

    • Isolation can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving and an antigen test comes back negative.

    • If unable to test or choosing not to test, and symptoms are not present or are resolving, isolation can end after day 10.

    • If fever is present, isolation should be continued until fever resolves.

    • If symptoms, other than fever, are not resolving continue to isolate until symptoms are resolving or until after day 10.

    • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days.

Post-Vaccination Symptoms Guidelines (COVID-19 and Flu)

Travel Guidance

Resources & Links

The following links contain additional information regarding state and county health guidance and district plans.


Santa Clara County Emergency Operations Center Community Resources

COVID-19 Vaccine

The first COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in the United States. All individuals age 12 or older are now eligible for vaccination. For more information, including how to schedule an appointment or find a drop-in vaccination site, visit www.sccfreevax.org

Public Health Orders

On June 15th, California ended its Blueprint for a Safer Economy, and enacted a new Health Officer Order with limited restrictions (related to face coverings, mega-events, and settings serving children), see here for details: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Beyond-Blueprint.aspx

As of June 21, 2021, most local Health Orders have been lifted or are being phased out, see here for details: https://covid19.sccgov.org/public-health-orders

COVID-19 Testing

To find a free and easy COVID-19 testing location near you, visit www.sccfreetest.org

County Services

For updated information about County service impacts, visit https://www.sccgov.org/sites/opa/opa/covid19/Pages/home.aspx

General Information

For information about COVID-19 response efforts in Santa Clara County, guidance for businesses and workers, local data, testing resources, Public Health Orders, and other resources, visit: www.sccgov.org/coronavirus