Error processing SSI file

Planning for Outbreaks, Epidemics, and Pandemics

PAGE 4 of 10

View Table of Contents

Emergency Operations Plans and Sustaining Partnerships

School administrator taking temperature of students

Schools should prepare for infectious disease events like outbreaks or a pandemic by being sure that they have an emergency operations plan (EOP) with an infectious disease section. This section will help schools plan for what to do before, during, and after an infectious disease event. Schools may need to consider how they would implement public health interventions, such as illness screening, testing, and contact tracing, physical distancing and cohorting, separation of sick students and staff at school, and masking. Schools should consider how to meet the needs of children with disabilities in their EOPs and can consult with caregivers and the student’s healthcare providers to inform these plans. Schools also can consider recovery plans that include items such as mental health supports. For more information and training on how to create an infectious disease annex visit the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center.

School districts and schools may consider establishing and maintaining an infection prevention and control (IPC) advisory committee and collaborate with the local health department, tribal public health, hospital system, or local healthcare providers as well as parents and caregivers. The IPC advisory committee members can also be part of a school health advisory committee (SHAC). Where created, SHACs often advise schools on a wide array of health items, and infectious disease planning can be included in SHAC activities. These teams can help support a local education agency to develop and implement tailored IPC policies. The team make-up may differ between schools based on organizational structure and specific needs. The team should closely collaborate with the partners involved in EOP development. Engaging in periodic training and table top exercises that include all partners can support schools in being ready for an unexpected event. Maintaining these partnerships over time will ensure that schools have expert support if an infectious disease emergency occurs.

Error processing SSI file