Health and Safety

The guidelines established by the California Department of Public Health, the OC Health Care Agency, and OC Department of Education inform all IUSD planning efforts and the design of each academic model for the 2020-21 school year. These guidelines for schools outline important considerations and protocols, including cleaning and disinfecting, physical distancing, face coverings, hand washing, notification and reporting of positive cases, and grouping students into smaller cohorts, to the extent possible. For more information about guidelines for Orange County schools, click here.

Face coverings

During the July 14, 2020 IUSD Board of Education Meeting, the Board voted to require face coverings on IUSD campuses and in classrooms for all staff, students and visitors. Persons with a medical or mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering are exempt per state guidelines

Click here for more information about IUSD's policy, including implementation, guidelines,  student and staff access, and more.   

personal protective equipment for students and staff

In preparation for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, IUSD has proactively been building supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for both staff and students to support safety measures on school campuses and at District facilities.  Below are PPE supplies in advance of August 20, 2020.  These supplies will continue to be replenished and evolve with the needs of our District.

  • Nearly a Half Million Face Coverings, including  reusable cloth face masks, disposable face masks and face shields.  Procurement of face coverings is ongoing to ensure students and staff, who need them, will have access to face coverings any time they are on IUSD campuses or at our facilities. 
  • Hand Sanitizing Products. Hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout school and District sites, particularly in areas without sinks.  Staff and students will be expected to wash/sanitize their hands regularly. To date, IUSD supplies include:   

    • 25,195 Bottles of hand sanitizer

    • 21,500 Boxes of hand wipes 

    • 200 Cases Liquid Foam hand sanitizer 

  • 12,000 Three Panel Desk Safety Shields. As outlined in the academic models, IUSD schools will maximize available space on school campuses for in-person learning. To the greatest extent possible, classroom furniture will be arranged to remove non-essential furniture, allowing maximum space for students and staff.  Student desks will be arranged to face the same direction (rather than facing each other) and spaced six feet apart and from teachers, when practicable and in accordance with California Department of Public Health guidelines.  However,  when six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained, appropriate safety measures will be implemented, including the use of three panel desk safety shields.  

  • Other PPE includes:

    • 1,400 Air purifier units

    • Nearly 5,000 boxes of gloves

school Site prevention and safety plans 

Each school is responsible for developing a plan for maintaining healthy operations that is consistent with guidelines from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

1. Develop a Written Worksite Specific Plan

  • Identify the person(s) responsible for implementing the plan.
  • Perform a risk assessment and identify the measures that will be taken to prevent spread of the virus. 
  • Develop a plan that is consistent with recommendations by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for when a staff member, student or visitor becomes sick or tests positive for COVID-19. The plan should include the following:
    • Identify a process to investigate COVID-19 cases, alert the local health department, and identify and isolate close contact with students or staff until they are tested. 
    • Considerations for a partial or total closure in response to a student, teacher or staff members testing positive for COVID-19.
    • A plan for communicating positive cases to staff and parents, and for the return of students or employees who have recovered from the illness.
  • Develop a plan for maintaining healthy operations that is consistent with recommendations by the CDPH, the Orange County Department of Education guidelines for OC schools and IUSD’s Illness and Injury Prevention Program.
  • Train and communicate the plans with employees and employee representatives.
  • Develop a process to check for compliance and to document and correct any deficiencies.
  • Develop a plan for distance learning should school(s) need to temporarily close due to COVID-19.  Visit Emergency Distance Learning Plan for more information.

2. Provide Relevant Training for Employees and Students

  • Train all staff and students and provide educational materials to families in the following safety actions:
    • Enhanced sanitation practices.
    • Physical distancing guidelines of six feet and their importance.
    • Use of face coverings including proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings according to CDPH guidelines.
    • Use a tissue to wipe their nose and to cough/sneeze inside a tissue or elbow. Throw tissues away and wash hands immediately.
    • Screening practices using CDC guidelines.
    • Information related to COVID-19 including the following:
      • Specific symptom identification
      • Emphasis on not coming to work or school when exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19
      • Practices for preventing spread.
      • When to seek medical attention.
      • Vulnerable populations.
  • Provide information to staff regarding:
    • Leave and workers’ compensation benefits.
    • For janitorial workers and plumbers, communicate the hazards associated with working on sewage or plumbing, and performing janitorial services, since COVID-19 has been found in feces of infected persons.

3. Plan Individual Control Measures and Screening

  • Identify a process for symptom screenings and/or temperature checks for all staff and students. 
    • Students and staff who have a temperature 100.4 or higher will be sent home and remain home until fever free without using fever reducing medications for 24 hours. 
  • Require staff or students who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.
  • Food service workers and staff in routine contact with the public (e.g., front office) should use gloves and facial coverings.
    • Gloves should be disposed of immediately after use and not be worn for extended periods of time unless being changed frequently.
  • Face coverings should be worn by students, staff and visitors when six feet of distancing is not feasible and other exemptions do not apply. In some circumstances, Cal/OSHA standards may require respiratory protection for staff.
  • Develop routines enabling students and staff to regularly wash their hands at staggered intervals.
  • Post signage to remind students, staff, family members and any authorized visitors to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing according to CDPH guidelines and Executive Orders.

4. Implement Thorough Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols

  • Perform thorough cleaning in high traffic areas.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces within school and on school buses at least daily and, if practicable, frequently throughout the day by trained custodial staff.
  • Buses should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected daily and after transporting any individual who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Limit use of shared playground equipment and objects and encourage physical activity that requires less contact with surfaces.
  • Regularly clean and sanitize shared equipment when transferred between students and/or staff.
  • Provide time for workers to implement cleaning practices during their shift.
  • Ensure that sanitary facilities stay operational and stocked at all times.
  • Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors.
  • Post signs in schools, workplace and common areas emphasizing basic infection-prevention measures, including posting hand-washing signs in restrooms.
  • Use products approved for use against COVID-19 on the Environmental Protection Agency-approved list, and follow product instructions and Cal/OSHA requirements including proper ventilation during cleaning and disinfecting. Keep products away from students.
  • Discontinue any shared food or beverages by students and/or staff.
  • Check air filters and filtration systems to ensure optimal air quality.  IUSD has purchased 1,400 air purifying units.  

5. Promote Physical Distancing Guidelines

  • Implement measures to promote six feet of physical distancing in accordance with the Orange County Health Officer’s strong recommendation effective June 20, 2020.
  • For classroom space, consider the following:
    • Limit the number of students/staff in enclosed areas.
    • Students remaining in the same space and group as small and consistent as practicable, and minimize movement of students and teachers/staff as much as practicable. 
    • Consider ways to establish separation of students through other means if practicable such as:
      • Six feet between desks.
      • Partitions between desks; use clear plastic, study carrels or other barriers where six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.  IUSD has purchased 12,000 three panel desk protectors.
      • Markings on classroom floors to promote distancing.
      • Arranging desks in a way that minimizes face-to-face contact.
    • Space teacher and other staff desks at least six feet apart from student desks.
    • Use non-classroom space for instruction.
  • In non-classroom spaces, consider the following:
    • Establish directional hallways and passageways for foot traffic, if possible, to reduce instances where individuals pass one another face-to-face.
    • Clearly mark areas where students, staff and visitors must queue to maintain physical distancing, or use alternative entry requirements.
    • Limiting nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities. Use an appointment system, stagger appointments and reduce walk-ins. Please post this checklist on campus in a visible location.
    • Reconfigure waiting areas, lobbies, workstations and employee break rooms, if possible, to allow for at least six feet of distance.
    • Limiting communal activities where practicable.
    • Minimizing congregate movement as much as possible.
    • Serving meals in classrooms or outdoor areas where practicable.
    • Adjust staff meetings to ensure physical distancing, and use phone or webinars if possible.
  • For arrival and departure, consider the following:
    • Minimize contact at school between students, staff, families and the community as much as practicable.
    • Designate drop-off and pick-up locations that discourage large gatherings. Consider alternate scheduling.
    • Clearly designate entrances and separate exits if possible.

Enhanced cleaning protocols

The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed with the right cleaning products. To the extent possible, schools will use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) list of disinfectant products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates and wipes. Each product has been shown to be effective against hard-to-kill viruses, including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.


To the extent feasible, schools will follow these recommendations and best practices:

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g., playground equipment, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, light switches, bathroom surfaces, tables, student desks, chairs) within the school and on school buses at least daily or between use as much as possible. 
  • Schools will limit sharing of supplies between students to the extent possible and encourage students to take home personal items for cleaning daily.
  • Students will be encouraged to bring refillable water bottles or have an option to use a disposable cup at water filling stations.  
  • Playground equipment will be regularly inspected and cleaned for student use.
  • Bus drivers will practice all safety actions and protocols as indicated for other staff (e.g., hand hygiene, cloth face coverings) and clean and disinfect school buses or other transport vehicles.
  • Scheduled routine cleaning and disinfection.
  • Ensure the safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, including storing products securely away from children. Use products that meet EPA disinfection criteria.
    • Staff members using cleaning products have and will be trained on proper use.
  • Do not use cleaning products near children, and staff should ensure there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent students or staff members from inhaling toxic fumes.

Facilities Preparations 

  • Each school’s HVAC system has been recalibrated to pull in more fresh air from outside and has been equipped with new filters.
  • In addition to the upgrades to the HVAC system, each classroom will be equipped with a HEPA air purification system that cleans the air every 30 minutes.
  • IUSD's Maintenance and Operations staff is available to modify learning environments as needed to support physical distancing and other safety precautions.
  • The facilities team has worked to ensure there is adequate staffing necessary to comply with cleaning protocols.
  • Custodial staff are being trained in COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
  • Cleaning protocols are in place for schools and facilities to deep clean, sanitize and disinfect.
  • In addition to following federal, state and local guidelines, IUSD's Maintenance and Operations team is also working with expert agencies such as Forensic Analytical, Keenan, International Sanitary Supply Association.
  • To the extent possible, cleaning products used are based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and staff is and will be trained on proper use.
  • Staff continues to procure cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment sufficient to support school sites, along with students and staff.  

hygiene and healthy habits

Hand Washing

Washing hands prevents illnesses and the spread of infections to others. Hand-washing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:

  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose and mouth without even realizing it.
  • Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. 
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, such as handrails, table tops or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
  • Here is a three-minute video from the CDC about proper hand washing:

To the extent feasible, schools should follow these recommendations and best practices:

  • Teach and reinforce washing hands, avoiding contact with one's eyes, nose and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff.
    • Teach students and remind staff to use tissue to wipe their nose and to cough/sneeze inside a tissue or their elbow.
    • Students and staff should wash their hands before and after eating; after coughing or sneezing; after being outside; and before and after using the restroom.
    • Students and staff should wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap, rubbing thoroughly after application, and use paper towels (or single-use cloth towels) to dry hands thoroughly.
    • Staff should model and practice hand-washing. For example, for lower grade levels, use bathroom time as an opportunity to reinforce healthy habits and monitor proper hand-washing.
    • Students and staff should use fragrance-free hand sanitizer when hand-washing is not feasible. Sanitizer must be rubbed into hands until completely dry. Note: frequent hand-washing is more effective than the use of hand sanitizers.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that is at least 60% ethyl alcohol-based can be used (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer).
  • Develop routines enabling students and staff to regularly wash their hands at staggered intervals. 

Stay home when you are sick.

Stay home from work and school when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading the illness to others.


Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.  This means following six feet physical distancing guidelines to the greatest extent feasible.


Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses are spread by coughing, sneezing or unclean hands.


Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active following all health guidelines, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

For more information, visit the Orange County Health Care Agency’s website at:

Responses to Confirmed and Possible COVID-19 Cases

Click here to read more about protocols for all OC schools, should students or staff exhibit signs or receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.  Protocols include reporting to the Orange County Health Care Agency, notifications to impacted families and staff, student and staff confidentiality, cleaning procedures and more.  For more information on notification and procedures when there is a positive case visit our notification page


It is important to note that each situation may be different.  The Orange County Health Care Agency has informed IUSD that they will assess each situation and provide a unique response to that situation.  The guidelines provide the framework from which IUSD, and all other OC schools, will operate to address each unique situation.   


Also see the "School Prevention and Safety Plans" section on the webpage for more information.