The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued updated COVID-19 guidance for the 2022-23 school year. Below is information about IUSD's health and safety protocols and plans, which are aligned to the CDPH guidance.
CDPH Guidelines for K-12 Schools
Click here for the complete school guidelines from the California Department of Public Health.
School Planning and Protocols
- Each IUSD school’s HVAC system has been recalibrated to pull in more fresh air from outside and has been equipped with upgraded MERV-13 filters.
- Standalone HEPA air purification units that clean the air every 30 minutes are located in learning and office spaces, along with common areas.
- The custodial staff is trained in COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting procedures and will continue to implement related protocols to deep clean, sanitize and disinfect sites.
- Students will have access to frequent hand washing and/or hand sanitizer stations.
- To the extent possible, schools will use outdoor and flexible learning spaces to decrease class size and increase individualized instruction.
- IUSD has hired additional school staff to support small group instruction and provide as much distancing as possible.
- Students who are positive for COVID-19 may not come to school and must follow all CDPH guidelines. Additionally, parents/guardians are asked to contact your school's office if your student has a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. The school will ask you to complete a short Google Form (similar to last year), which allows our schools to continue to monitor cases and provide our parent community with appropriate notifications and guidelines to follow.
- Schools will continue to provide notifications to students and families about confirmed positive cases. This information will also continue to be reflected on our COVID-19 Dashboard.
- Similar to the previous school year, our sites are implementing IUSD’s comprehensive Safety Plan, including mitigation and safety measures to prevent and limit the spread of COVID. The updated plan for the 2022-23 school year will be posted in the coming weeks.
- Please contact your school directly for more information and questions about your school site.
Hygiene and Healthy Habits
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: https://youtu.be/eZw4Ga3jg3E
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 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.
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. 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.
IUSD Health Services
Visit IUSD’s Health Services page for more inforamtion about IUSD information and resources.
COVID-19 Reporting instructions for families
Parents/guardians are asked to contact your school's office if your student has a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. The school will ask you to complete a short Google Form (similar to last year), which allows our schools to continue to monitor cases and provide our parent community with appropriate notifications and guidelines to follow. Thank you in advance for your partnership and for following guidelines and protocols to help keep our schools healthy and safe. IUSD schools and staff will maintain confidentiality and protect student privacy, following all FERPA protocols.
IUSD will continue to provide free PCR and antigen COVID-19 tests for students, staff and members of the IUSD community when COVID-19 symptoms occur. Students and families should contact their school's office for more information. Employees please contact your designated District facility for more information. Members of the IUSD may also take advantage of testing resources through their health care provider, the U.S. Postal Service and local pharmacies.
As a reminder, IUSD schools and staff will maintain confidentiality and protect student privacy, following all FERPA protocols, while helping to continue your student’s education. Please continue to work through your school for all related questions and concerns.
covid-19 Vaccine resources
Click here for COVID-19 vaccine resources and information from the Orange County Health Care Agency and/or visit the City of Irvine's vaccine webpage for information about Irvine COVID-19 resources and vaccination sites.
activities and athletics
Athletics are moving forward with scheduled practices and competitions in accordance with CDPH guidelines. School-based assemblies, performances and events, along with off-site field trips, will take place following CDPH guidelines and IUSD safety protocols. Contact your schools directly for information about athletics and activities on campus.
On September 13, 2022, the CDPH issued updated guidance for unvaccinated K-12 school employees, which includes volunteers. As part of this announcement, the State Public Health Officer Order of August 11, 2021 was rescinded.
Beginning Saturday, September 17, 2022, volunteers are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to volunteer at school sites.
While the CDPH has reaffirmed that vaccines and boosters are highly effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19, they determined, “Mandated testing of the small number of unvaccinated workers (includes volunteers) is not effectively preventing disease transmission as with the original COVID-19 virus and prior variants earlier in the pandemic.”
The full updated State Public Health Order of September 13, 2022 is available on the CDPH website along with a Q&A . Please note, masking is still recommended for volunteers within schools.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, IUSD has prioritized the health and safety of our students, staff and families. The District will continue to follow guidance from the CDPH and the Orange County Health Care Agency and communicate any changes within the community.
Thank you for your partnership. Together, we can support a healthy school environment.
Ongoing updates and information are available on our COVID-19 resource page.
Click here for information about IUSD’s notification procedures related to confirmed cases of COVID-19.
IUSD is committed to providing transparent information regarding COVID-19 cases on our campuses and at District sites, while maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of our students and staff. Click here to view IUSD’s COVID-19 Dashboard.
CDC Travel Guidelines
Please continue to follow all CDC travel guidelines, which can be found by clicking here.