When the Iowa Department of Public Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health provided guidance related to the Return-to-Learn plans for Iowa schools, the guidance included the following:
- Staff may be considered critical personnel and can be allowed to return to work if there are staffing shortages as long as they remain asymptomatic
- Staff should take their temperature and screen for symptoms at the start and end of each day, and wear a mask at work
- If symptoms develop, they must isolate immediately
As we encounter community spread, the number of citizens considered “close contacts” in our community continues to rise. As one of the largest employers in Sioux City, we must maintain our workforce and recognize the importance of our critical personnel fulfilling roles within our schools. Since the start of school, we have been conservative in our approach to provide safe and healthy school environments. Our safety protocols, including social distancing and the use of face coverings, are pivotal to help stop the spread of illness. As we respond to the evolving pandemic and evaluate staffing needs, we review each report of a staff close contact on a case-by-case basis. In accordance with the guidance from the state, critical personnel, may at times, continue in their roles as long as they remain asymptomatic.