FCA Current Health & Safety Information Page

A Note to All Readers

The health and safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. Footprints Center for Autism (FCA) will be providing the latest health and safety information on this web page to ensure that staff and clients are aware of FCA’s health and safety practices when onsite at FCA. Please check this page frequently, as it is subject to change over time as expert recommendations, regulatory practices, and industry practices mature.

Last Updated on 07/08/2022

Face Coverings for Students

Masks have been and will continue to be optional for the students enrolled in programming at FCA, given the difficulty/sensitivity that many of our students have in regard to wearing masks. 

Face Coverings for Staff

The wearing of face masks will be optional for FCA staff members and visitors during the periods of time when Lake County is considered low or medium risk, according to the CDC’s Covid-19 community levels. 

The wearing of face masks will be required for FCA staff members and visitors during the periods of time when Lake County is considered high risk, according to the CDC’s Covid-19 community levels. 

Community Levels information can be found on the CDC website: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html

Handwashing

Handwashing for students and staff must be done before and after eating, after using the restroom, after contact with bodily fluids, etc. Opportunities for handwashing will be built into the day, and frequent handwashing will be encouraged throughout the day. 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all rooms and all high-touch surfaces and areas will continue to be done daily by the FCA staff. 

Cleaning assignments and instructions are carefully provided and monitored to ensure a healthy and safe environment for students and staff. 

In addition to daily cleaning assignments, all staff are required to clean up after themselves and their students in all areas (kitchen, office, classrooms, etc.). 

All staff are to clean kitchen appliances used (microwave, coffee maker, etc.) after each use.

Social Distancing

Footprints Center for Autism continues to maintain small class sizes for the benefit of the individualized programming provided to our students. These small class sizes help our staff maintain reasonable spacing between students and staff throughout the day. 

However, physical distancing can be challenging in a program like ours. Students and staff will continue to be diligent in being mindful and respectful of the personal space of others.

Recognizing the Covid-19 Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 include cold or flu-like symptoms (but are not limited to): 

Symptom and health assessment checks should be completed at home each morning by all students and staff prior to coming to Footprints. If a student or staff member is exhibiting any symptoms, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider.

Reporting Covid-19 Cases

If you, your child, or anyone in your household test positive for COVID-19, please contact our Executive Director, Erin Bolyard (ebolyard@footprints-ohio.com) or our Clinical Director, Nicole Best (nbest@footprints-ohio.com) as soon as possible. In addition, if you, your child, or anyone in your household are awaiting test results from a COVID-19 test, please do not return to programming until the test results have been received.

Protocol to Address a Confirmed Covid-19 Case

If a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19, the staff member or student should not return to FCA until: 

  • They have been in quarantine for 5 days since the onset of symptoms
  • They have no symptoms or their symptoms are resolving after 5 days
  • It is recommended, if able, to wear a mask for an additional 5 days upon return

*If they have a fever, they must continue to stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours

Protocol to Address a Confirmed Covid-19 Case

If a confirmed case is established, by testing or confirmed clinically by the employee or student’s healthcare professional, Footprints Center for Autism will complete and review contact tracing, which will include the following:

  • Sending a general notification to all students and parents that a positive case has been identified in our program. 
  • Talking to all close contacts* to verify possible exposure while maintaining the confidentiality of the identity of the infected staff member/student
  • Close contacts will be notified of the possible exposure. IF the person who was in close contact was wearing a mask and was following all safety precautions, these close contacts will not be required to stay home from work/school, but will not be penalized should they choose to do so. 
  • If the person who was in close contact was NOT wearing a mask and/or following appropriate safety precautions, these close contacts will be required to stay home from work/school and monitor their symptoms for 5 days from the date of possible exposure. 
  • If close contacts are or become symptomatic, FCA administration must identify the close contacts of the close contacts 

*A close contact is defined as being within approximately six feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (15 minutes or more) or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (i.e. being coughed on)

Protocol for Household Members with Covid-19

If a student or staff member has a member of their household that tests positive for Covid, they must quarantine for 5 days from the onset of their household member’s symptoms. If the student or staff member develops symptoms themselves, they must get a negative covid test OR quarantine for the five days since the onset of their (staff member or student) symptoms prior to returning. 

In all cases of close contact, if possible, students/staff should get a Covid test on day 5 to ensure that they test negative for Covid. 

Note for staff: The FFCRA funding for Covid-related time off ended on 09.30.2021.

Temporary Closure of Site

Footprints Center for Autism will temporarily close our on-site programming in the following instances: 

  • Perry Local Schools mandates a campus closure
  • For extensive cleaning in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case (1 day)
  • If our staffing is significantly impacted by mandated quarantines due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 or due to close contact with a person with COVID-19.

What You Can Do

To ensure the health and safety of all, we need to start working differently and we must work together. Make the commitment to: 

    • Read and understand all communications
    • Practice social distancing at all times
    • Self-check your health daily
    • Follow the processes and guidelines for social distancing
    • Participate in cleaning and disinfecting your work areas
    • Practice proper hand washing and sanitizing frequently
    • Wear recommended face coverings 
    • Cough and sneeze into tissues or your elbow
    • Ask questions and focus on your health and the health of your co-workers and our students
    • If you or your child experience/exhibit any symptoms, STAY HOME
    • Report confirmed cases on the Coronavirus Reporting Site