This page is designed to consolidate risk management information and resources into one place. We hope this will answer many of your safety, prevention and liability-related questions.
Navigational links to the available resource topics on this page include:
While we hope to provide as much information as possible, please contact us if you need additional, or individualized, assistance.
CDPH Releases School Safety Review Process
The CDC has provided guidance for establishing a cleaning and disinfection plan in preparation for return to school. They also have good recommendations for doing the cleaning on various surfaces, and protecting custodial and cleaning staff. See "Health and Safety Advice" below for additional information on cleaning regulations.
Once an employee is vaccinated, must the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) still be followed for vaccinated persons?
From DIR enforcement: For now, all prevention measures under the ETS must continue to be implemented. DIR is aware of the CDC and CDPH guidance on this issue. The impact of vaccines will likely be addressed in a future revision to the ETS, but the rulemaking process is slow. The Governor may issue an Executive Order with immediate effect but has not yet done so.
Are employees who contract COVID-19 covered under workers’ compensation?
This is a legally complex issue. Compensability will be fact dependent, based on evidence of exposure during the course of employment and increased risk at work compared with the general public. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions regarding the workers’ compensation presumption as defined under SB 1159. Please contact Felecia Lawson in the NBSIA Workers’ Comp Department to discuss specific situations.
In looking at the face mask guidance, we have school employees who must wear shields instead of mask-type face coverings, due to lip reading or other issues. Since we have an educational need for the shields, do we have to do an interactive process?
An interactive process is only required if the employee is seeking an exemption from wearing mask-type face coverings for a medical condition or underlying disability. If the reason for the exemption is because the tasks of the position cannot be effectively performed wearing a mask-type face covering, including a need for the individual or others around the individual to read lips, etc., there is no requirement to do an interactive process UNLESS the individual is claiming they cannot wear a shield due to an underlying disability.
What NBSIA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources are available during the stay at home order to support staff health and well-being?
EAP services through MHN are available 24/7 via telephone and web video, including care provider visits and Critical Incidence Response Services (CIRS). Keep in mind that wait times may be longer than usual due to high demand. Also, all on-site EAP training has been suspended through April 30th. MHN has provided some resources to support those transitioning to working from home, available on our EAP webpage.
Is there a telehealth option for injured workers who cannot, or wish to avoid, travel to a medical office (updated 3/18/2020)?
Here is what we know as of today. For all Kaiser locations - all new and return visits will be defaulted to a telehealth visit. In-person visits will only be scheduled if the physician determines a telephone/video visit would be detrimental to the patient's immediate needs. North Bay Occ Health is doing telephone appointments case-by-case; they want new injuries to be seen in-person. Dignity/Woodland Healthcare status is still unclear, although we believe they can offer video visits. For specialty providers, this option would depend on their willingness and capability to provide telehealth. Patients should check with their health care providers.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has produced a list of registered products that are useful against COVID-19. Please remember to have Safety Data Sheets available.
The CA Department of Pesticide Regulation Integrated Pest Management (IPM) site has information about use of disinfectants and hand sanitizers in schools, and links to free IPM training (registration required).
Read NBSIA's most recent Member Alert regarding Cal-OSHA's ETS 3205 requiring students to be counted in identifying and reporting outbreaks at school sites. You can also check out Member Alerts regarding SB 1159 and AB 685 on workers' comp presumption, notification and reporting from September 2020 and October 2020.
NBSIA Legislative Update. Report by Julianne Broyles, Strategic Research and Communications, on the impact COVID-19 is having on CA state legislative activities, including policy making and the state budget.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has provided an in-depth review of the COVID-19 stimulus bill, the CARES Act, and what it means for states. You can access their review, and an estimate of each state's allocation, here.
Operating a Safe Distance Learning Program guidelines, provided by our training partners at Praesidium.
Cyber Security: For information and resources to help keep you and your data safe, as well as information on what to do in response to a security breach, please visit our Cyber Resources page.
OSHA's Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 includes information on developing an infectious disease/preparedness plan, and a method to determine if your workers are considered a low, medium or high exposure risks.
Remember there are regulations around the use of pesticides in schools including hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays and wipes and having access to associated safety data sheets. For more information:
CDC Printable Posters on Hand Washing (age-appropriate versions)
CDC Steps to Prevent Illness (including hygiene and what to do if you are sick)
Travelers Insurance continues to build resources and support for the return to operations. While most of these resources target business, the information is transferable to school properties. The Resources page is available without any registration required on their public site.
The Department of Justice has provided some safety guidelines and tips for helping to keep children safe with the increase in online exposure.
Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for School District and County Offices of Education. Attorney Patti Eyres of the Eyres Law Group, has created this invaluable resource for district and county office leaders. Using the interactive table of contents, educational leaders can get the well-informed, researched answers they need most. For further questions about leaves, accommodation requests, and related employment issues, contact Patti Eyres, our EPL Hotline partner. Phone at 602-448-4051.
Target/Vector Solutions is now offering a series of webinars and courses on different topics related to COVID-19. This includes transitioning to working from home, managing stress and anxiety, and virus information. Some topics will require a log-in; ask your administrator for access.
The U.S. Department of Education has also compiled a website of resources and pertinent information as it relates to COVID-19, schools and school personnel.
The EPA Indoor Environments Division is hosting a webinar "Cleaning Schools to Control Viruses and Bacteria: Maintaining Healthy Indoor Learning Environments" on May 7, 2020 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. (Eastern time: 12:00-1:30 p.m. Pacific).
After health care workers, which essential employees in California will get the COVID-19 vaccine? – Sacramento Bee (December 4, 2020)
Despite calls for help, school districts fend for themselves on campus coronavirus tests – Los Angeles Times (December 11, 2020)
Movement Grows to Prioritize Teachers for Vaccination - KQED COVID-update (December 10, 2020)
Assembly Members Mull Mandatory School Reopenings This Spring – CalSchoolNews (December 10, 2020)