COVID-19 Policy

COVID-19 Statement 

PDX Education Collab takes the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the prevention of community spread, and the protection of our greater community very seriously. We recognize the myriad of ways that, due to historic and ongoing racism, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities are acutely impacted by the economic and health effects of the pandemic. We are a mission-driven business determined to make nature-connected programming available to all. It is of utmost importance to us that we do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the communities we serve while still connecting youth with the joys of nature. We will continuously update our policies, procedures and protocols in response to local Health Authority guidance. Last updated October 15th, 2021 

COVID-19 Policies 

We align our policies with Portland Public Schools, Multnomah County Health Department guidance, OHA guidance, CDC guidance, and the State of Oregon’s exclusionary policies to the greatest extent possible. The following policies, procedures and protocols reflect our commitment to protecting our community. 

We are vaccinated! 

All adults who work with our program participants are required to be fully vaccinated prior to working with participants. All participants aged 12 years or older must also be fully vaccinated. Once vaccinations are available for younger children, we will update our vaccination requirements. If you need to make a medical or religious exemption request, please reach out to lesley@pdxeducationcollab.com 

We wear masks! 

All humans leading and participating in programming with us will be required to wear a mask at all times. If students or instructors need to take a drink of water or eat lunch/snack, they will be spaced 6+ feet apart. 

We socially distance! 

Risk of exposure occurs when someone spends an accumulative or consecutive 15 minutes in close proximity (less than 6 feet) to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 even when both wear a mask, we commit to supporting children and program participants in maintaining proper social distance. This is particularly important during sedentary activities, such as crafting. 

Students may pass each other briefly in close proximity during games and play; this would not constitute an exposure. 

We transport as safely as possible! 

Most of our programs include transportation to local city parks where we are permitted to operate. This means students may be on a school bus. As this school year develops, so have

“best practices” for preventing exposure to COVID-19 during transportation. Here is our most up-to-date transportation protocol, developed based on guidance from local Health Authorities:

● Buses are sanitized daily by our certified CDL drivers 

● All humans wear a mask while on the bus and are required to sit facing forward ● Bus windows are open for ventilation 

● A seating log is maintained daily and kept on record 

● Students are spaced 3-6 feet apart within the bus 

● An adult monitors the bus for the duration of the ride to ensure students stay in their seat and follow the expectations 

While there is an inherent risk in choosing to ride in transportation, we are hopeful these evidence-based protocols will mitigate risk of exposure. In the past 1.5 years of transporting students during the COVID-19 pandemic and educating both indoors and outdoors, we have had one exposure incident (Last Updated October 14, 2021). 

The above policies and protocols lie at the core of our prevention practices. Now, let’s talk about our collective response! 

What to do when…. 

…Your child stays home sick from school 

If you chose to keep your child home from school because they are not feeling well with symptoms such as a cough, fever, shortness of breath, congestion, and/or gastrointestinal issues (not related to existing conditions such as asthma) they can return to our program once: 

● Stay home for at least 14 days, and until a fever has been resolved for 24 hours, and until all other symptoms are improving (no COVID test) 

OR 

● They receive a negative COVID test, a fever has resolved, and all other symptoms are improving 

These are the same exclusionary requirements outlined by the State of Oregon and followed in schools, so in general, we will also defer to the school; if they are cleared to return to the school, they are cleared to return to programming with us as well. You can show us this approval from your school. 

…Your child is required to be in quarantine due to an exposure at school or elsewhere. We require that you let us know immediately. For the duration of their quarantine, they will not be able to participate in programming with us. Once the 10-day quarantine period has passed, and if free of symptoms, they may return to programming. If during the 10-day quarantine period the individual develops symptoms, they should immediately get tested and isolate.

…We ask you to quarantine due to an exposure in our program. 

If a program participant is exposed to an individual with COVID-19 during our programming, you will be notified immediately and required to quarantine. We will notify both local Health Authorities (Multnomah County Health Department) and your child’s school if they are a participant in our afterschool programs. 

Quarantine means refraining from being in public places, including school, for 10 days total from the date of exposure. While we cannot require a COVID-test, per local Health Authority guidance, we highly encourage that the exposed individual gets tested 3-5 days after the date of exposure. If at any point during the quarantine the individual develops symptoms, they must immediately isolate and get tested. If an individual is exposed to COVID and is not vaccinated, it is a public health requirement to stay in quarantine for the full 10 days. A negative COVID test cannot shorten the quarantine. 

Once the 10 day quarantine period has passed and if free of symptoms, the exposed individual may return to programming and normal activities. 

…You’re concerned your child might have COVID, or have been exposed to COVID: Please do not send them to programming until they have received a negative COVID test. For example, if you are getting them tested or are testing as a family due to a concern of exposure at a recent gathering, please refrain from attending programming. 

Common Questions 

What would constitute an exposure in this program? 

Exposure is defined by the CDC as having been within 6 feet of a confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more within one day. This applies both indoors and outdoors, and whether or not either individual was correctly wearing a mask. However, it is important to acknowledge that being outdoors and correctly wearing a mask greatly reduces the chance that an individual who was exposed will actually contract COVID-19. 

In general, our rule of thumb is that if both individuals are wearing masks correctly and stay arm length’s away from one another, they will not be at risk for exposure. Our instructors do their best to design programming to accommodate these measures. If an individual was less than arm’s length away for more than 15 minutes, whether cumulatively or consecutively, we are required to consider it an exposure and report it to local Health Authorities. If this were to happen in the context of our programming, it would most likely be during transport. We are taking great precaution to prevent this from happening. In 1.5 years of transporting students during this pandemic, we have had one exposure incident.

What if a child develops symptoms/sickness while at school or in PEC programming? 

If a child develops symptoms while participating in our programming, or shows symptoms when we pick them up from school, we will do two things: 

● Immediately contact the parent/guardian and request someone to picks them up

● Remove them from the group to engage in a solo activity until they can be picked up (this will help reduce chances of exposure in case the individual is developing COVID) 

From there, we will follow up directly with the family to assess whether this is a case that needs to obtain a COVID test. 

What about if a staff member is sick or tests positive for COVID-19? All of our staff are fully vaccinated, however, we recognize there is still a chance we could contract COVID-19 and expose others. If a staff member shows COVID-19 symptoms, they need to either isolate for 10 days OR receive a negative COVID test and return once symptoms have ceased. If they test positive for COVID-19, they will follow the same exclusionary protocol as participants. This is aligned with the requirements of teachers at public schools. 

Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine after an exposure. They are required to self-monitor for symptoms and immediately isolate if any arise; we support our staff in this process. 

When can a participant return after quarantine or isolation? 

If an individual is in quarantine due to an exposure, they may return after the 10-day quarantine period if they have no symptoms. If they develop symptoms during the 10-day quarantine, they will be required to isolate and get tested. If the test comes back negative, they may return once their symptoms have ceased. 

If an individual is in isolation due to a positive COVID case, we first and foremost deeply hope it is mild and your family remains okay. Please reach out for support and we will try our best to connect you with community resources. To return to our programming, the child or adult must stay home for at least 14 days, and until a fever has been resolved for 24 hours, and until all other symptoms are improving. Please check in with us prior to sending your student back to programming. 

If my child has to miss due to receiving a positive COVID-19 test or due to a required quarantine, will I get my money back? 

When this happens we are happy to offer 100% credit to any of our programs for the days missed. While many programs are not offering refunds nor credits due to missed days associated with COVID-19 illness or quarantine, it is important to us that you have the means to take great precaution. We recognize the burden this can have on a family unit. We are pleased to be able to offer this credit! Please reach out to Lesley@pdxeducationcollab.com to see what is available for your child!

For after-school programs, how are you collaborating with schools on this? We are in the process of ensuring that our program is included in each school’s contact tracing protocols. We also are closely monitoring the guidance schools are required to follow and are aligning our practices with this guidance. 

We are closely monitoring new information from the OHA, CDC and Multnomah County Health Department. We will continue to update this information accordingly. Please feel free to reach out with additional questions. Thank you for your collaboration in protecting our communities!