Lincoln – Three statewide organizations representing local school boards, teachers and administrators have proposed that school staff who experience symptoms of a virus be granted paid medical leave to stay home and seek medical attention.
The Nebraska Association of School Boards, Nebraska Council of School Administrators and the Nebraska State Education Association are asking local school boards and local education associations to approve an addendum to their negotiated agreements that would provide for the paid sick leave through the end of this school year.
The addendum states that school employees who experience symptoms of a virus infection are “strongly encouraged” to stay home so as not to expose others to the COVID-19 or any other contagious or infectious disease. Paid medical leave would be granted until an employee is able to resume his or her duties without exposing others to the disease. This addendum also holds employees accountable for using the leave appropriately.
The goal is to minimize the transmission of COVID-19, protect students, school staff and the public. The health and safety of students and school staff are of the utmost importance.
COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe illness. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
- Shortness of breath
It is critically important that anyone who develops such symptoms call their doctor.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. CDC recommends these actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
For more information, contact: Karen Kilgarin 402-432-7776, Matt Belka (800) 422-4572 or Tyler Dahlgren (402) 476-8055