Process for Student Sickness
Parents must keep children at home when they are sick. This will be a key component to us maintaining a safe learning environment.
It is critically important that the staff are aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and are well-aware of the school’s planned response when someone in the building is exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19. School nurses and designated staff will be equipped to measure the temperature of any student who may become ill during the school day. An identified area in each school will be used to separate or isolate students who exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
Most Common Signs and Symptoms
Temperature of 100.4 or higher
Shortness of Breath
Other Possible Signs and Symptoms
Abdominal Pain (especially in children)
Loss of taste or smell
If a student is exhibiting possible symptoms of COVID-19, the following should occur:
Immediately place a cloth face covering or a disposable mask on the ill individual and move them to the designated place in the school that has been identified as a safe area to isolate that individual.
Anyone assisting the individual should put on a cloth face covering or a disposable mask and any other protective equipment as feasible.
Ensure the individual is safe and doesn’t need emergent medical attention. If the individual appears to be seriously ill, call 911 and inform them you are calling about a possible/confirmed case of COVID-19.
Notify the emergency contact of the ill individual. If the individual is deemed stable, ask that they be picked up from school ASAP. If the individual required medical attention, call 911, and inform them of the situation.
Schools should immediately contact the appropriate Central Office Supervisor to inform them of a possible COVID-19 case. Central Office personnel will contact the Anderson County Health Department to notify them as COVID-19 is a reportable illness/disease.
Clean and disinfect all areas where the ill individual has been while in the building.
When a positive case has been confirmed:
Isolation occurs when a person has been confirmed as having COVID-19. Students with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must remain out of school for 10 days (from the date of the COVID-19 test) and be fever-free for at least 24 hours with improving symptoms before returning to school.
A quarantine of 14 days will occur with all students who have had a suspected high risk of exposure while at school. The current CDC guidelines state that a close contact or high-risk exposure is defined as “someone who has been within 6 ft. of a positive case for 15 or more minutes.”
When the school receives the notification of a confirmed case, a notification will be sent out to the homeroom class and partner class indicating that the classes will be closed for 24 hours in order to clean/disinfect and contact trace. Students who have been deemed to be in close contact with the positive case will be required to quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure. They must be asymptomatic, without medication, for 24 hours prior to returning to school. Schools will contact the parents of close contact students on the day that the classroom is closed. Health officials do not recommend a COVID-19 test for close contact students unless symptoms appear. As per health guidelines, those students will not be allowed to return to school for the length of the quarantine, even if they have a negative COVID-19 test.
Classroom teachers, principals, and school nurses will work to contact trace potential exposures. School personnel will be responsible for notifying all parents of students who need to be quarantined.
Students who are sent home for a 14-day quarantine will receive work from teachers and will participate in a Google Meet each day to assist with work completion, standard explanations, student feedback, and social-emotional check-ins. As long as students participate in the daily Google Meet and complete their work, they will be counted as “virtually present” for attendance purposes. If they do not meet the virtual attendance policy, it will count as an absence. If a student becomes sick during the time of quarantine and is unable to participate in virtual instruction, the doctor’s note will excuse the absence.
Sick Students Returning to School
The following will be used when considering when students may attend school after an illness.
Any student who exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is to be masked and isolated immediately and sent home as quickly as possible.
Students may return to school if the answer to ANY of the following questions is YES:
o Did a health care provider confirm that the individual’s illness is not due to COVID-19 because another explanation was identified. Example: fever due to urinary tract infection, strep throat, ear infection, rash from poison ivy, etc? (Diagnosis of and upper respiratory infection, pneumonia, viral illnesses, etc. DO NOT exclude the diagnosis of COVID-19 and should not be considered as adequate documentation to return to school.)
o Did the individual have a positive COVID-19 molecular/PCR test and complete isolation for a minimum of 10 days AND had resolution of symptoms for at least 24 hours? (Results of antibody tests are not reliable and should not be considered as proof of immunity or lack of infection.)
o Has the individual been well for at least 24 hours and have documentation of TWO negative COVID-19 molecular/PCR tests at least 24 hours apart during the most recent absence due to symptoms consistent with COVID-19? (Results of tests that precede the dates of the most recent absence are not acceptable, nor are results of antibody testing.) **Health Dept. testing with no doctor involved.
o In the case of an individual with symptoms that did not obtain testing, did the individual completely isolate for a minimum of 10 days AND have a resolution of symptoms for at least 24 hours without medication?
Retesting for COVID-19
For persons previously diagnosed with symptomatic COVID-19 who remain asymptomatic after recovery, retesting is not recommended within 3 months after the date of symptoms onset for the initial COVID-19 infection.
Therefore, students that test positive for COVID-19 do not need a negative test before returning to schools as long as they have isolated for 10 days and have been fever-free, without medication, and symptoms improving for 24 hours.
Quarantined Students Returning to School
When a student is considered a close contact having a possible exposure to COVID-19, they are to be quarantined for 14 days.
The 14 days will begin on the last day of exposure with the positive COVID-19 person.
It is not recommended that possibly exposed students have a COVID-19 test unless they begin exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
Students will not be allowed to return to school until the 14-day quarantine has been completed since health officials state that symptoms may begin in exposed people between day 2 and 14.