Illness Guidelines

Needham Public Schools Illness Guidelines 2020-2021
(updated October 9, 2020)

 

The health and safety of all students and staff are a priority of Needham Public Schools. In an effort to maximize the health of our community, Needham Public Schools, in collaboration with the Needham Public Health Department, and the School Physician have established the following illness guidelines.  **Please note, these guidelines are subject to change based on updated data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and/or the Needham Public Health Department.  

 

Families must perform a symptoms check on each of their students each day before leaving for school.  If a student experiences any symptoms of COVID-19, or any other illnesses listed below, please keep them home and follow the guidelines below. 

 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:  Fever over 100 and/or chills, cough, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache (in combination with other symptoms), new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose (in combination with other symptoms), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

 

ILLNESS

ACTION

EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL

RETURN TO SCHOOL

Exposure to COVID-19-identified as a close contact

Quarantine for 14 days at home and call healthcare provider for
a PCR/molecular COVID-19 test. 

Call school nurse.

14 days quarantine, even if COVID-19 test is negative.

After 14 days of quarantine if no symptoms develop and cleared by:

 

- Public Health Department

- School Nurse

Diagnosis of COVID-19

Isolate at home for minimum of 10 days AND call school nurse.

Minimum of 10 days, depending on resolution of fever and symptoms (could be longer if still experiencing symptoms).  Must be 24 hours fever free off fever reducing medications AND have improvement of symptoms.

Cleared by: 

 

- Public Health Department

- School Nurse

Symptoms suggestive of COVID-19

Stay home, call healthcare provider for evaluation and referral for a PCR/molecular COVID-19 test.

 

Call school nurse.

Depends on the results of the test. 

- If negative COVID-19 test, may return to school after 24 hours without a fever off of fever reducing medications, improvement of symptoms. If receives an alternative diagnosis in addition to a negative COVID-19 test, may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (i.e. flu, strep throat, etc.) and be fever free for 24 hours off of fever reducing medications.

- If no testing done, must stay home for 10 days of isolation, be fever free for 24 hours off fever reducing medication and have improvement of symptoms.

Cleared by: 

 

- School Nurse 

- Public Health Department

- Healthcare Provider

Asthma

Stay home if requires nebulizer treatment for control.

 

Call school nurse.

Until asthma symptoms controlled off nebulizer treatment.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse

Cold symptoms i.e. nasal discharge cough, sneeze

Stay home, call a healthcare provider for evaluation and referral for a PCR/molecular COVID-19 test.

 

Call school nurse.

- If negative COVID-19 test, must be fever free off fever reducing medication for 24 hours, must have improvement of cough, must be able to self-contain nasal secretions and practice cough hygiene.  

- If COVID-19 positive, will be followed by the school nurse/Public Health Department for isolation guidelines.  

- If not tested for COVID-19, must stay home for 10 days of isolation until resolution of symptoms, be fever free for 24 hours off of fever reducing medication, improvement of symptoms.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse

- Healthcare provider

- Public Health Department (if positive test)

Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye)

Stay home, call healthcare provider for evaluation.

 

Call school nurse.

24 hours after ophthalmic antibiotic and cessation of purulent (pus) eye discharge.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse

Cough due to pre-existing condition as documented by healthcare provider

Stay home and call healthcare provider for evaluation.

 

Call school nurse.

May return to school 24 hours if no fever off of fever reducing medications, has improvement of symptoms with treatment, and if has documentation from a healthcare provider that there is an alternative diagnosis i.e. asthma, seasonal allergies, etc.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse 

- Healthcare provider

Ear infection

Stay home and call healthcare provider for evaluation.

 

Call school nurse.

24 hours fever free off of all fever reducing medication.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse

Fever over 100 degrees orally with no other symptoms

Stay home, call healthcare provider for evaluation and referral for a PCR/molecular COVID-19 test.

 

Call school nurse.

- May return to school 24 hours if no fever off of all fever reducing medication and if has documentation from a healthcare provider that there is an alternative diagnosis excluding a viral syndrome, and if there is a negative COVID-19 test.  

- If there is no alternative diagnosis and no COVID-19 test was done, must stay home for 10 days isolation and be fever free for 24 hours off medication.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse

- Healthcare provider

- Public Health Department

Headache

Stay home if fever or no improvement with fluids and eating, call a healthcare provider for evaluation. If other symptoms or if someone else in the household is ill, consider a PCR/molecular COVID-19 test and remain home until results are known.

 

Call school nurse.

- If positive COVID-19 test, will follow public health guidelines for isolation. 

- If negative, may return to school if has documentation of alternative diagnosis from healthcare provider.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse

- Public Health Department (if positive COVID-19)

Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea

Stay home and call healthcare provider for evaluation and referral for a PCR/molecular COVID-19 test.

 

Call school nurse.

-If negative test, may return to school after 24 hours without a fever off of fever reducing medication, and must be able to tolerate a typical diet for 24 hours.  

- If no testing done, must stay home for 10 days of isolation unless provides written documentation from healthcare provider with an alternative diagnosis.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse

- Public Health Department

- Healthcare provider

Pain

Stay home if requires narcotic medication for pain control, notify school nurse.

 

Call school nurse.

Until off narcotic medication and cleared by healthcare provider.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse

- Healthcare provider

Rash

Stay home and call healthcare provider for evaluation.

 

Call school nurse.

Until has documentation by healthcare provider with diagnosis and improvement of rash.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse

- Healthcare provider

Sore Throat

Stay home and call a healthcare provider for evaluation.  May be referred for a PCR/molecular COVID-19 test.

 

Call school nurse.

- Until has documentation of an alternative diagnosis by a healthcare provider and improvement of symptoms.  

- If diagnosed with Strep Throat, must stay home until on antibiotics for a full 24 hours, and must be fever free off of all fever reducing medications. 

- If COVID-19 test negative, may return after 24 hours if fever free off of all fever reducing medications and improvement of symptoms.

- If awaiting COVID-19 test, must remain home and isolate while awaiting results.

- If positive COVID-19 test, must isolate and stay home until fever free off of fever reducing medications and improvement of symptoms.

Cleared by:

 

- Healthcare provider

- School Nurse

- Public Health Department (if COVID-19)

Other illnesses

Stay home and call healthcare provider for evaluation.

 

Call school nurse.

Until diagnosis by healthcare provider.

Cleared by:

 

- Healthcare provider

- School Nurse

 

10/2020

 

 

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