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COVID-19 FAQs for Parents
COVID-19 FAQs for Parents
Adrianne Walsh
Monday, July 27, 2020

What do these important COVID-19 words mean?

Exposure is contact within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more of a person sick with COVID-19. 

What counts as contact?

·         You were within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for at least 10 minutes

·         You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19

·         You had direct physical contact with the person (i.e. touched, hugged)

·         You shared eating or drinking utensils

·         They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.  The Jackson County Health Department will determine the length of quarantine for USD 335 students up to 14 days.

Travel Quarantine applies to anyone in Kansas who has recently traveled from a location on the KDHE Travel-related Quarantine List.  The most up-to-date list can be found at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran.  

Isolation keeps someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others.  Students in isolation should stay home at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and symptoms have improved.

What can be done at home to keep everyone safe and healthy?

Parents can perform health checks prior to sending your child(ren) to school.  Keep child(ren) home and report any of the following to the school:

  • Temperature Check–must be fever-free without using fever-reducing medication such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol (acetaminophen) for 72 hours. 
  • Symptoms of COVID (If student has a fever, keep them home and call the school.  If student does NOT have a fever but has 2 or more other symptoms of COVID, keep them home and call the school.)
  • Exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Travel to an area that Kansas requires quarantine upon return.

If a child has a fever, do all siblings in the household stay home?

No.  This is no different than it has been in the past at USD 335.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms without other obvious explanations should not be at school.  People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever (temperature of 100.4o or more) or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What if a COVID-19 case is suspected at school?

Symptomatic students will go to the school nurse for evaluation.  Students who may have COVID-19 will be placed in a waiting room, maintaining student privacy and social-emotional well-being while awaiting pick up.  Students who are ill will be walked out of the building to their parents.  Schools are not expected to diagnose students and USD 335 will not conduct testing to identify cases of COVID-19.  If a possible case of COVID-19 is suspected, the Jackson County Health Department will help identify those individuals and will follow up on next steps with families.

What will happen if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at school?

  • The school will contact the Jackson County Health Department immediately.
  • The school will thoroughly clean the areas where the infected person has been.
  • The school will work with the Jackson County Health Department to determine the need for school closure based on the circumstances of the case and the ability to disinfect the appropriate areas.  There is no specified number of days for building closure.
  • The school will work with the Jackson County Health Department to assess close contacts and inform those students and staff who are exposed that they must start a mandatory 14 day quarantine period.
  • The school will notify parents, students and staff that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 was in the building and encourage cooperation with the Jackson County Health department to trace contacts with the individual.  The individual who tested positive will not be identified in communications to the school community at large.

If there is a positive COVID-19 case in a classroom, does the entire class quarantine?  Do siblings have to quarantine?

No.  Only the students who meet the exposure definition above would be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Example:  A family has a 2nd and 6th grader.  The 6th grader has an exposure to a positive COVID-19 case in his/her classroom.  The 2nd grader is not required to quarantine because there was not a direct exposure.

Example:  A family has a 1st and 3rd grader that live in the same household.  The 1st grader has a positive COVID-19 test.  Siblings in the same household are considered close contacts and will be excluded from school for a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

What is the infectious period for a COVID-19 case?

Based on what is currently known about COVID-19, a case is considered infectious 2 days prior to the onset of symptoms through at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms.

When can a student return to school after exclusion?

A child will be required to be at home based off of KDHE and the local health department's determination.  Here’s some general information about what could happen based on health guidance from the KSDE Navigating Change document.

  • Untested-A person who has not received a test proving or disproving the presence of COVID-19 but experience symptoms may return to school if 10 calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND the person has been fever free for 72 hours without fever reducing medication and other COVID-19 symptoms have improved.
  • Tested-A person who is awaiting test results should be isolated at home until test results are received.
  • Positive Result
  • Negative Result-With a known exposure to a COVID-19 case or travel to places on the KDHE Travel Quarantine List, a negative test result within the 14-day quarantine period does not affect the quarantine period and the person must finish their 14-day quarantine.
  • Symptomatic cases may return to school if 10 calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND the person has been fever free for 72 hours without fever reducing medication and other COVID-19 symptoms have improved.
  • Asymptomatic cases may return to school if 10 calendar days have passed since the date sample was collected and symptoms have not developed.  If symptoms develop during the 10 day isolation period, then follow the above criteria for symptomatic cases with a new isolation period starting from the day the symptoms began.

A COVID-19 test is not required to be able to return to school.

Where can parents learn more about COVID-19?

·         https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

·         https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/