Illness Guidelines

Needham Public Schools Illness Guidelines 2021-2022
(updated August, 2021)

 

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. These guidelines pertain to COVID-19 as well as other illnesses.  **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), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and/or the Needham Public Health Department.  

 

Families must perform a symptoms check on each of their students, each day before leaving for school and complete an attestation that is sent via daily text/email.  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 for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals include: 
- Fever over 100
℉, chills, or shaking
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
New loss of taste or smell
- Muscle aches or body aches
Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)

- Sore throat
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Fatigue (in combination with other symptoms)
Nasal congestion or runny nose not due to other known causes, such as allergies (in combination with other symptoms)
- Headache (in combination with other symptoms)


Symptoms of COVD-19 for fully vaccinated individuals include:
Fever over 100℉, chills, or shaking
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
New loss of taste or smell
- Muscle aches or body aches
Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)


ILLNESS

ACTION

EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL

RETURN TO SCHOOL

Exposure to COVID-19-identified as a close contact

Quarantine per public health guidelines and call healthcare provider for
COVID-19  PCR/molecular test. 

Call school nurse.

Per public health guidelines

After cleared by:

- Public Health Department
and/or
 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 without fever reducing medications AND have improvement of symptoms.

Cleared by: 

- Public Health Department 
and/or
 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 PCR/molecular COVID-19 test, may return to school after 24 hours without a fever off of fever reducing medications, and have improvement of symptoms. If receives an alternative diagnosis in addition to a negative PCR/molecular 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 without fever reducing medications and have improvement of symptoms.

- If no testing done or documentation of alternative diagnosis, must stay home for 10 days of isolation, be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication and have improvement of symptoms.

Cleared by: 

- School Nurse and/or Public Health Department (if positive COVID-19 test)/Healthcare Provider

Cold symptoms, i.e., nasal discharge cough, sneeze in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students

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

Call school nurse.

- If negative PCR/molecular COVID-19 test, must be fever free without 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 without fever reducing medication, and have improvement of symptoms.

Cleared by:

- School Nurseand/or healthcare provider/Public Health Department (if positive test)

Fever 100 or above, chills, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, new loss of taste/smell, muscle or body aches, or cough for all students including fully vaccinated

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

Call school nurse.

-If negative PCR/molecular COVID-19 test, must be fever free without fever reducing medication for 24 hours, must have improvement of cough, must be able to 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 without fever reducing medication, and have improvement of symptoms.

Cleared by:

- School Nurse and/or 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 without fever reducing medications, has improvement of symptoms with treatment, and if has documentation from a healthcare provider that there is an alternative pre-existing diagnosis (e.g., 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 without 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 PCR/molecular COVD-19 test

 

Call school nurse

-May return to school if no fever for 24 hours without 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 PCR/molecular COVID-19 test.

-If there is no alternative diagnosis and no COVID-19 test weas done, must stay home for 10 days isolation and be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse and/or healthcare provider/ Public Health Department

Headache in combination with other symptoms in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students

Stay home if no improvement with fluids and eating, and/or if has additional symptoms. Call a healthcare provider for evaluation. If other symptoms or if someone else in the household is ill, consider 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 Nurseand/or Public Health Department (if positive COVID-19)

Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students

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

Call school nurse.

- If negative PCR/ molecular 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.

Cleared by:

- School Nurse and/or Public Health Department/healthcare provider

Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea in vaccinated students

PCR/molecular COVID-19 test is not required, but is encouraged if symptoms continue or worsen.

Call school nurse.

May return to school after 24 hours without vomiting or fever off of fever reducing medication and must be able to tolerate a typical diet for 24 hours.

Cleared by:

 

- School Nurse and/or 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 in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students

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

Call school nurse.

- If receives an alternative diagnosis, submit documentation to school nurse and may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (i.e., flu, strep throat, etc.) and must be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications. PCR testing is recommended with an alternative diagnosis.

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

- 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 positive)

Other scenario not listed above

Stay home and call healthcare provider for evaluation and call school nurse.

When cleared by school nurse and healthcare provider.

Cleared by:

- Healthcare provider

- School Nurse

 

updated March 2021, August 2021

 

 

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