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Covid and schools. What to do if my child is ill.

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I do not envy you parents right now. Your kids are home, they’re not home, they’re back at school but had a sniffle, so now they’re home. Your head must be spinning. We are literally just entering cold and flu season, where kids tend to catch at least 1, if not 2 or 3 illnesses before we feel the warmth of the sun again. So, what is a parent to do?

Per the CDC website, (which may be completely different by the time this gets posted), they are recommending parents do a home symptom check list comprised of 2 sections.

Section 1, SYMPTOMS:

Temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth

Sore throat

New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)

Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain

New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever

Section 2, EXPOSURE:

Close Contact/Potential Exposure


    • Had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person with confirmed COVID-19
    • Traveled to or lived in an area where the local, Tribal, territorial, or state health department is reporting large numbers of COVID-19 cases as described in the Community Mitigation Framework
    • Live in areas of high community transmission (as described in the Community Mitigation Framework) while the school remains open


If the student/parent/caregiver answers YES to any question in Section 1 but NO to any questions in Section 2, the student would be excused from school in accordance with existing school illness management policy

(e.g., until symptom-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications).


If the student /parent/ caregiver answers YES to any question in Section 1 and YES to any question in Section 2, the student should be referred for evaluation by their healthcare provider and possible testing. At that time, it would be discussed as to when the student could return to school based on test results and symptoms.


Keep in mind, schools are going to have their own policies and protocols as well, so it may not be exactly as written here.


I know that there will still be a lot of questions and uncertainty and you are always  welcome to call or text us with any concerns you have.

A link to the website where more information may be found is below.


~Brooke Rieth, NP and Action Medicine team

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