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COVID‐19 SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL

Students and staff with symptoms of illness must be sent to the health office for an assessment by the school nurse. According to NYSDOH guidelines, symptoms associated with COVID‐19 include:

  • Fever over 100° Fahrenheit without the
    use of fever suppressing medication
  • Shaking or chills
  • Cough
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Unusual or significant fatigue
  • Persistent muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptomatic Students

If a student experiences one or more of the symptoms listed above, parents are required to keep their child home, complete the COVID-19 Symptom Reporting Form (students), and consult with their doctor.  

Students may return to school when their symptoms are improving, and they are fever-free (without the use of fever reducing medication) for at least 24 hours, AND (1) have a doctor’s note indicating they do not require a COVID-19 test OR (2) have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result.  If a student is referred for COVID-19 testing by a doctor, then the siblings of the student must remain home until a negative test result is received for the symptomatic student.

Symptomatic Faculty & Staff

If a faculty or staff member experiences one or more of the symptoms listed above, the employee must stay home, complete the COVID-19 Symptom Reporting Form (staff), and consult with their doctor.  

Individuals who have symptoms associated with a chronic, recurring condition unrelated to COVID‐19 may provide a doctor’s note to indicate that the symptoms are unrelated to COVID‐19 and may return to school as soon as this doctor’s note is provided.

Following district policies, the school nurse will call 911 for any student or staff member exhibiting emergency warning signs such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to arouse, bluish lips or face and severe abdominal pain. The school nurse will notify the 911 operator that the person in need of assistance may have COVID‐19 and inform the school administration as soon as possible.

Protocol for students or staff assessed to have
ONE OR MORE COVID‐19 Symptoms 
unrelated to a chronic, recurring condition

The nurse will conduct an initial assessment to determine if the individual needs to be moved to the isolation room with appropriate PPE in use for the individual (i.e., face mask) and the nurse (i.e., N95 mask, face shield, medical gown, gloves) for further assessment. The nurse will ask the individual the COVID‐19 screening questions and will document the answers.
After confirming that the student or staff member only has one or more COVID‐19 symptom, the individual will be sent home and instructed to see his/her Health Care Provider within 48 hours for evaluation.  The individual's Health Care Provider will determine if a COVID-19 test is required.  If COVID-19 testing is required, the District will only accept results from a molecular test. 
In preparation for moving the individual out of the school, the nurse will notify school administration who will determine if a “hold in place” is required as the individual is escorted from the school. The student or staff member will be escorted from the building through the nearest exit to minimize contact or interactions with other students or staff. A parent, guardian or emergency contact is expected to pick up the student within 30 minutes of being notified.
After the individual has left the school, the nurse will notify the school administrator and the head custodian so that the isolation room and other spaces occupied by the individual can be electrostatically disinfected.

If the Health Care Provider DOES refer the symptomatic person for COVID-19 testing, the person must remain home until:

  • A negative COVID-19 molecular test result is received, AND
  • The person is fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, AND
  • The resolution of symptoms, OR
  • Ten (10) days of isolation have passed with the last 72 hours symptom free.

Family members (including siblings) within the same household as the sick person who is awaiting a test result must remain at home until a negative test result is received.

If the Health Care Provider DOES NOT refer the person for testing, the Health Care Provider must provide a written diagnosis to specify that the symptoms are unrelated to COVID-19 and the person may return to school when symptoms are resolved with a note from the Health Care Provider.
If a positive COVID‐19 test result is received, the school will notify the Westchester County Department of Health within 24 hours of obtaining the result, and will gather and provide information as may be requested by the Westchester County Department of Health to facilitate contact tracing, in coordination with the district COVID‐19 coordinator, the school district physician, building administration, and the WCDOH.

© Harrison Central School District, 2021