When should I keep my child home from school?
Parents/guardians are requested to take their child’s temperature either before coming to the facility or before getting on the bus.
Any child that has the following symptoms must stay home: Fever or chills (100°F or greater); 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; and/or Diarrhea.
It is strongly recommended that parents also monitor the child for signs of any type of illness such as: Flushed cheeks; Rapid or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity); Fatigue, and/or irritability; and Frequent use of the bathroom.
In addition, the parents will routinely be asked to complete a screening questionnaire determines whether the individual has: knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19; tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days; has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F in the past 14 days: and/or has traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.
Upon daily arrival at the school and prior to entry to the building, the child’s temperature will be taken and the child will be briefly observed for other symptoms. Any temperature of 100 degrees or higher or the observance of other health concerns will require the child to be placed in an isolation room and the parents will be asked to come and pick the child up.
What if my child is ill at arrival time or becomes ill during the day?
The child will be placed in an isolation room as determined by the school nurse. Close student supervision will be provided by classroom or nursing staff using appropriate PPE. We must have emergency contact information for every child. The parent or caregiver must be available or make arrangements to pick the child up within one hour of the phone notification. If you live over an hour away, we expect that you will leave and start heading for the school within one half-hour of receiving the call. If an individual is symptomatic and sent home, staff and students will need a doctor’s note to return. They cannot return until 72 hours since resolution of symptoms, and no indication of fever without fever reducing medication. The doctor will determine if testing is needed.
How will I know if a staff member or student in my child’s class has contracted the virus?
Families will receive a notification from Spectrum Services’ administration/nurse that their child may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, with instructions on what symptoms to look for and the school’s policy for returning to in person instruction. The Ulster County Department of Health’s contact tracing system team will possibly reach out to you with a notification as well including asking questions about your child’s health, giving instructional guidelines to quarantine and what symptoms to be aware of. They will also offer resources and contacts to help you through this time if you need. We also encourage you to consult with your child’s physician.
What happens if someone tests positive in the school– will the whole school close? For how long? Does everyone get sent home immediately?
In most instances, a single case of COVID-19 in school would not warrant closing the entire school. Community spread and how much contact the student or staff member with COVID-19 had with others, as well as when such contact took place, need to be considered. These variables should also be considered when determining how long a school, or part of the school, stays closed. It will be on a case by case determination by the schools medical staff and the Department of Health in Ulster County. Governor Cuomo has advised that schools should close for two weeks whenever 5% of the Total population of students and staff has contracted the virus.
If the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within school is higher than in the community, or if our school is the source of an outbreak, administrators will work with our local health officials to determine if temporarily closing the school building is necessary. Students, teachers, and staff who test positive or had close contact with anyone who tested positive will be provided with guidance for when it is safe to discontinue isolation or end quarantine from their own doctor’s and the Department of Health.
If testing is required for students does the school pay for everyone to get tested?
COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide at health centers and select pharmacies. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act ensures that COVID-19 testing is free to anyone in the U.S., including the uninsured. Additional testing sites may be available in your area. Contact your health care provider or your state or local public health department for more information. At this time, testing is not required for students
Will the school be doing COVID-19 testing?
We will not be conducting testing at school.
If a family learns they may have been exposed outside of school, are they expected to report it to the school even if not exhibiting symptoms?
Families are required to report any possible exposure to the school including the need to quarantine.
If a child or staff member in my child’s class or bus is positive for COVID-19, will my child have to stay home and quarantine? If so for how long?
Yes. Your child will need to quarantine for 14 days since their last exposure to the infected individual. It can take up to 14 days after exposure to the virus for a person to develop COVID-19 symptoms. A negative result before the end of the 14-day quarantine period does not rule out possible infection.
By self-quarantining for 14 days, you lower the chance of possibly exposing others to COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can still spread the virus even if they do not have any symptoms. If your child or your family members were around someone who had COVID-19, it is critical that you stay home and away from others for 14 days from the last day that you were around that person. Staying home and away from others at all times helps our community, school, and local health departments in the fight against COVID-19 and helps protect you and your family.
What if one of our family members has a close contact with a person with COVID-19?
If your child or family member has been around someone who was identified as a close contact to a person with COVID-19, closely monitor yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19. You do not need to self-quarantine unless you develop symptoms, or if the person identified as a close contact develops COVID-19.
If you have been around someone who is sick with COVID-19, CDC recommends that you get tested for COVID-19 as soon as you are aware of this. Your doctor or your local health department will be able to provide resources for testing in your area.
While you are waiting for the COVID-19 test result, your child and your family should stay home away from others (self-quarantine) and monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 to protect your friends, family, and others from possibly getting COVID-19.
If the test is positive, you all should continue to stay home and self-isolate away from others and monitor your health. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and they worsen or become severe, you should seek emergency medical care. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face. Someone from the health department through the contact tracing team may call you to:
– Check on your health,
– Discuss who you have been around, and
– Ask where you have spent time while you may have been able to spread COVID-19 to others.
What happens if we all test negative in our family, and are all symptom-free?
If the test is negative and you don’t have symptoms, you should continue to stay home and self-quarantine away from others for 14 days after your last exposure to COVID-19 and follow all recommendations from the health department. This is important because symptoms can appear up to 14 days after you’ve been exposed and are infected.
We still have to quarantine if we test negative? Why is that?
Because even a negative result before the end of your quarantine period does not rule out possible infection. Additionally, you do not need a repeat test unless you develop symptoms, a doctor’s note will be required to return to in person instruction.
Further, if your test is negative and you have symptoms you should continue to self-quarantine away from others and follow all recommendations from the health department. A second test and additional medical consultation may be needed if your symptoms
What does a student or staff need to do if they’ve had to leave school because they became symptomatic?
If an individual is symptomatic and sent home, both staff and students will need a doctor’s note to return. They cannot return until 72 hours since resolution of symptoms. Their primary physician will determine if testing is needed.
Will my child be allowed to return to school without a recent physical from their pediatrician?
Physicals and immunizations must be on record with the school. There are no changes to this policy.
Will staff be tested regularly or have universal testing?
Universal testing refers to testing all students and staff in school settings, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms, or have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19. Because the current infection rate in New York State and the counties within our geographic area is less than 1% as of this writing, staff and students will not have to be universally tested on a regular basis.
However, parents or caregivers are asked to monitor their children for signs of infectious illness, and students who are sick should not attend school. Students, staff, and families should be tested if they show symptoms or believe they have been in contact with a person who has the COVID-19 virus.
What do the experts say about universal testing for schools?
The CDC does not recommend universal testing of all students and staff for several reasons:
- Viral testing only provides COVID-19 status for individuals at the time of testing.
- One-time or universal entry testing could miss COVID-19 cases in the early stages of infection, and it could miss exposures that happen after testing.
- Implementing a universal approach to testing in schools may pose challenges, such as the lack of infrastructure to support routine testing and follow up in the school setting; unknown acceptability of this testing approach among students, parents, and staff; lack of dedicated resources; practical considerations related to testing minors; and potential disruption in the educational environment.
Who is overseeing Spectrum Services’ COVID-19 response team?
That would be Dan Uttendorfer R.N., Spectrum Services School Nurse.
Where can I purchase the hats with attached face shields shown in the Reopening Town Hall?
We encourage you to shop locally whenever possible. Contributing to our local economy by buying locally enhances our community in countless ways….increased jobs, encourages small business, increases our tax base and helps improve the vibrant Hudson Valley we call home.
If you are having difficulty finding the proper PPE for your child and family, Click Here to AmazonSmile with the focus on an array of children’s hats with face shields.
If you plan to shop on Amazon from this moment forward, please consider connecting to the online retailer’s website using: www.amazonsmile.com. Your shopping experience will be exactly the same, the prices you play will also be the same. You’ll select your charity of choice, and we ask you to select Center for Spectrum Services. AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of our purchases to us, and it costs you nothing. Thank you!
If the school runs low on PPE, will you let the parents know so we can help?
We certainly will, but to clarify, we have lots of masks, and we’re finding gloves a little challenging to find, but the most difficult to obtain are the level 2 isolation gowns that tie in the back and the Tyvex suits in Medium, Large, and X-Large. We also need more Lysol or Clorox wipes. We have some, but need more and they are difficult to obtain. Just like all schools in our area worry, if we run out of PPE, the we will need to close the school until we receive adequate inventory.