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Present Guidelines for Return to School after Illness and Immunizations
In lieu of NYSDOH/NYSED official written guidance, a health care provider’s note will be required to return to school if any member of the school (student, staff, or faculty) is not attending due to potential symptom(s) of COVID-19, confirmed positive/ diagnosis of COVID-19, and/ or post exposure to COVID-19 positive case quarantine, including but not limited to the following scenarios:
- For a COVID-Related Symptom: If a student/staff/faculty member displays a COVID-19-related symptom, they must obtain a healthcare provider note to return to school. Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are NOT limited to: fever or chills (100 degrees F or greater, persistent cough, shortness of breath of difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained rash, pinkeye.
- For Pertinent Exposure: Examples of this could include recent travel including international travel or travel to a state listed on the NYSDOH travel advisory website (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory) where precautionary quarantine should be completed for 14 days from the date when the person left the restricted state or after completion of mandatory quarantine following exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case.
- Following COVID-19 Diagnosis and Subsequent Isolation Period: If a student/staff/faculty member tests positive for the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, they must have a health care provider note AND the following conditions must be met: symptom resolution, at least 10 days have passed sine the onset of symptoms for symptomatic individuals or 10 days from the collection date (test date) of the positive COVID-19 test for asymptomatic individuals; AND at least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication. A negative COVID-19 test will not be required, unless specifically requested by the Department of Health, but may be provided in addition to the health care provider’s note.
Healthcare provider notes must include AT MINIMUM the following information:
- The individual is cleared to return to school/work
- The individual has an alternate diagnosis unrelated to COVID (for scenario number 1 above) OR the individual has no subsequent illness after completing their quarantine period (for scenario 2 above) OR the individual has successfully completed their isolation period and meet the current CDC clearance guidance (for scenario 3 above).
- The alternate diagnosis does not have to be listed in the note, but may need to be discussed confidentially with the school nurse and/ or the local health department.
The health care provider clearance note will assist with mitigating the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 in a congregate school environment, as we work collectively to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and residents.
School nurses CAN use their clinical judgement when deciding to send a child or staff/faculty member home from school or work due to suspected potential COVID-19-related illness, and or based on exposure potential.
Please note that individuals exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will need to quarantine for 14 days from their last date of exposure. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 may be released from isolation as soon as 10 days depending on symptom resolution. This is due to the incubation period of the virus, how long it may take someone to become ill after being exposed to the virus.
Public Health Law § 2164 requires each Pre-K through Grade 12 student to satisfy certain vaccination requirements as a condition of attending school. These requirements are listed in the 2020-21 School Year New York State Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance. • The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) is the entity charged with enforcement the requirement that schools comply with Public Health Law § 2164. • NYS DOH finds there has been difficulty in obtaining required vaccinations as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, resulting in inability for some students to meet the vaccination requirements. • NYS DOH is therefore suspending enforcement of required vaccinations for students to attend school for a period of 30 days, only for students attending school exclusively remotely, if such student intends to obtain the required vaccinations in the coming 30 days. • For students using remote learning exclusively, if a school does not receive proof of all required vaccinations by 30 days from the date of this letter, the school shall not permit the student to attend, including through remote learning, until such proof has been received.
ATTENTION: Are your scholars or colleagues doing something great? Please contact the district Communications Strategist, Cassie Sklarz (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’d love to visit your class or event and/or post your pictures and recap to highlight the amazing accomplishments throughout our district!