PROCEDURES FOR STUDENT OR EMPLOYEE ILLNESSES
NOTE: This is a “living document” and may change as medical professionals, public health practitioners, and government guidelines update their knowledge and practices regarding a novel virus.
Students who feel ill or present symptoms of illness should not come to campus. Tylenol, Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Excedrin or any other fever-masking medicines should not be taken just to have a child attend school.
If a student needs to miss school for symptoms of any illness, we request you notify the appropriate division office and the School Nurse by phone:
Lower School Direct Phone Line (Nicole Brooks) - 706-434-2507
Middle School Direct Phone Line (Jolene Cumpton) - 706-434-2529
Upper School Direct Phone Line (Monica Erskine) - 706-434-2528
School Nurse Cell Phone (Jennifer Blanchard, R.N.) - 706-726-0072
Should a student present symptoms for any illness while at school, we will escort the student to a comfortable isolation room, and they will be seen by our school nurse for evaluation. The school nurse will contact the parent and the division head regarding steps taken and whether the student needs to leave.
Suspected COVID-19 Illness
Should a student present with symptoms related to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), we will isolate them in a pre-designated comfortable isolation room within the school division building and ask that the parent pick them up as soon as possible. In the case of Upper School students who drive themselves, parents will be notified that the student is departing campus.
COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, show overlap with common cold and seasonal flu viruses, and typically include for adults and older students:
- Fever (100.4 and above)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If a student or employee is awaiting a COVID-19 test result, they should not come to campus.
Defining COVID-19 “Exposure” as “Close Contact”
If your child is in close contact with someone who has tested positive, then the CDC recommends you quarantine them for 14 days, monitor them for symptoms, and follow any other current CDC guidelines. Close contact is defined as:
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
If someone in your home tests positive, please let us know that your child needs to quarantine. We have plans to make sure your child can continue learning through synchronous (“live stream”) technologies and asynchronous means.
Notification from Families
Parents must notify the School Nurse immediately if either their child, or anyone with whom their child has had close contact has been diagnosed with COVID-19, receives a positive test result for COVID-19, or is awaiting test results for COVID-19.
Parents must notify the School Nurse immediately if either their child, or anyone with whom their child has had close contact exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 as identified by the DPH, CDC or a physician, including but not limited to: fever or chills; 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; diarrhea; etc.
In either case, please do not send your child to school and please do contact the School Nurse.
Positive COVID-19 Test and Close Contact Exposure Situations
These flow charts outline actions the school adopted on August 7, 2020. When to quarantine and when to return to school are based on test results and exposure as outlined in the flow chart (see above).
Notification From the School
If your child or an employee tests positive for COVID-19, we are obligated to notify the Columbia County Health Department (706-868-3330), so they can conduct contact tracing and limit community spread. We will also conduct our own internal contact tracing, notify the individuals, classes, and/or school in which the positive case occurred, and modify programming or instruction as necessary.
We will also notify staff and families who may be impacted while maintaining confidentiality required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The school will not provide name or other identifying information, out of respect for privacy. The purpose of this communication will be to allow parents to continue to partner with the school in encouraging effective mask usage, good social distancing, proper hand washing, self-screening, and monitoring for symptoms.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 virus and when those who test positive can be around others, refer to www.cdc.gov and/or contact our school nurse, Jennifer Blanchard, at firstname.lastname@example.org or her cell at 706-726-0072.