Returning to school after screening positive for a symptom of COVID-19

An important part of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District’s reopening plan is the daily COVID-19 screening for all students, staff and visitors. Staff and families complete the screening at home each day before school. But what happens if there is a red flag on your screening? Or if your child is sent home from school by the health office? With information just released by the Albany County Department of Health, the district has a much clearer picture of how to answer these important questions.

All health-related information found below was provided by the Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH) on September 17, 2020. The ACDOH coordinates and directs the public health response for all communicable diseases in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District and for all schools within Albany County. Anytime this information is updated by the county, the updated information will be shared with families and will be posted here.

***Attestation must be completed every day prior to boarding a bus or entering a school building.***

Symptoms of COVID-19 (CDC)

  • Fever greater than 100.0 F
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion or runny nose

What does your daily self-health check (attestation) mean for you or your child?

No Symptoms

    Student: Proceed to school.

    Staff: Proceed to school/work.

At least one symptom 

Student

  • Excluded from school (notify your child’s school main office and school nurse immediately).
  • Visit a medical provider for evaluation and COVID-19 testing.
  • If confirmed positive COVID-19 test: See protocol for Positive Case.
  • If negative COVID-19 test: See protocol for symptomatic student or staff member.  
  • Required documentation to return:  a release from a medical professional and proof of a negative COVID-19 result must be provided to the school nurse (student) or to an immediate supervisor (staff) in order to return to school/work. 

Staff

  • Excluded from school/work (notify your supervisor immediately)
  • Visit a medical provider for evaluation and COVID-19 testing.
  • If confirmed positive COVID-19 test: See protocol for Positive Case.
  • If negative COVID-19 test: See protocol for symptomatic student or staff member.  
  • Required documentation to return:  a release from a medical professional and proof of a negative COVID-19 result must be provided to the school nurse (student) or to an immediate supervisor (staff) in order to return to school/work. 

When a student or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 at school:

  • The individual will be isolated and sent home immediately.
  • Visit a medical provider for evaluation and COVID-19 testing.
  • Remain at home (self-isolate) pending results.
  • Read full protocol for symptomatic student or staff member.
  • Required documentation to return:  a release from a medical professional and proof of a negative COVID-19 result must be provided to the school nurse (student) or to an immediate supervisor (staff) in order to return to school/work. 

When a student or staff member is symptomatic

  • If at school, the individual will be isolated and sent home immediately.
  • Visit a medical provider for evaluation and COVID-19 testing.
  • Remain at home (self-isolate) pending results.
  • Required documentation to return:  a release from a medical professional and proof of a negative COVID-19 result must be provided to the school nurse (student) or to an immediate supervisor (staff) in order to return to school/work. 

If the test results are POSITIVE for COVID-19

  • Contact your child’s school nurse if a child tests positive or if you are a staff member, contact your direct supervisor.
    • The county health department contacts the individual/family with positive case to begin case investigation and contact tracing.
    • Positive student or staff will be placed on home isolation for approximately 10 days with symptom improvement. The county health department will monitor and provide exact return to school date.
    • The county health department will notify school and collaborate with school to complete contact tracing.
    • Identified close contacts will be quarantined from 14 days of last exposure, monitor symptoms, and testing may be recommended.
  • Upon release from isolation by the county health department, the student or staff member may return to school.
  • Required documentation to return:  a release from a medical professional and a release from quarantine from the Albany County Department of Health must be provided to the school nurse (student) or to an immediate supervisor (staff) in order to return to school/work. 

If the test results are NEGATIVE for COVID-19

  • A note is required from medical provider clearing for a return to school AND a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • The student or staff member is allowed to return to school after providing the above documentation.

Contacts to positive cases can return to school after a 14-day quarantine period if asymptomatic. If symptomatic, the county health department will continue to monitor and provide exact return to school date.

Confirmed Exposure, No Symptoms

(A confirmed exposure is when an individual has been notified by their local health department of exposure to a COVID-positive case OR if the individual being screened has been in a location on the NYS Travel Advisory list in the last 14 days)

Student

  • Excluded from school (notify your child’s school main office and school nurse immediately).
  • Placed on quarantine and monitored by your local health department. 
  • If the student remains asymptomatic, remain home for 14 days since last exposure.

Staff

  • Excluded from school/work (notify your direct supervisor immediately).
  • Placed on quarantine and monitored by your local health department. 
  • If a staff member remains asymptomatic, remain home for 14 days since last exposure.

Positive COVID Diagnosis, No Symptoms

Student

  • Excluded from school (notify your child’s school main office and school nurse immediately).
  • Placed on isolation and monitored by your local health department.
  • Remain home until released from isolation by your local health department.
  • Required documentation to return:  a release from a medical professional and a release from quarantine from the Albany County Department of Health must be provided to the school nurse (student) or to an immediate supervisor (staff) in order to return to school/work. 

Staff

  • Excluded from school/work (notify your direct supervisor immediately).
  • Placed on isolation and monitored by your local health department.
  • Remain home until released from isolation by your local health department.
  • Required documentation to return:  a release from a medical professional and a release from quarantine from the Albany County Department of Health must be provided to the school nurse (student) or to an immediate supervisor (staff) in order to return to school/work. 

Frequently Used COVID-19 Terms

  • Potential Exposure: Being in the same household or having come into close contact with an individual who is confirmed or suspected to have a COVID-19 infection.
  • Close Contact: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10-15 minutes, during the period starting 48 hours before symptoms appear and until the time the infected person is isolated.
  • Proximate Contact: Being in the same enclosed environment such as a classroom, office or gathering, but greater than 6 feet from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Contact Tracing: The identification and follow-up of individuals who may have come into contact with a person infected with COVID-19.
  • Case: An individual with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • Isolation: The process of separating an individual who has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 from others for 10 days or more following the onset of symptoms.
  • Quarantine: The process of separating an individual who has been in close (or in certain instances proximate) contact with someone who is positive from others in an effort to reduce further spread. The quarantine period is for the incubation period; 14 days for COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Screening: Screening for COVID-19 includes a series of questions to evaluate symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19.
  • Diagnostic Test: This type of test detects COVID-19 infection. Examples include PCR-based and antigen-based.

View or download a print-friendly PDF that outlines the Albany County Department of Health’s COVID-19 protocols.

NOTE:   If the symptom(s) are part of a chronic condition, as noted by a medical professional, the child will only need to complete this process one time and will only need to be completed again if the symptom(s) worsens or additional symptoms present themselves.  This is another reason why completing the health attestation every day is very important. To find a testing site please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you

If you have any questions, please call the Albany County DOH at (518) 447-4580.

September 17, 2020 guidance from DOH on Returning to School  

September 17, 2020 FAQ from DOH on Returning to School