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Clarkston Community School District

New COVID-19 Health Screening and Reporting Guidelines

New COVID-19 Health Screening and Reporting Guidelines

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) has made important revisions to their COVID-19 health screening and reporting guidelines for all public and private schools. Effective Monday, November 9, these changes will be implemented in our buildings and reflected in the 2020-2021 Return to School Family Toolkit.

These protocols have been developed in collaboration with our district's Oakland County Public Health Nurses. Should you have questions, the Nurse on Call (NOC) telephone service at 1-800-848-5533 or the COVID Help Hotline at 248-858-1000 can offer information about health and related resources. Calls to both lines are answered by Oakland County Health Division Public Health Nurses.

Thank you for your careful attention to this new guidance for keeping our families and our community safe.

CHANGE #1: HEALTH SCREENING AND RETURN TO SCHOOL CRITERIA

The questions and conditions on our student health self-screener, employee health questionnaire, and visitor health questionnaire have changed, per the Oakland County Health Division. In the past, any student experiencing any single COVID-19 symptom was sent home and encouraged to seek a medical evaluation. Now, there are two categories of symptoms to look for and different requirements to return. OCHD has now adopted the one "high-risk" symptom or two "low-risk" symptoms protocol.

High-Risk Symptoms are:

  • New cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell

Low-Risk Symptoms are:

  • Fever (over 100.4 F)
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea (2x in 24 hours)
  • Nausea or Vomiting (2x in 24 hours)
  • Congestion or runny nose

If students/staff experience ONE single symptom in the "High-Risk" category, you must keep them home. The two ways to be able to return to school are:

  1. Obtain a negative PCR COVID-19 test. (We cannot accept rapid tests as proof that someone does not have COVID-19. In order to provide proof of a negative test, you must have a PCR test.)
  2. Stay home for a full 10-day isolation period along with being fever-free without medication for 24 hours and their symptoms improving.

If a student/staff experiences TWO symptoms in the "Low-Risk" category, you must keep them home. The two ways to be able to return to school are:

  1. Obtain a negative PCR COVID-19 test. (We cannot accept rapid tests as proof that someone does not have COVID-19. In order to provide proof of a negative test, you must have a PCR test.)
  2. Stay home for a full 10-day isolation period along with being fever-free without medication for 24 hours and their symptoms improving.

If a students/staff experience only one symptom in the "Low-Risk" category, our district policy requires they stay home and we recommend consulting a medical provider. Students/staff may return to work/school after being fever-free for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication and symptoms have improved. A negative test is not required for one symptom provided the above applies.

This will also be the protocol followed in schools for sending students home from school with symptoms. Please note that this means we can no longer accept an alternate diagnosis from a doctor to return to school.

The screener does allow for exceptions for existing conditions (asthma, allergies, etc.) if a plan of care is in place or a doctor's note is already on file with your student's school prior to the student becoming ill. You will not be allowed to produce an allergy note to return after a student has been sent home or stays home with possible COVID-related symptoms.

CHANGE #2: UPDATED SIBLING/HOUSEHOLD POLICY

If someone in the household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms per the above mentioned categories OR waiting for COVID test results, all household contacts are excluded from work/school. This includes parents and siblings.

If a student stays home or is sent home with COVID-related symptoms, they must stay home and it is strongly recommended to get a molecular PCR COVID test. If the ill person chooses not to test, all household members need to stay home for the full 10-day isolation period. If the ill individual is not able to isolate/separate completely from the remainder of the household, the remaining family members must stay home and add 14 days from the end of the 10-day isolation period. Students staying home should attend distance learning. A copy of the negative COVID-19 PCR results must be provided.

From the OCHD: "All household contacts are excluded from work/school while results are pending. If test results are positive or if a symptomatic person does not get tested, household contacts are to quarantine for 14 days from last known exposure."

Please notify your building's main office if a parent takes regularly scheduled COVID tests as a precautionary work-related requirement.

ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE

Quarantine and Isolation: If a student or staff member is exposed to COVID-19 and is not experiencing symptoms, they should self-quarantine at home for 14 days. (To figure out when your quarantine ends, start counting the day after the last day of exposure to the COVID positive person) Please let your student's building know if this occurs and plan to have your student participate in distance learning until their quarantine ends. You cannot test out of quarantine. A negative test is a snapshot in time — illness can appear anytime in the 14-day quarantine period. So, while a negative test may give you peace of mind, students/staff must still self-quarantine for the full 14-day period.

Self-quarantine means you must:

  • Stay home "24/7" for 14 days (no school-related or non-school related activities allowed)
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms and maintain physical distance (at least 6 feet) from others in your home when at all possible
  • Check and record your temperature two times per day

If a student or staff member exhibits COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 during their quarantine period, they must then isolate for a minimum of 10 days from symptom onset or test date. Isolation involves everything that quarantine does, but in addition, it means you must stay away from other family members. The OCHD says someone in isolation:

  • Stay in a separate room from other household members.
  • Use a separate bathroom if possible. If sharing a bathroom, keep toothbrushes separate and disinfect all surfaces after each use.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like dishes, drinking glasses, cups
  • DO NOT eat, hang out or spend time in the same room as others

In many cases, especially with parents caring for young children, isolation is not possible. If individuals cannot isolate, then every family member must also stay home for the COVID-positive person's minimum 10-day isolation, then start a 14-day quarantine. This means that siblings and children of COVID-positive people will be out of school (and in their homes) for a minimum of 24 days. The OCHD explains this by stating that every family member who cannot isolate from a COVID-positive person is continually exposed for the entire 10-day isolation period, and then can have their own illness appear up to fourteen days later.

Reporting Absences: If your student is supposed to attend in-person school on any given day and does not, you MUST complete an absence form and call the attendance line at your student's school and list the symptoms your student is experiencing and why they are not in school. If students are not attending in-person because they are self-quarantining due to exposure or are sick themselves, you must call in and let the school know. The OCHD will also let us know, but there may be a short delay so you must also self-report. If the school advised your student to self-quarantine, you do not need to call in. In all cases, students should still attend distance learning if they are able, but you must call the absence in. Face-to-face students should not attend distance learning without a parent calling the attendance line.

Holiday Travel: We know that the holidays are coming up, which means that many families may consider travelling. We encourage families to familiarize themselves with the new Oakland County Health Division travel guidance and Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Tips for Traveling to Holiday Gatherings.

For more public health guidance, please visit the Oakland County Health Division website at https://www.oakgov.com/health/.

About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 7,100 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have a virtual academy, an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Clarkston Community Schools students are well-prepared for a future that excites them, and believe that they can achieve their dreams. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to create a learning environment where students, staff, and families are challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported.


Read more Clarkston Community Schools News at www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/news.

Media Contact: Mary Ellen Rowe, Marketing Director (248) 623-5460.