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COVID Return to School Protocol

All information is subject to change based on updated guidance from the NYS/Albany County Department of Health and/or the Centers for Disease Control, updated as of Oct. 20, 2020.

Return to School Protocols for Students

Your child has been identified with symptoms which could be consistent with a COVID-19 diagnosis. We strongly recommend that you have your child seen by a healthcare provider or the local Department of Health, within 48 hours.

Per New York State Department of Health regulations, if you do not have your child evaluated by a healthcare provider or produce a negative COVID test, within forty-eight (48) hours of symptom onset, North Colonie is required to report this to the Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH) for follow-up. Once reported, ACDOH will contact you to discuss the case and begin contact tracing.

The following describes the protocols the NYS Department of Health has put in place to ensure a safe return to school.

If you choose to have your child evaluated by a healthcare provider within 48 hours and…

Your child receives a negative COVID test result:

  • Provide results of a Negative COVID diagnostic test (copy of lab results or physician documentation)
  • Ensure that all symptoms must be improving
  • Ensure that the child is fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication
  • Ensure that there is no vomiting or diarrhea for at least the previous 12 hours

Please note:

  • If your child is diagnosed with another health condition and prescribed an antibiotic, the child must complete 24 hours of the antibiotic medication prior to returning to school.
  • A North Colonie nurse may be contacting you to inquire about the status of the child.

          If you choose to have your child evaluated by a healthcare provider within 48 hours and… 

          Your child receives a positive COVID test result:

          • Obtain a written release from isolation from the local DOH, stating that the child is able to return to school, which is typically:
            • 10 days have passed since the date of the positive test or the first symptoms have appeared
            • The child has been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication
            • The child’s symptoms are improving
            • There has been no vomiting or diarrhea for at least the previous 12 hours

          Please note:

          • While the ill person is in isolation, all members of the household must quarantine at home until released by the local health department, typically fourteen (14) days.
          • If your child is diagnosed with another health condition and prescribed an antibiotic, the child must complete 24 hours of the antibiotic medication prior to returning to school.
          • A local health department will notify parent/school and provide exact return to school date.
          • A North Colonie Nurse may be contacting you to inquire about the status of the child.

              If you choose to have your child evaluated by a healthcare provider within 48 hours and…

              Your child receives a laboratory confirmed alternate diagnosis

              • Obtain a written diagnosis from the healthcare provider for a laboratory confirmed acute illness (ex: laboratory-confirmed influenza, strep-throat, etc.).
              • The healthcare provider must indicate that COVID is not suspected.
              • The note from the healthcare provider must detail the alternate diagnosis as well as a release to return to school.
                • Note: a signed note from a health care provider documenting an unconfirmed acute illness, such as a viral upper respiratory illness or viral gastroenteritis, will not suffice.

                    Please note:

                    • A North Colonie nurse may be contacting you to inquire about the status of the child.
                    • If your child is diagnosed with a health condition and prescribed an antibiotic, the child must complete 24 hours of the antibiotic medication prior to returning to school.

                      If your child has a pre-existing condition that presents itself with COVID-like symptoms (runny nose, cough, etc.):

                      • Your child has a pre-existing condition
                        • Obtain a written diagnosis from the healthcare provider of a known chronic condition with unchanged symptoms.
                        • The note from the healthcare provider must detail the pre-existing condition, along with all-related symptoms, and must indicate that COVID is not suspected.

                      If you choose NOT to have your child evaluated by a healthcare provider within 48 hours:

                      • Your child must remain out of school for at least ten (10) calendar days after the first symptom(s) is identified. At the end of the 10 days:
                        • ensure that all symptoms are improving
                        • ensure that your child has been fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medication

                      Please note:

                      • Per New York State Department of Health regulations, if you do not have your child evaluated by a healthcare provider or produce a negative COVID test, within forty-eight (48) hours of symptom onset, North Colonie is required to report this to the Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH) for follow-up.
                        • Once reported, ACDOH will contact you to discuss the case and begin contact tracing.
                      • A North Colonie nurse may be contacting you to inquire about the status of the child.

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