Returning To School During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Resuming In-Person Learning
Pediatricians of MHA recognize and support every effort to resume in person learning!
To help keep students and school staff healthy here are some important safety recommendations:
1. Get Vaccinated
Eligible children over 12 and adults can get the COVID -19 vaccine. It is safe. It works.
2. Mask Up
Everyone ages 2yrs and up should wear a face mask on the school bus and in school. The vast majority of kids do not mind wearing a mask The are safe to wear for a full school day. Masks maximize protection from the Delta variant and can help stop the spread of the virus. Be a positive role model.
3. Physical Distancing
The Erie County Department of Health recommends schools maintain a distance of 3 feet between students to reduce transmission of the virus.
4. Limit Non-Essential Indoor Activities
Consider limiting indoor activities for your child, especially if local COVID infection rates increase. Our focus is school attendance and limiting any source of exposure can help.
School is more than academics; it is essential to children’s physical and social and emotional health.
Illnesses and Exposures
If your child is ill; keep them home. This includes fevers (temperature greater than 100), respiratory symptoms, runny nose, sore throat, cough, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms such as loss of taste or sense of smell are suggestive of COVID.
To return to school after a COVID-LIKE ILLNESS:
- A negative COVID test result (PCR) provided to the school and fever-free for 24 hours. (You do not need a doctor’s note). Home COVID tests are not acceptable.
- There have been 10 days since the onset of the illness and the child is better.
- Your child has been seen by a health care provider and signs a note that the illness is not COVID but a known chronic condition, or another illness (like strep throat). Treat any seasonal or environmental allergies as you have been instructed, this well help control runny noses and sneezing.
Our offices are prepared to schedule your child for a sick visit exam and test for COVID -19 if indicated. Scheduling depends on availability and we are doing our best to accommodate our families. We will partner with the Pediatric and Adolescent Urgent Care for overflow appointments.
Exposures and Close Contacts
Close contact defined as students who are within 3 feet in the classroom setting for greater than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.
Close contacts may occur from a household member as well.
1. Fully Vaccinated Close Contacts
Following CDC guidelines fully vaccinated students identified as close contacts are NOT subject to quarantine. They should be monitored for symptoms. If a vaccinated student has close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID -19 it is recommended they be tested 3-5 days after exposure. If they develop symptoms they need to follow “illness guidelines”.
2. Unvaccinated Close Contacts
We will follow the school districts and Erie County Department of Health for identification of close contacts.
If the student is a close contact, they must quarantine for 10 days from date of last exposure to the positive case. It is recommended to be tested on day of exposure and again 3-5 days later, note the student needs to quarantine for 10 days even with a negative test.
If symptoms develop the student should have a COVID test and quarantine for 10 days from onset of symptoms.