School Nurse Update - Oct. 30
Hermantown Community Schools
COVID-19 Updates - Quarantine Information
Hello! As we continue into the school year, we have had some situations arise that have been common points of confusion, so I want to share these updates with you to help clarify and to help you be prepared.
- The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) defines close contact as “being within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes”. The 15 minutes of contact do not have to be at one time, they may be cumulative time over an entire day.
- Your child must stay home to monitor for symptoms (quarantine) if they have had close contact with anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 for 14 days from the date of contact, even if they test negative. A person cannot “test out” of quarantine. So, the 14 day quarantine starts from the last day of close contact.
- I would like to draw your attention to page 7 of this document: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/attendance.pdf where it says, “what if a parent has COVID-19 and is not able to separate themselves from their children?” If the COVID-19 positive person is living in the house, they will need to isolate from the rest of the household. If that is possible, quarantine for the family members would be just 14 days from last close contact. However, if there is not a way to truly isolate, such as cases where a very young child tests positive or a caregiver tests positive, the household member will need to stay home through the positive person’s 10 day isolation, then 14 days of quarantine may start. This could potentially extend a child’s length of quarantine to 24 days.
- MDH recommends those that have been in close contact be tested for COVID-19. Recommended timing for testing is 5-7 days after exposure if asymptomatic. If that result is negative, another test is recommended at day 12. See this link from MDH: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/symptoms.html.
Waiting for test results
Please be aware that if anyone in your household is waiting for COVID-19 test results, all children need to stay home from school until the test result is back.
https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/waiting.pdf Some industries do not require this, but schools and childcare have more strict guidelines and have been directed to follow this by MDH.
Documentation of test result
- If your child has been tested for COVID-19, please send us the test result when you have it back. If the child was tested due to symptoms, we need proof of either a negative test result or alternative diagnosis from their healthcare provider for them to return before the required 10 day isolation period. https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/exguide.pdf
- Different clinics or healthcare sites may have different methods of providing test results to you. If you seek testing at St. Luke’s, we have been advised by their staff that it may be easier for you to get the test results to the school more quickly if you sign their release of information form when you go in for testing. This would be something to ask about when you are registering for your visit. For other healthcare providers, ask how they will send your test results.
Rising cases in our community
COVID-19 case numbers are going up across the state as well as in our county. Our local public health staff have reported that they are seeing more families all testing positive and cases that are linked to communal gatherings. We want to be able to stay open for students to attend in person as much as possible for as long as possible. Please help slow the spread of the virus by avoiding large gatherings, wearing your mask when around others that are not in your household, staying home when you’re not feeling well and maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance from others when you are not at home.
Continue to screen your children for symptoms before sending them to school and keep them home when symptoms arise. We appreciate all of your ongoing support as we continue to work together to keep our school community as safe as possible.
Sheina Showen, RN, PHN, LSN
Hermantown School District Nurse
218-626-6015 (High School)
218-626-6111 (Elementary School)