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Important reminders about COVID-19 symptoms and testing

This message provides important reminders about Minnesota Dept. of Health (MDH) guidance for COVID-19 symptoms and testing.

Students sent home with symptoms of COVID-19

As always, please keep your student home when they are feeling ill. If your student comes to school and begins to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, they will be asked the Student Daily Health Screening questions. Based on their answers to these screening questions, they may be sent home.

If a student is sent home because they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, siblings who live in the same household as the symptomatic student will also be sent home, regardless of the school they attend.

The symptomatic student may return to school 24 hours after symptoms have improved OR as directed by a healthcare provider as long as…

  • The symptomatic student receives an alternate diagnosis from a health care provider to explain the symptoms, OR
  • The symptomatic person tests negative for COVID-19, OR
  • The full 10 day quarantine has elapsed.

In all three of these cases, siblings of the symptomatic student may return to school as soon as the alternate diagnosis or negative test result is known.

Students who have tested positive for COVID-19

If the symptomatic student tests positive for COVID-19, they must stay at home in isolation for at least 10 days from the time the symptoms started. At the 10-day mark, they must have had no fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. If fever or other symptoms have not faded after 10 days, the student must remain in isolation until they no longer experience symptoms.

Siblings and other household contacts must stay home and quarantine from all activities for at least 14 days, beginning with the day they were last in contact with the person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Students waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test

If a student is tested for COVID-19 because it is required for an upcoming medical procedure and they are not exhibiting symptoms, they do not need to stay home from school while awaiting test results.

If a student is tested for COVID-19 because they were in close contact with a person who tested positive but who did not show symptoms, the student should stay home for 14 days. The student will need to stay home for this period of time even if their test comes back negative.

If a student is tested for any other reason than those listed above but does not have symptoms or has not been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, they must stay home while awaiting results. If the test result is negative, the student may return to school immediately.

Please refer to the COVID-19 Decision Tree for People in Schools for more information about these procedures.

Finally, please remember that because there is virus activity in our community, you can expect that there will be virus activity (and close contacts with confirmed cases) in our schools. I want to reassure you that our schools will continue to follow MDH health and safety protocols, and we will inform families in affected buildings about confirmed cases and close contacts following MDH communication guidance.

David Moredock, CPP®

Coordinator of Risk Management