Niskayuna School Health Office COVID-19 Protocols

Last Updated: Oct. 15, 2020

Daily Health Screening

Prior to arrival each day, all staff members and parents/families are required to complete a standardized, digital health screening tool provided by the district. This requires parents to check their child’s temperature each morning. If the individual’s temperature is 100.0° F or greater, or if they are exhibiting other symptoms of COVID-19, they will not be able to come to school. The screening tool also includes questions designed to assess for risk of exposure to COVID-19. If you are home sick, please complete the online screening to alert the school. Students that were not screened at home will need to have their temperature checked upon arrival at school by the nurse or designee.

Can I go to school/work today?

Based on the New York State Department of Health “Pre-K to Gr 12 COVID-19 Toolkit”, Oct. 2, 2020

As outlined in the district’s daily health screening questionnaire, a student or staff member CAN report to school/work if all of the following are satisfied:

  • They have not been tested for COVID-19 in the past 10 days.
  • In the past 14 days, they have not traveled internationally to a CDC level 2 or 3 COVID-19 related travel health notice country, or to a state or territory on the NYS Travel Advisory List, or they have not been designated a contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 by a local health department; AND
  • They do not currently have, and have not had for the past 10 days, any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 (see COVID-19 symptoms below).

In the event you have been tested for COVID-19 in the past 10 days and are either still awaiting results or received a positive result:

  • You cannot return to school or work until your test results are back and are negative or, if positive, the local health department has released you from isolation.

In the event you traveled to a CDC level 2 or 3 COVID-19 related travel health notice country, or to a state or territory on the NYS Travel Advisory List, or have been designated a contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 by a local health department:

  • You cannot return to school or work until the local health department releases you from quarantine, at least 14 days from the date of your last exposure. A negative diagnostic COVID-19 test does not change the 14-day quarantine requirement.

If you currently have, or have had in the last 10 days, a new or worsening symptom of COVID-19:

  • You should be assessed by your healthcare provider. If you do not have one, please call your local health department (Albany County – 518-447-4580; Saratoga County – 518-885-2276; – Schenectady County – 518-386-2824 (option 4).
  • For specific protocols when symptoms are experienced, please see “Return to School After Displaying Symptoms” below.

For Students/Staff with COVID-19 diagnosis with lab test:

If a student or staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19 with a diagnostic lab test, they must remain in isolation (at home and away from others) until the local health department has released them from isolation, which is typically:

  • 10 days after onset of symptoms; AND
  • Symptoms are improving; AND
  • Fever-free for 72 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications)

When someone who tested positive for COVID-19 is in isolation, all members of the household must quarantine at home until released by the local health department (typically 14 days).

If students or staff become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 at school:

Call the school nurse if student(s) are reporting symptoms of COVID-19. The student will be evaluated by the nurse and sent to the isolation area if deemed necessary. Students/Staff with a temperature of 100.0 F° or greater, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, headache, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, body aches or a positive response to a screening question will be placed in the isolation room and parent will be called to pick up student. Students/Staff will be kept 6 feet apart from one another. Students will be escorted from isolation area to their parent/guardian. Students/Staff will be referred to their health care provider.

Return to school after displaying symptoms:

The district’s protocols and procedures for students or staff members to return to school/work after displaying COVID-19 symptoms are based on the New York State Department of Health’s “Pre-K to Gr 12 COVID-19 Toolkit,” released Oct. 2, 2020. These protocols apply to an individual who report symptoms via the screening tool or who displays symptoms at school/work. A student or staff member who has COVID-19 symptoms must remain out of school/work until they are evaluated by a healthcare provider AND one of the following takes place:

  1. Your healthcare provider gives a diagnosis of a known chronic condition with unchanged symptoms or a confirmed acute illness AND COVID-19 is not suspected. A signed note explaining the alternate diagnosis is required;
  2. Healthcare Provider recommends a COVID-19 diagnostic test with note from HCP indicating test was negative or a copy of negative test results.
  3. Release from isolation by the local health department (if positive test result).

In the event a COVID-19 test is recommended by a healthcare provider but refused, the individual cannot return to school/work until they are released from isolation by the local health department, which is typically: at least 10 days have passed since symptoms appeared; symptoms are improving; and they are fever free for 72 hours (without fever-reducing medication.)
In the event of a positive COVID-19 test: See “For Students/Staff with COVID-19 diagnosis with lab test” above.

In the event of a negative COVID-19 test: Students and staff can come to school/work if symptoms are improving, they are fever-free for 24 hours, and they provide either a note from a healthcare provider indicating the COVID-19 test was negative or a copy of the negative test result.

When a Household Member is Displaying Symptoms

Based on the New York State Department of Health “Pre-K to Gr 12 COVID-19 Toolkit”, Oct. 2, 2020:

  • Students and staff members who are well but live in a household with someone displaying symptoms (but have not tested positive) can come to school/work.
  • Students and staff members who are well but live in a household with someone being tested for COVID-19 may attend school while the family awaits test results.
  • Students and staff members who have family members who test positive must follow the local health department’s quarantine protocols and cannot come to school work.
  • Students who are children of staff members who are quarantined but have not tested positive can come to school.
  • If a student displays symptoms and the family refuses to have them tested, all family members must quarantine until the end of the 10-day period outlined in the protocols.

COVID-19 Symptoms

If an individual reports that one of the following symptoms are new or worsening, an individual cannot come to school/work:

  • A temperature of 100.0° F or greater
  • Feel feverish or have chills
  • Cough
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue/feeling of tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose

Health Hygiene:

  1. Stay home if you feel sick.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask or face covering
  3. Adhere to social distancing instructions. Remain 6 feet apart.
  4. Report symptoms of, or exposure to COVID-19
  5. Follow hand hygiene guidelines
  6. Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette

Hand washing should occur:

  • Before and after eating snacks and lunch
  • After going to the restroom, or after a staff member assists a student with toileting.
  • After using a tissue
  • Before and after using shared materials
  • Before and after putting on or taking off face masks.
  • After coming in from the outdoors/recess
  • Anytime hands are visibly soiled

Respiratory Hygiene:

COVID-19 spreads from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes. It is important for staff and students to carry out the following respiratory hygiene practices.

  • Cover a cough or sneeze using a tissue.
  • If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into their elbow.
  • Wash hands after sneezing or coughing.
  • Face coverings are protective. Wear a face mask to keep respiratory droplets and aerosols from being widely dispersed into the air.

These protocols are subject to change per CDC/DOH guidelines, thank you for your cooperation. We are here to answer your questions, or assist you in any way we can.

Sincerely,
Niskayuna School Nurses