On-Campus Learning » Health Guidance

Health Guidance

Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school on campus if the child has COVID-19 symptoms (as listed below) or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and instead should opt to receive remote instruction.

 

COVID Symptoms

In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, consider the following questions: 

  • Have they recently begun experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal for them?
    • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit 
    • Loss of taste or smell 
    • Cough 
    • Difficulty breathing  
    • Shortness of breath 
    • Headache 
    • Chills   
    • Sore throat 
    • Shaking or exaggerated shivering 
    • Significant muscle pain or ache  
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea or Vomiting
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Abdominal Pain
 
If a child has had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, the child will be asked to stay home until the 10 day incubation period has passed. 
 

Based on the updated close contact guidelines from the CDC released on December 2, effective immediately, students and staff who are in close contact will an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, will no longer quarantine for 14 days. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Return to work or school may occur on day 8 or thereafter (after 7 full days of quarantine) if…
    • no symptoms during the quarantine period;
    • a PCR or BinaxNOW test done 48 hours prior to the last day of quarantine is negative. Example: If the last day of full quarantine is on day seven the screening test may be performed on day six or seven and if negative may return to school on day eight;
    • the individual will continue to self-monitor daily; and
    • the individual is able to wear a mask.

Close contact is defined as: 

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes and not wearing a face covering.
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them).
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

 

Student is Lab-Confirmed for COVID19
In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met and verified by the school:

  • at least 24 hours have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications),
  • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND
  • at least 10 calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
 
If an individual receives a positive COVID-19 antigen test,
  • the results can be overridden with 2 negative PCR tests taken 24 hours apart.
 
In the case of an indvidual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the following conditions have been met:
  • at least 24 hours have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications),
  • at least 10 calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared; AND
  • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).
 
If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either:
  • obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis OR
  • obtain a PCR test at an approved testing location https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/ that comes back negative for COVID-19.
  • obtain a BinaxNOW rapid antigen test offered at the district testing site for free or at your healthcare provider.

 

Individuals are presumed infectious at least two days prior to symptom onset or, in the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, two days prior to the confirming lab test.

 

An individual may be immune from close contact quarantine if the following conditions are met:

  • the individual has tested positive for COVID in the last 3 months (90 days) and
  • evidence of a positive COVID-19 test is provided.

 

Quarantine

Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others. Based on the new CDC guidelines released on December 2:

  • Individuals may return to work or school after 7 full days of quarantine if the following criteria are met:
    • no symptoms during the quarantine period;
    • a PCR or BinaxNOW rapid test done 48 hours prior to the last day of quarantine is negative. Example: If the last day of full quarantine is on day seven the screening test may be performed on day six or seven and if negative may return to school on day eight;
    • the individual will continue to self-monitor daily; and
    • the individual is able to wear a mask.
  • During this time, watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

Isolation 

This is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected.

  • People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. 
  • In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils
  • Wear a cloth face covering when around other people, if able
 
Airborne Transmission
The CDC has updated guidelines regarding airborne transmission of COVID-19:
  • Some infections can be spread by exposure to virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours. These viruses may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space.
  • There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away. These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.
    • Under these circumstances, scientists believe that the amount of infectious smaller droplet and particles produced by the people with COVID-19 became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people. The people who were infected were in the same space during the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left.
 
Please refer to CDC COVID-19 guidelines for additional information.