Update from the Health Office

Posted on 09/30/2020
Dear South Washington Alternative High School Families,

At the beginning of the school year, South Washington County Schools communicated its expectations that safety is a shared responsibility. Staff, students and families play an important role in helping our schools stay open as long and as safely as possible.

Please know that any sick student who is sent to school, or is determined to be sick during the school day, will immediately be sent home. We cannot risk the health of other students and adults at school, even if the illness may not appear to be COVID-19 related.

Our school nurses and health staff are the health experts. They follow all guidance and rules related to student illness during COVID-19, including when students should be sent home from school. To help provide clarity to the decision-making, I am sharing the chart from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) that shows what happens when a student is sick at school. Our health office staff will help determine how long a student should be out of school in consultation with MDH and based on the following criteria:

If students have ONE of the symptoms listed below, they will need to stay home for 24 hours after the symptom has improved.
● Sore throat
● Nausea
● Vomiting
● Diarrhea
● Chills
● Muscle pain
● Excessive fatigue
● New onset of severe headache
● New onset of nasal congestion or runny nose

If students have ONE or more of the symptoms listed below, they will be excluded from school (at least 10 days without medical diagnosis) and recommended to see a medical provider to be evaluated for COVID-19.
● Temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or above
● New onset and/or worsening cough
● Difficulty breathing
● New loss of sense of taste and/or smell

If students have TWO or more of the symptoms listed below, they will be excluded from school (at least 10 days without medical diagnosis) and recommended to see a medical provider to be evaluated for COVID-19.
● Sore throat
● Nausea
● Vomiting
● Diarrhea
● Chills
● Muscle pain
● Excessive fatigue
● New onset of severe headache
● New onset of nasal congestion or runny nose

Please note that if your child has symptoms similar to COVID-19, they may return to school 24 hours after symptoms improve if they are evaluated by a health care provider and they receive:

● A negative COVID-19 test result OR
● An alternative diagnosis

If your child becomes sick, you will receive guidance from our school nurse or health office staff. If you or your child need to be tested for COVID-19, please contact your health care provider or visit this website for testing locations near you.

We understand how badly families want their child to be in school. It’s important to know that if students attend while sick, we risk infecting more students and staff which will force us to transition to distance learning. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Nick Falde

Principal

South Washington Alternative High School