Return to Headlines

STRONG SCHOOLS TOOLKIT: New Guidance from NCDHHS

The StrongSchoolsNC Public HealthToolkit was updated on March 24th with changes to protocols and the screening symptom checklist. 

Please take a moment to review the letter that will be sent home with your child if they are sent home due to a symptom identified by the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit.

Here is the language taken directly from the Toolkit:

"There are new recommendations and requirements incorporated into this section and throughout this guidance in alignment with the CDC. The presence of any of the symptoms below generally suggests a student, teacher, or staff member has an infectious illness and should not attend school, regardless of whether the illness is COVID-19. For students, staff, and teachers with chronic conditions, symptom presence should represent a change from their typical health status to warrant exclusion from school. Occurrence of any of the symptoms below, which are newly updated in alignment with the CDC, while a student, teacher, or staff member is at school suggests the person may be referred for diagnostic COVID-19 testing. 

• Fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) 
• Sore throat 
• Cough (for people with chronic cough due to allergies or asthma, a change in their cough from baseline) 
• Difficulty breathing (for people with asthma, a change from their baseline breathing)
• New loss of taste or smell 
• Diarrhea or vomiting 
• New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever"

 

 

What does the letter look like?

Below is a copy of the updated letter that will be sent home with a student who is sent home due to a COVID-19 issue.

(LETTER)

Brunswick County Schools

COVID-19 Parent/Guardian Notification

 

Date: __________________ Homeroom Teacher: _____________________________ Bus number: ________

To Parent/Guardian of (Child’s Name) ________________________________________________________, 

In compliance with NC DHHS and the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Tool Kit, your child is being sent home due to one of the following (check all that apply):

  • Reported and confirmed exposure to COVID-19
  • Reported and confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19
  • Positive for symptoms of COVID-19
    • Fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
    • Sore throat
    • Cough (for people with chronic cough due to allergies or asthma, a change in their cough from baseline)
    • Difficulty breathing (for people with asthma, a change from their baseline breathing)
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Diarrhea or vomiting
    • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever

The Brunswick County Schools’ District COVID Response Nurse will be in contact with Brunswick County Health Services to determine the date your child may return.  You will receive a call from the District COVID Response Nurse and/or Brunswick County Health Services to notify you of this date based on the following:

 

IF YOUR CHILD IS SENT HOME FOR SYMPTOMS

If you take your child to the doctor and they test  POSITIVE for COVID-19:

 

  • Both the PRC/Molecular and Rapid COVID-19 test results are acceptable.

 

  • They should remain out of school until 10 days have passed since the date of the test
  • They may return to school after 10 days if you can answer YES to ALL these questions::
    • Has it been at least 10 day since your child first had symptoms?
    • Has it been at least 24 hours since your child had a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine)?
    • Has there been symptom improvement, including cough and shortness of breath?

 

If you take your child to the doctor and they test  NEGATIVE for COVID-19:

 

  • The only negative results accepted will be the PRC/Molecular COVID-19 test: Rapid COVID-19 negative test results will not be accepted per North Carolina state guidelines.

 

  • They can return to school once you can answer YES to ALL these questions:
    • Has it been at least 24 hours since your child had a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine)?
    • Has there been symptom improvement, including cough and shortness of breath?

 

If you take your child to the doctor and the doctor gives confirmation of an ALTERNATIVE DIAGNOSIS (ear infection, strep throat, etc.) that would explain the COVID-19 like symptom(s):

  • They may return to school following normal school policies (child must be free of the following for 24 hours: free from a fever of 100.3 or greater, vomiting and diarrhea without the use of medication). 
  • THIS REQUIRES PROOF OF DOCTOR VISIT AND NOTE FROM DOCTOR CONFIRMING ALTERNATIVE DIAGNOSIS.

 

IF YOUR CHILD IS SENT HOME FOR EXPOSURE: They should remain out of school for 14 days since the last known contact.  Even if they test negative for COVID-19, they must complete the full 14 days of quarantine.

 

Please bring your child into the front office, when they return to school, along with any supporting documentation regarding release from isolation/quarantine.  They may not board the bus without prior approval or be dropped off at the car drop off line without prior approval. If you have any questions, you may contact your school nurse.