Monday, December 14, 2020
Letter to HSPVA Families from Nurse Jordan
Dear HSPVA Families,
I want to share with you the latest updates to HISDs guidelines on quarantine and isolation. Please understand that HISD guidelines for quarantine and isolation change often. Proceeding forward I will have updated guidelines emailed to you as soon as they are available.
METHODS OF COMMUNICATION
When I need to notify parents that their child is being placed on an exposure quarantine, I really like to call and speak to the parent first. This phone call is followed by a detailed email to the parent containing quarantine dates and information. However, last week I discovered in the interest of time, there may be occasions when I am not able to call parents first before emailing them exposure quarantine information. When you receive an exposure quarantine information email from me, please email or call me if you have any questions or concerns.
In addition to email and phone calls to parents I also utilize Survey Monkey to conduct Wellness Check’s (one in the Fall, one in the Spring) of our student body and to collect information to update the electronic health record of students with a medical condition. Survey Monkey is HIPAA and FERPA compliant. Information collected via Survey Monkey for Wellness Checks and Medical Condition Updates is put into the student’s electronic health record. Upon transcription of information from your survey response into your child’s electronic health record all responses are deleted from Survey Monkey.
Starting next month, January 2021, I am going to begin using a survey to screen and clear your child for return to campus after quarantine or isolation. The survey link will come to you in an email within the last 24-48 hours of your child’s quarantine or isolation period. Parents or guardians will complete the survey. When you receive a survey from the me if you would prefer that I call you just send me an email letting me know.
HISDs SICK, STAY HOME PROTOCOL
In the past, before COVID-19, we all have come to school or work a little under the weather at some point in our lives. However, due to COVID-19, HISD is asking that students and staff that have any one or more symptoms of COVID-19 refrain from going on campus and participate in class virtually if able. There have been positive COVID-19 cases where the person only presented with one symptom, just a runny nose, just a cough, just a sore throat, just diarrhea, etc.
If your child is presenting with any symptom(s) of COVID-19 and it is brought to the attention of the nurse, your child will be sent home. Your child will be placed in the Student Health Isolation Pod until you arrive to pick them up.
Any student or staff member that presents with one or more COVID-19 symptoms will be placed on a 10-day Presumed Positive Isolation.
SYMPTOMS of COVID-19
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New onset confusion or dizziness
- Inability to stay awake
- Conjunctivitis aka Pink Eye (Rare, 1-3% of cases)
- Skin rash (no specific pattern)
QUARANTINE VS ISOLATION
Even though these two words are used synonymously, they have different meanings. Quarantine is the status for someone separated from others due to having been exposed to a contagious pathogen (i.e. COVID-19). Isolation is the status of someone that is separated from others because they are a known positive case, or they are a presumed positive case due to their presentations of symptoms.
PRESUMED POSITIVE ISOLATION
If your child presents with one or more signs of COVID-19 they will be placed on a 10-day isolation. They are not to return to campus until they have been cleared from isolation by me. Presumed positive isolation may end early if they test negative for COVID-19. The test can be taken on or after Day 5 of the isolation period. Test taken prior to Day 5 of your child’s isolation period cannot be considered.
In addition to a negative test result, your child will also need to present a doctor’s note stating a non-COVID-19 diagnosis for the symptom(s) your child presented and a clearance to return to school date. The doctor’s note must have a diagnosis and a return date, or the note cannot be considered. The doctor’s note may be from any provider (MD, DO, PA, NP).
If your child has been exposed to COVID-19 while on campus, at home or out in the community, they will be placed on a 7-10 day Exposure Quarantine. The HISD exposure quarantine has been changed from a 14-day quarantine to a 7-10 day quarantine.
In the 7-10 day quarantine, your child can take a COVID-19 test (of any kind) on or after Day 5 of their quarantine period. If the test is negative, they must still quarantine for Days 6 and 7, and on Day 8 if they are symptom free, they may return to campus.
Regardless of whether your child returns early or completes 10 full days of quarantine upon returning to campus you must continue to monitor your child’s health for any changes and symptoms of COVID-19. If your child develops any one or more symptoms of COVID-19, you must notify me, and you should seek medical attention from a provider as needed.
HOW ARE QUARANTINE/ISOLATION DATES CALCULATED
Day 0 is the onset of symptoms. This is the first day someone presents with COVID-19 symptom(s). It can also indicate the date someone received a positive COVID-19 test if they are asymptomatic. Lastly, it can also indicate the day someone was exposed to someone that is COVID-19 positive or presumed positive.
Day 1 is the first day of the quarantine or isolation period. It will be the very next day that follows Day 0.
Day 10 is also a quarantine day unless a stipulation for early release from quarantine or isolation has been met.
If you have questions or comments about your child’s quarantine or isolation dates, please ask.
COVID-19 TESTING AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS ON HISD CAMPUSES
HISD is in the process of establishing COVID-19 testing on campus for students and staff. The testing will be voluntary. Testing of students will require a permission slip. Currently the exact date we will be able to start testing students on HSPVA’s campus is unknown. It is anticipated that we will be able to test students and staff on our campus late next month, January. I will provide you with more information about the test when it becomes available.