IF A STUDENT, STAFF TESTS POSITIVE (+) FOR COVID-19
7. IF A STUDENT, STAFF TESTS POSITIVE (+) FOR COVID-19
In the event that a Student or a Staff member tests positive for Covid-19, the following procedures should be followed:
The student or staff member must remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. For most people who have relatively mild illness, they will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms. Repeated testing is not recommended prior to returning to school/work, since people may continue to test positive for 90 days, though they are no longer contagious. Return to work/school will be based on time and symptom resolution.
• The student’s parent/caregiver or the staff member informs the proper school official (e.g. a designated person that is the COVID-19 school lead) that the individual has tested positive for COVID-19. The designated COVID-19 school lead in turn notifies others as pre-determined by the school (e.g., school leadership, school nurse or school medical point of contact, building management, maintenance).
• Determine whether the student or staff member was on the premises during the time frame that started two days prior to symptom onset (or testing positive if not symptomatic) until the time of isolation.
o If so, promptly close off areas visited by the positive/ill individual until such areas can be cleaned and disinfected, if they have not been cleaned and disinfected already.
o Promptly clean and disinfect the student’s or staff member’s classroom and any other facilities (e.g., extracurricular facilities) visited by the individual, if that has not been done already. o Promptly clean and disinfect the bus(es) the student or staff member was on, if any, and if not already done. o Shore will inform DESE by calling the DESE Rapid Response Help Center.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (e.g., student has self-contained classroom throughout the day):
• Send a communication to the other families in the student’s class (e.g., cohort) that there has been a positive test without naming the individual student or staff member who tested positive.
• Communications sent to families/staff should:
• Inform them there was a positive test (not the specific individual) in the self-contained classroom.
• Identify the student(s) in the classroom that may be considered close contacts of the person who has tested (+), i.e within 6 feet of the person with a positive test, for at least 15 minutes, while the person was infectious. Persons may be infectious for (2) days prior to symptom onset.
•Recommend that those designated as close contacts be tested, consult with their health care provider, and isolate, prior to their test and while waiting for the results. In general, as the highest yield test will be a few days after the exposure, ideally, the test should occur no sooner than day 4 or 5 after the last exposure. (In other words, if an exposure lasted several days, the best time to test is 4 or 5 days after the end of the exposure period.)
• Explain that close contacts should remain home in self-quarantine for 14 days, even if they test negative.
• Remind families and/or staff of the importance of not having contact with higher-risk individuals (e.g., grandparents and those with underlying medical conditions).
• Remind families and/or staff of the list of COVID-19 symptoms for which to monitor.
If the school finds out about the original COVID-19 positive test in the middle of a school day when the rest of the cohort is in class:
• Make sure these students are wearing masks, including in kindergarten and first grade. Extra masks as may be needed should be provided by the school. Enforce strict physical distancing. Require students to wash their hands.
• The school should quickly identify the individuals who may be “close contacts” of the student and notify students and their families. o Caregivers of students in the class or other close contacts may pick students up prior to the end of the day. Caregivers must wear a mask/face covering when picking up their student. Students who are close contacts and students with any symptoms should not ride the school bus to get home. Caregivers and students, as well as staff, should wash their hands upon arriving at home and change their clothes as a precaution.
o As feasible, to assist with contact tracing, make a list including phone number and email of any other close contacts the student or staff member had, beginning two days before the onset of symptoms (or positive test if asymptomatic) until individual was isolated. Instruct those students and/or staff members to get tested according to the same protocol as the student’s cohort above.
MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL (e.g., no single self-contained classroom):
The school should identify the student’s or staff member’s possible “close contacts” based on the assigned seating charts. The look back period should begin two days before symptoms appeared (or two days prior to the date of the positive test if there were no symptoms) and include up until the time the student was isolated. Consider students and staff members who were within 6 feet of the individual for 10-15 minutes in class, on the school bus, or at extracurricular activities.
o Follow the communication and other relevant Elementary School protocols above.
o •Recommend that those designated as close contacts be tested, consult with their health care provider, and isolate, prior to their test and while waiting for the results. In general, as the highest yield test will be a few days after the exposure, ideally, the test should occur no sooner than day 4 or 5 after the last exposure. (In other words, if an exposure lasted several days, the best time to test is 4 or 5 days after the end of the exposure period.)
Explain that close contacts should remain home in self-quarantine for 14 days, even if they test negative.
An individual who does not wish to be tested should instead quarantine for 14 days and until asymptomatic.
IF OTHERS IN THE SCHOOL TEST POSITIVE: Perform all steps under this protocol for that person. ALSO FOLLOW: “Protocol: Presence of multiple cases in the school.
IF NO OTHERS IN THE SCHOOL TEST POSITIVE: Close contacts can return to school immediately if they test negative and do not have symptoms; however, strict mask wearing covering the nose and mouth must be maintained at all times. The wearing of masks includes K-1 students for this 14-day period. If they have symptoms but test negative regardless, they should wait until they are asymptomatic for 24 hours before returning to school.
Any area of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred