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When to Stay Home Because of Illness

Too Sick for School?

A sick student has a hard time learning and may not be able to participate in class. Keeping a sick student home allows them to rest and recover, and prevents the spread of illness in the school community.

On March 18th, the Department of Health released new guidance regarding COVID and other respiratory illnesses. The guidance states to stay home if there are signs of respiratory illness that do not have a known cause (such as allergies). Symptoms can include (from the CDC): fever, chills, fatigue, cough, runny nose and headache.

Students may return to school and normal activities when BOTH of the following have been true for 24 hours:

  • Symptoms are getting better overall AND
  • There has been no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication)

When your student returns to school after a respiratory illness, they should wear a mask for 5 days after they return.

If they test positive for COVID but have no symptoms, they may attend school but should wear a mask for 5 days after they return. 

There are other medical conditions besides COVID-19 that may require your child to stay home from school. If your child has any of the following symptoms, please keep them home and contact their school:

  • Fever (over 100.4) or chills (must be fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to school)
  • Appearance, behavior – unusually tired, pale, lack of appetite, difficult to wake up, confused or irritable
  • Sore throat (especially with fever or swollen glands)
  • Persistent nasal drainage and/or consistent cough
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (must be free of these symptoms for at least 24 hours before returning to school)
  • Eyes – white or yellow drainage, vision change, and/or redness of the eyelid or skin around the eye, itchiness, pain, or sensitivity to light.  Students can remain in school if there is only minimal redness to the white of the eye and no other signs.
  • Ear pain – consult with the student’s health care provider if your student complains of ongoing inner ear pain. Treatment may be necessary.
  • Rash – body rash, especially with fever or itching. 

Contact your healthcare provider if your student is experiencing any symptoms that are of concern to you. If you need assistance finding a clinic, contact your School Nurse.