Guidelines for Students/Staff Quarantine Due to COVID-19

  • The District recognizes that during the pandemic there could be cases of COVID-19 in our schools. To prepare for these situations, the District has developed guidance regarding when students and/or staff may need to be quarantined. Please review frequently as the guidance could change based on new information published by the Iowa Department of Education, CDC, IDPH, and JCPH.

    General Guidelines

    This section provides information regarding steps that must be taken when a student of staff member tests positive for COVID-19, tests negative for COVID-19, is in close contact with an individual that test positive, or has a more general illness:

    Positive COVID Test: Students or staff that test positive for COVID-19 may return to school after:

    • 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine)
    • Symptoms improving AND
    • 10 days since symptoms started

    Negative Test: Students or staff that test negative for COVID-19 may return to school after 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and symptoms improving.

    • Does not apply to individuals that have been in close contact with a positive individual (see Close Contact below)

    Close Contact: Determined per CDC guidelines on close contact. Contact may occur in a classroom, lunchroom, hallway, or other common space, during transportation to or from school, at practices or games, and during extracurricular activities.

    • Students:
      • If no symptoms develop after close contact, students can return to school 14 days from their last contact with the COVID-19 case
      • If symptoms develop after close contact, students should be evaluated by a health care provider
      • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate for 10 days
      • If a student tests negative for COVID-19, they must still complete their 14-day quarantine before returning to school
    • Staff
      • If no symptoms develop after close contact, staff can return to school 14 days from their last contact with the COVID-19 case
      • If symptoms develop after close contact, staff should be evaluated by a health care provider
      • If staff tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate for 10 days
      • If staff tests negative for COVID-19, they must still complete their 14-day quarantine before returning to school
      • Should a staffing shortage develop, staff may be considered critical personnel and will be allowed to return to work as long as they remain asymptomatic. However, if symptoms develop, staff must isolate immediately
      • The District will notify all staff should this approach be implemented

    Students and Staff Feeling Ill: Students or staff members should remain home when sick. Students or staff members with any of the following symptoms should stay home and are advised to seek an evaluation by a health care provider.

    • Symptoms: New cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smells, fever/chills of 100.4 or higher, vomiting, diarrhea, new headache, muscle/body aches, new fatigue, sore throat, new runny nose, new congestion, nausea, or feeling otherwise unwell.

    Students or staff that remain home with symptoms for three (3) or more days must provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to school if wanting to return before the end of the Close Contact quarantine period.

    Positive COVID-19 Cases in the School Environment

    Individual Student Quarantine: If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the individual testing positive must abide by the Positive COVID Test guidance (above) and any individuals that have been in close contact with the individual during the infectious period must follow the Close Contact guidance (above) prior to returning to school. Siblings and/or other students or staff living in the same household as the specific individual(s) testing positive are required to self-quarantine for 14 calendar days. A student or staff member’s return date will be confirmed and approved by the District. 

    When a Child is Sick at School: It is important for parents/guardians to screen their children at home daily before sending them to school. Please use the screening guidelines outlined in the ICCSD Daily Health Screener Related to COVID-19 chart.  In the event that a child becomes ill at school or displays symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the following process will be followed:

    1. The student will be sent to the school designated “sick room” separate from the health office, away from other staff and students.
    2. The school nurse (must be a licensed Registered Nurse) will evaluate the student using COVID-19 Health Assessment form, all assessments will be charted in the student’s PowerSchool electronic health chart.
    3. If the school nurse determines the student is symptomatic of a potential COVID-19 infection, they will contact the parent/guardian and ask the child to be picked up from school as soon as possible.
      a. If a parent or guardian is unable to be contacted, the school nurse will contact the student emergency contact and arrange for the student to be picked up.
    4. Families are strongly encouraged to contact their healthcare provider to report their student's symptoms and request a COVID-19 test.
      a. If your child does not have insurance, your child can be referred to the Healthy Kids School Based Clinic for testing.
      b. The family must present documentation of negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to school or follow the proper quarantine procedures.

    Contact Tracing: Schools may play a critical role in contract tracing. Contact tracing, a core disease control measure employed by local and state health department personnel for decades is a key strategy for preventing further spread of COVID-19 (CDC, 2020 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/principles-contact-tracing.html). 

    1. Johnson County Public health will train ICCSD school nurses in contact tracing.
    2. ICCSD school nurses will follow the District’s Contact Tracing Protocol.

    First Aid: First aid situations, to the degree possible, should be handled by the student and in the classroom to prevent office congregation and possible cross exposure. The document When to Send Students to the Health Office Guidelines will be provided to district employees. The following Health Office provisions will be made:

    1. There will be a separate “sick room” in each school for students displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
    2. All classrooms are stocked with bandages.
    3. School nurses are available for support via phone.
    4. Classrooms will call the health office before sending students only those with valid health concerns are sent for additional treatment to the office.