< Back
You are here  >   Home  >  Health Services  >  Health Notices and News

Health Notices and News

Message from your School Nurses - December 2022

Message from your School Nurses - December 2022

Dear Belmont Families,

As the holiday season approaches so does the concern of flu and other respiratory illnesses. This flu season we are facing continued concerns of rising COVID infections as well as a rise in RSV infections (respiratory syncytial virus).

Early symptoms of Covid, RSV and the flu can look similar for many children, including congestion, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, fever, and headache. Since each virus typically begins as an upper respiratory infection, it can be difficult to know which one you are dealing with when your child gets sick. The only way to determine which virus is causing an infection is by getting a test. We recommend at home COVID  testing, please note that testing more than once is recommended as it may take time for the virus to show on a home test. If your child continues to have symptoms a test negative, reach out to your health provider. Testing for all viruses can be done by health care providers and sometimes treatment may be needed for ongoing or concerning symptoms.

At-home COVID Test Kit Distribution

Belmont Public Schools will distribute COVID take-home tests the week of December 18th. These tests will provide families the opportunity to test prior to the return of school on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. There is no official sign up for these tests. Watch for more information from your school principals. Please check those backpacks! 

Here are some of the recommended uses for the COVID at-home test kits: 

  • Recommended use for return from Winter break
    • Test on Monday, January 2 or Tuesday Morning, January 3 prior to returning to school 
    • Test again towards the end of the week.
  • Other recommendations for at-home antigen tests are when an individual is:
    • Experiencing symptoms (test before returning to school)
    • Deemed to be a close contact (test on day 5 or later)

The iHealth test kits have either a July or August 2022 expiration date printed on the boxes. Please note that the expiration dates have been extended and these test kits can be used for at least 6 months past the date on the box. 

Use this link to check the most updated expiration of your iHealth test kit.

Please report all positive COVID cases here.

It is important that sick individuals continue to follow the illness policy  and stay home to reduce the spread of illness to others. Best practice would include wearing a mask when symptoms are present.

When to keep your child home:

  • A cold or COVID-like illness, in the early contagious stages (frequent sneezing, coughing, nose stuffed up, nose constantly running, child feels ill ) Please use a rapid antigen at-home COVID test prior to their return to school. 
  • A temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher.  Students should not return to school until their temperature is normal for 24 hours without fever reducing medications (Tylenol, Motrin etc.), regardless of a negative COVID test.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea. Students should not return to school for 24 hours after the last episode.
  • An undiagnosed rash.
  • Infections such as strep throat, conjunctivitis, ringworm, or impetigo, until they have been on prescribed treatment medication for 24 hours.

If your child has been sick and is still requiring frequent over the counter medications for cough, fever, or other symptoms, they are not well enough to return to school. Please be sure to keep them home until they are able to make it through the day without medication.

We do want to stress that anyone at any time can be considered a close contact without knowing it. Though it is not mandated, we strongly recommend that students and staff consider wearing a mask to school upon return from the winter break.

A yearly flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine/booster are an important step in protecting your family against illness. Contact your student’s pediatrician or visit your local pharmacy for an appointment. COVID vaccine and FLU clinics continue to be offered by the Belmont Health Department. Two additional clinics are scheduled on 12/29/22 and 1/12/23. Information will be available soon. We thank the Belmont Health Department for their collaborative efforts to keep our school community safe. 

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!

BPS Nurses

Categories: Health Newsletter, Health and Nursing Bulletin