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Nursing Reminders March 2022

Nursing Reminders March 2022

Dear Belmont Families,

Illness and Daily Symptom Checking

With cold, flu, allergy season, and continuing COVID cases among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, daily symptom checking remains one of our most important mitigation strategies. If your student is sick, keep them home until fever free and symptoms have improved to reduce the spread of all illnesses.

Be sure to review the SYMPTOM CHECKER  before sending your student to school each day. All students and staff with symptoms are required to stay home and fill out your school absence form, regardless of vaccination status or recent COVID status.

  • Fill out the appropriate school absence form and STAY HOME. Your school nurse is made aware of an absence from this form.
  • Once the form is received, your school nurse will provide a plan of care/testing to return to school depending on symptoms and circumstances
  • BPS continues to recommend PCR testing. At-home antigen tests are also accepted. All results must be reported to the nurse. Individuals with past COVID infections may use at-home antigen tests when symptoms are present.
  • Isolate immediately upon notification of positive result
  • Return to school only IF symptoms have improved significantly, AND fever free for 24 hours prior to return to school ( less than 100.0 without fever-reducing medication)
  • Best practice would include wearing a mask while in school until symptoms fully resolve
  • If symptoms have not improved, remain home until above criteria is met.

There are times when a student should remain at home for his/her own welfare and for the protection of other students.  The following criteria may be used to determine when a child should remain at home:

  1. A cold in the contagious stage (first few days)
  2. Sore throat and swollen neck glands accompanied by a fever
  3. Undiagnosed rash or skin eruptions
  4. Earache, red eyes or drainage from eyes
  5. Any communicable disease
  6. Fever of 100 degrees or higher during the past 24 hours
  7. Vomiting or a few episodes of diarrhea within the past 24 hours
  8. They are unable “make it through” the entire school day due to symptoms of an illness

Mask Reminders

  • Masks must be worn at all times when in the school health office
  • Mask Protocol for individuals who test positive for COVID
    • Following the 5-day isolation period, wear a mask for 5 additional days when around others, other than when eating, drinking, or outside.
  • Mask Protocol for asymptomatic, unvaccinated individuals identified as close contacts outside of school settings (upon return to school after 5 days of quarantine and asymptomatic) Wear a mask, other than when eating, drinking, or outside, and conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10
  • Mask Protocol for symptomatic individuals: Return to school post-symptoms and negative COVID test
    • Best practice would include wearing a mask until symptoms are fully resolved.

Isolation Update

On March 23, 2022, the Belmont School Committee voted to remove the mandatory 10 day isolation period for unvaccinated individuals. BPS will follow the DESE, CDC, and MDPH guidance for ALL individuals regardless of their vaccination status. The isolation period for COVID positive cases is a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset or after positive PCR or an antigen test, if asymptomatic. The individual may return to activities/school on day 6, followed by 5 days of mask wearing when around others, other than when eating, drinking, or outside.

At-home Antigen Testing Program

If you have not already opted-in to the DESE at-home antigen test program, we encourage you to do so. For previous notices and opt-in form click Here. If you are already in this program, please do not resubmit. This program is for vaccinated, unvaccinated, history of COVID or no history of COVID.

  • Recommended use for at-home antigen tests:
    • Experiencing symptoms (test before returning to school) (testing every day while symptoms are present is preferred)
    • Deemed to be a close contact (test on day 5 or later)

Routine COVID Safety Checks - POOLED TESTING

Individual results are not reported unless your child is in a positive pool. If your child is part of a positive pool, you will receive an email from Veritas with a link to review the results. Please be sure to open this email. If you receive positive results, keep your child home, as isolation should begin immediately. This is the only time individual results will be received. CDC Quarantine and Isolation

Refer to the Testing Positive Page  for your return to school information

  • If your student has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, they should not participate in Routine COVID safety checks (pooled testing) to avoid false positives.
  • All individuals (vaccinated and unvaccinated) are strongly encouraged to participate in Routine COVID Safety Checks.

Pooled testing information and data can be found here

Vaccine Updates and Information

There will be a presentation and community discussion on March 31, 2022 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. regarding COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5-11 with special health needs. The presenters will discuss the importance of COVID-19 vaccination, address common questions and concerns about the vaccine, and talk about how they made decisions about vaccinating their medically complex children. There will be time for Q&A and open conversation.

This event will have simultaneous interpretation in the following languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese.

For more information: Children & Youth with Special Health Needs (CYSHN) Town Hall – Federation for Children with Special Needs (fcsn.org)

BPS Current Vaccination Rates can be found here

Be Well!

BPS Nurses

Categories: Health and Nursing Bulletin