When Should Students Stay at Home? A Quick Guide for Parents

Thousands of schoolchildren have tested positive for COVID-19 nationwide and more reports of student sickness are filtering in as the school year unfolds. Data from the Indiana State Department of Health released Wednesday revealed that nearly 2,000 students and school employees tested positive for the virus in that state alone, according to USA Today.

Experts warn that parents need to be vigilant and adopt screening routines to ensure that their children and the rest of the family are protected from the virus to prevent further transmission. The difficulty in determining illness is that many of the symptoms of the annual round of colds that afflict back-to-school days are similar to those of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is constantly updating its guidance for school safety during the pandemic. According to the CDC, the main symptoms of COVID-19 in schoolchildren to look for daily are:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Muscle aches or body pains.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of taste or small.
  • Sore throat.
  • Congestion or runny nose.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea.

If children display any of these signs, keep them home. The other reasons for children to stay at home, according to USA Today, are if they have tested positive for the virus or are waiting for test results. If someone in the family or a close contact has tested positive for the virus, it is also best to keep them out of school. A quarantine doesn’t only help children from contracting COVID-19, it also helps protect family members.

Experts say that if a student with symptoms has not been tested, siblings can still go to school. However, the CDC guidelines state that if family members are at increased risk, they should limit their exposure to the coronavirus and turn to virtual learning.

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