School Health Services

  • Key Health Information

    Dismissal and Exclusion Guidelines (Sept. 2020)

    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haverhill Public Schools Dismissal and Exclusion Guidelines must align with MDPH/DESE/CDC guidance. The single most important thing to do if any of the following symptoms are present is to STAY HOME. Our collective health relies, in part, on individual attention and responsibility. Note that some symptoms of COVID-19 are the same as the flu or a bad cold; please do not assume it is another condition. When in doubt, stay home.

    Based on this COVID-19 guidance, students and staff will be dismissed and/or excluded for the following single or combination of symptoms as indicated.

    • Fever (100.0 or higher), chills or shaking chills
    • Cough (not due to other cause, such as chronic cough)
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
    • Muscle aches or body aches
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    • Fatigue when in combination with other symptoms
    • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms

    If exhibiting symptoms at home, contact school to report absence and plan for testing and follow-up.

    If student or staff is sent home from school by the school nurse, he/she is not allowed to return to school the following day, as most symptoms require at least 24 hours to resolve.

    When a student/staff person may return to school after COVID-19 symptoms:

    • If a student or staff member has COVID-19-like symptoms, they may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis). For example, Strep throat must be treated with antibiotics for at least 24 hours prior to returning to school.
    • If a student or staff member presents COVID-19-like symptoms and chooses not to be tested, they may return to school 10 days from start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever reducing medication.

    When a close contact may return to school:

    • All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. After further consultation with the medical community, we are updating this guidance as the virus can cause illness from 2-14 days after exposure and even asymptomatic individuals can transmit the virus. Going forward, even if an individual identified as a close contact receives a negative test result, they must continue to self-quarantine for the full 14 days as the virus may take up to 14 days to cause illness.

    Additionally, students will be sent home by the school nurse with the following:

    • Rash of unknown origin, particularly those accompanied by fever or behavior change suggestive of infectious disease. Must be evaluated by a doctor and note sent for re-entry into school.
    • Live head lice. Must be treated a t home, and then re-checked by the school nurse, preferably with parent/guardian present, upon return to school

    If student or staff is sent home from school by the school nurse, he/she is not allowed to return to school the following day, as most symptoms require at least 24 hours to resolve.

    If you have questions about when it is safe to return to school, please contact your school nurse.

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