Resources and Information on 2020-21 Opening

Health and Medical Guidance Information

Important Contact and Links

The Heights School Health and Medical Information Office
Isaac White RN, iwhite@heights.edu, 301.365.0227 x199

Response to a Laboratory Confirmed Case of COVID-19 and Persons with COVID-19-like Illness in Schools (Updated 11/13/20):
https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/COVID-19%20response%20for%20schools%20and%20decision%20aid_11.13.20.pdf

Maryland Department of Health Decision Aid for Absences and Return to School: Revised 11.13.20

Checklist: Planning for In-Person Classes:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/pdf/Back-to-School-Planning-for-In-Person-Classes.pdf

COVID-19 – Health Care Workers Care for Children Guide:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/pediatric-hcp.html

Montgomery County, Maryland, Reopening Guide:
https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/reopening/requirements/nonpublic-schools.html

Maryland Department of Health COVID-19 Testing FAQs:
https://phpa.health.maryland.gov//Documents/coronavirus_testing_FAQ-2.pdf

Medical Guidance and Health Scenarios

Any student or faculty member who has a symptom-based suspected case of COVID-19 including those with COVID-19-like illness and probable COVID-19 should stay at home based on the following Maryland Department of Health Guidelines:

  1. Symptom: Only one (1) of the following symptoms. Action: Monitor for second symptom. A student or faculty member may return to school once they have demonstrated a temperature below 100.4°F for over 24 hours while unmedicated andimprovement of symptoms (e.g. cough).
    • Fever of 100.4° or higher (measured or subjective)
    • Chills or shaking chills
    • Muscle aches
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Congestion or runny nose
  1. Symptom: Only one (1) of the following symptoms. Action: Student or faculty member must get tested or evaluated by a physician before returning to school. Any individual with symptoms must remain at home until test results are finalized or their physician has cleared them to return to school. School nurse will work with parents to determine date of return.
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • New loss of taste or smell
  1. Symptom: At least two (2) of the following symptoms. Action: Student or faculty member must get tested or evaluated by a physician before returning to school. Any individual with symptoms must remain at home until test results are finalized or their physician has cleared them to return to school. School nurse will work with parents to determine date of return.
    • Fever of 100.4° or higher (measured or subjective)
    • Chills or shaking chills/li>
    • Muscle aches
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Congestion or runny nose

    Please note: A person with COVID-19-like illness is considered a probable case of COVID-19 if they had close contact with a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days per CDC guidance.

Testing

  1. Negative Test: In the event of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, a student or faculty member may return to school only once they have demonstrated a temperature below 100.4°F for over 24 hours while unmedicated and improvement of symptoms (e.g. cough). A return to school should be through the guidance of a physician and based upon any other updated listed exclusions on the CDC website.
  2. Positive Test: In the event of a positive COVID-19 PCR test, the individual should remain isolated at home until:
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset and
    • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Other symptoms have improved and a physician suggests return to normal activities.
  1. We request a phone call to our school nurse as soon as possible to notify our school of a positive test.
  2. If there are no symptoms associated with a positive test (asymptomatic case), then the individual should remain home in self-isolation for 10 days from the positive test date.

Close Contact/Exposure

  1. When an individual has been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 or with someone with a symptom-based suspected case of COVID-19, this individual will need to be quarantined for 14 days to monitor for symptoms according to CDC guidelines. Please follow the MDH guidelines listed above to determine when to be tested or evaluated by a physician and specific details regarding exposure-related quarantine.
  2. An exposure is defined by the CDC as the following:
    • You were within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 or a symptom-based suspected case of COVID-19 for a period of 15 minutes or more.
    • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19 or a symptom-based suspected case of COVID-19.
    • You had direct physical contact with the person.
    • You shared eating or drinking utensils.
    • The infected person sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.
  1. If these situations took place anytime within two days prior to contact’s onset of symptoms through 10 days after the onset of their symptoms, then the event is considered an exposure requiring a quarantine according to current CDC guidelines.
  2. Additionally, living in the same home as a family member who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be considered to be a close contact that requires a quarantine.

Please note that in the cases of either symptoms or quarantine, our faculty will be understanding and supportive of students and families who are acting in the best interest of our school community. Lessons will still be available through the online platform.

Protocol for Symptoms that Develop at School

Any student with symptoms while at school will be taken to the Medical and Health Information Office on campus for evaluation by the school nurse and will await pick up in an isolated area, preferably outside on a bench, deck, or covered gazebo.

Protocol for Notification of Cases

  1. There is a recognized need for the school to communicate confirmed cases in a confidential way to parents and faculty. Messages sent to parents will include necessary information while seeking to keep the person’s identity confidential.
  2. All COVID-19 Case reporting (of a student, immediate family member, or a known exposure) will be reported through the Health and Medical Information Office. All reporting will be kept confidential at the school and communicated to the individual faculty members when necessary.
  3. Approaches to spread mitigation when confirmed COVID-19 cases appear may include: 
    • Reviewing desk assignments for contact tracing and asking any students with known exposures to remain at home;
    • Cancelling in-person classes for one homeroom or if needed, the whole grade;
    • Distance learning for a specific group to allow time for any potential cases of the virus to develop;
    • Moving to a hybrid 50-50 model by individual grade or multiple grades with further monitoring;
    • Targeted temperature screening or symptom questionnaire screening;
    • Deep cleaning during and after school hours of any specific area;
    • Requesting the testing of a particular grade or homeroom.