Symptoms of COVID-19 and Protocols for Returning to School

Please note: All information is subject to change based on updated guidance from the New York State Department of Health, Albany County Department of Health and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To enter Guilderland CSD school buildings:

  • Everyone is required to screen for possible COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All staff and students are required to complete a daily health assessment prior to arriving at school.
  • Anyone exhibiting new or worsening COVID-19 symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19 through close contact or travel will not be allowed to enter a school building or will be sent home.

New guidance released on Sept. 30, 2020, from the New York State Department of Health for school districts, parents/guardians, district staff, health providers and others will be used to determine what to do when a student or staff member is experiencing one or more symptoms of COVID-19. View the NYSDOH Pre-K to Gr. 12 COVID-19 Toolkit


New NYSDOH Guidance for Parents and Staff

If a student or employee has (or has had in the past 10 days) one or more of the new or worsening symptoms below, they will not be allowed to enter a school building or will be sent home. An evaluation by a health care provider (HCP) for COVID-19 (can be in-person or by video/telephone as determined by HCP) must take place in order for a student or staff member to return to school. 

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • A temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 F (37.8 C)
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion or runny nose

Contact your school nurse or your supervisor 

Parents/guardians: If your child is exhibiting any of the COVID-19 symptoms above, do not send your child to school. Contact your healthcare provider and contact your child’s school nurse.

Faculty/staff: If you are exhibiting any of the COVID-19 symptoms above, do not come to work. Contact your healthcare provider and your direct supervisor. 

If a Student or Staff Member Has COVID-19 Symptoms

Per the updated New York State Department of Health guidelines, an evaluation by a health care provider (HCP) for COVID-19 (can be in-person or by video/telephone as determined by HCP) must take place in order for a student or staff member to return to school

If Your HCP Recommends a COVID-19 Diagnostic Test

The student or staff member must stay out of school and insolation until the test result is back. If test results are not available within 48 hours, per the New York State Department of Health, GCSD is required to report this as a presumed positive case of COVID to the Albany County Department of Health.

IF the COVID-19 Test is Positive
  • Your local health department will contact you to follow up.
  • The individual must remain in isolation (at home and away from others) until your local health department has released them from isolation, which is typically:
    • 10 days after symptom onset; AND
    • Symptoms are improving; AND
    • The individual is fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
    • While in isolation, all members of the household must quarantine at home until released by the local health department, typically 14 days.
IF the COVID-19 Test is Negative
  • If symptoms are improving AND the individual is  fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines, the student or staff member may return to school with:
    • A note from HCP indicating the test was negative OR
    • Provide a copy of the negative test result.

If Your HCP Gives an Alternate Diagnosis

If your HCP provides a diagnosis of a known chronic condition with unchanged symptoms, or a confirmed acute illness (examples: laboratory-confirmed influenza, strep-throat) AND COVID-19 is not suspected, then a note signed by the HCP explaining the alternate diagnosis is required before the student or staff member will be allowed to return to school. They may return to school according to the usual guidelines for that diagnosis.

A signed HCP note documenting unconfirmed acute illnesses, such as viral upper respiratory illness (URI) or viral gastroenteritis, will not suffice.

If a COVID-19 Test is Recommended but Not Done and No Alternate Diagnosis

The student or staff member must remain in isolation at home and is not able to go back to school until the local health department has released them from isolation, which is typically:

  • At least 10 days have passed since
    date of first symptoms; AND
  • Symptoms are improving; AND
  • The individual is fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.

Staff please note: You may not qualify for Paid Sick Leave benefits due to COVID-19 without a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

If an Evaluation by an HCP is Not Done

The student or staff member must remain in isolation at home and is not able to go back to school until the local health department has released them from isolation, which is typically:

  • At least 10 days have passed since date of first symptoms; AND
  • Symptoms are improving; AND
  • The individual is fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.

Staff please note: You may not qualify for Paid Sick Leave benefits due to COVID-19 without a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.


      NYSDOH Pre-K to Gr 12 Toolkit  

      The NYSDOH COVID-19 Pre-K to Gr. 12 Toolkit includes flow charts for school districts, parents, school staff, health providers and others to use when determining:

      • Can my child go to school today?
      • When can my child go back to school?
      • Can I go to work today?
      • When can I return to work?

       

      The district is not responsible for facts or opinions contained on any linked site. Some links and features on this site require the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Visit the Adobe website to download the free Acrobat Reader. This website was produced by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, NY. Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.