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Student exposed to COVID-19 at St. Tammany schools? Here's what happens

“Rolling closures of individual classes and/or school closures may be necessary based on clusters of COVID-19 cases,” the plan says.

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. — The St. Tammany Parish School Board published its 2020-21 school plan Thursday, which includes procedures to respond to positive cases of the coronavirus on campuses.

On page 16 of the 22-page plan, the school system says it expects some students and employees to be infected with the disease throughout the school year “given the levels of COVID-19 in our communities.”

However, a positive case of COVID-19 does not necessarily mean that a classroom or school will be closed, the plan says.

READ MORE: The St. Tammany Parish 2020-21 School Year Planning Guide

First, all parents will be required to sign an assurance statement that requires them to pick up their students from school if that child shows symptoms of the virus.

Parents are asked to screen their students for any symptoms before sending them to school. Students and adults should stay home if they are sick, positive for COVID-19 or were in direct contact with someone who tested positive.

Parents should notify the school principal if their child is presumptive positive or positive of COVID-19.

Next, all students and adults will undergo symptoms and temperature screening when they arrive at school each day, per guidelines from the Louisiana Department of Health and State Board of Education. 

An individual who has symptoms will be sent home until the criteria to return to school are met. Those symptoms include; temperatures  100.4°F or greater, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, active vomiting, or diarrhea.

A symptomatic student will be isolated and supervised until they are immediately picked up from school by a parent.

After the school is notified of a presumptive positive or positive case of COVID-19, school leaders will contact the Office of Public Health to report a potential exposure. That office, along with the school superintendent will determine if the school was the focus of the infection and if the school should be closed.

“Rolling closures of individual classes and/or school closures may be necessary based on clusters of COVID-19 cases,” the plan says.

The STPPS will communicate with employees and parents of students who were in close contact with the affected COVID-19 individual.

To Return to School / Work:

The following criteria must be met before a student, adult or employee can return to school:

Individuals with symptoms with no COVID-19 test;

  • No fever for at least 72 hours (three full days with no fever without the use of medications that reduce fever)
  • Improvement of respiratory symptoms
  • At least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms
  • Written documentation of clearance to return to school from a licensed medical provider.

Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19:

  • No fever for at least 72 hours (three full days with no fever without the use of medications that reduce fever)
  • Improvement of respiratory symptoms
  • At least 10 days have passed since the first positive COVID-19 test
  • Written documentation of clearance to return to school from a licensed medical provider

Individuals who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (live with, provided care without PPE, or had close contact for a prolonged period of time, i.e. less than six feet apart for greater than 15 minutes):

  • 14 full days of quarantine at home after the last day of exposure with no symptoms during that time

All of the above guidelines are subject to change based on future guidance from LDH and BESE.

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