COVID-19 School Protocols
The documents below are resources to assist you in handling COVID-19 scenarios and contact tracing in your respective school jurisdictions. This information will provide you with an overview of each document and the protocol to follow if a student or staff member is symptomatic or positive for COVID-19 or identified as a close contact of a positive case. Please make sure that you are clear on our protocols, and contact us if you have any questions.
COVID-19 School Decision Tree: This document is based on CSDE/DPH Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan To Learn And Grow Together Addendum 5, and was initially intended for school nurses who are likely familiar with isolation and quarantine recommendations to streamline decision-making for COVID-19 scenarios in the school setting. Please refer to the complete, original Addendum 5 document for more detail. Dr.Vijay Sikand collaborated with LLHD on this document and has approved this version. Click here to download.
COVID-19 Case Report Form: This form should be used to report lab-confirmed positive cases to local health and gather relevant information for contact tracing purposes. Please establish one point-of-contact for your school – either a school nurse supervisor or a school administrator. In the event of a positive case, the point-of-contact should call LLHD public health nurses Mary Day (primary contact) at (860) 326-0753 or Kris Magnussen (secondary contact) at (860) 910-0417 to verbally report this information, or you may fax this sheet to (860) 448-4885. Please fax COVID-19 lab results if they are available. While we will accept information on symptomatic individuals pending COVID tests, per CT DPH, quarantine will only be recommended for close contacts of lab-confirmed positive cases. Click here to download.
Isolation and Quarantine: What’s the difference?: This resource summarizes isolation and quarantine. Prepare to discuss isolation with parents when students are sent home sick, and quarantine when students are close contacts. This information will be explained during contact tracing, but it would be prudent to familiarize yourself with these terms, as you will likely be first person informing the parent of their child’s exclusion from school. We have also attached two FAQ documents detailing isolation and quarantine. Click here to download.
Instruct staff, students, and parents/guardians to perform a self-assessment prior to leaving for school daily to identify COVID-19 symptoms. Please communicate that this is an expectation. Students and staff must stay home and should inform the school if they are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, if they had a known contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and have also had contact with the school population. Have other mitigation strategies in place (cleaning procedures, enforcement of masks and social distancing, etc.).
Protocol for symptomatic students/positive case at school:
- Student develops COVID-19 symptoms while in school – send to isolation area immediately, teacher should call down to school nurse.
- Call parent to pick up child ASAP. Determine if child was a close contact. Then refer to Addendum 5 to develop a plan based on circumstances. Inform parent of plan (referral to healthcare provider to get tested for COVID-19, possible need for isolation, return-to-school plan, etc.).
- Complete COVID-19 Case Report Form.
- Point-of-Contact should call Mary Day or Kris Magnussen for verbal report or fax form to LLHD.
- Close off area(s) where symptomatic student was. If possible, wait 24 hours then clean area using EPA approved products effective against SARS-CoV2.
- Refer to Addendum 9 to consider who may need to be excluded from school.
Protocol for close contacts at school:
- Student identified as a close contact of positive case while at school.
- Call parent to pick up child ASAP. Inform parent of plan (referral to healthcare provider to get tested for COVID-19, if positive isolation, if negative or not tested 14 day quarantine from last date of exposure of positive case).
Develop a template for notifying your school community about positive cases. Although the communication pathways you choose are ultimately up to you, here is our suggestion of general language about contact tracing efforts to use with your school community:
“In the event that a staff member or student is diagnosed with COVID-19, Ledge Light Health District will perform contact tracing activities; all individuals who have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with the infected individual will be notified and instructed to quarantine as appropriate. To ensure that contact tracing activities are initiated as soon as possible, students and staff are encouraged to report their positive Covid-19 status as soon as they become aware of it. Although all personal information will remain confidential, we will notify the entire school community when we have a positive case. Ledge Light Health District will perform appropriate contact tracing, as required. In addition, the physical space occupied by the infected student or students will be thoroughly cleaned in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Connecticut Department of Health and Ledge Light Health District.”
Finally, we strongly encourage you to attend the DPH/SDE COVID-19 Health and Safety Superintendents’ Meeting, held weekly on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am.
- Home Quarantine Guidance for Close Contacts to COVID-19 English / Spanish / Creole
- Home Isolation when Ill with COVID-19 English / Spanish / Creole
- School Reopening Frequently Asked Questions
- Department of Public Health Letter to CIAC dated 9/14/20
- Connect with LLHD on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Newsroom: LLHD News Articles & Press Releases
- How You Can Plan and Prepare for Emergencies
- 2-1-1 Connecticut: Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance.
- YNHH: Yale New Haven Health
- CTDPH: Connecticut Department of Public Health
- CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency
- NIH – National Institute of Health