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Avoid a trip to the health room by keeping students who may not be feeling well at home.

Requirements for a sick student to return to school

Oct. 16, 2020

As students return to school, the Mālama Ola Health Services Department has provided additional guidance regarding the criteria for sending a sick student home and the requirements for a sick student to return to school. 

An estimated 50% of children infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 may not have symptoms, which is why the preventive measures of physical distancing, mask wearing, handwashing, and avoiding gatherings are so important. Another important way to reduce the risk of asymptomatic spread of infection is to reduce symptomatic spread. Children with symptoms are more likely to have the virus that causes COVID-19 than children without symptoms. Please keep child(ren) that are sick at home.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies the symptoms most commonly associated with COVID-19.  They are generally the same for adults and children and are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

These are the symptoms that are asked about in the wellness check and are also the symptoms for which a student would be sent home from school, if the symptoms are not typical for the student who has a known chronic condition that causes them. 

We understand that these symptoms can be caused by other illnesses, especially other respiratory infections such as colds and the flu. However, colds and the flu have similarities in how theyʻre spread with the virus that causes COVID-19. So if colds and the flu are spreading in the community, thereʻs an increased risk that the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading as well. These are the symptoms that are asked about in the wellness check and are also the symptoms for which a student would be sent home from school, if the symptoms are not typical for the student who has a known chronic condition that causes them. 

The current return to school policy requires a healthcare providerʻs note if the student misses four or more consecutive days of school due to illness.  This remains in effect during distance learning; a healthcare providerʻs note is required if a student misses in-person and/or virtual school for four or more consecutive days. We recommend that parents upload the notes through the parent portal of our electronic health record on the day the note is received (see some helpful instructions for this), so that the student can be cleared in advance and does not have to go to the health room upon return.   

A student whose symptoms have resolved within three days and without the use of medication for 24 hours does not require a healthcare providerʻs note to return but does require a parent note. However, a student who had any of the COVID-19 symptoms, even for three days or less, is strongly encouraged to contact their healthcare provider about getting tested for COVID-19.

Polices for sending students home when sick and for returning to school may be adjusted as indicated based on state and CDC guidance, community transmission levels of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, and new medical evidence. We will communicate with you prior to any changes.

Please reach out to your child's health room nurse with any questions you may have.

Elementary and Middle School High School
Carl DeLeon, RN
16-714 Volcano Road
Keaʻau, HI 96749
Phone: 808-982-0411
Fax: 808-966-5908
Email: cadeleon@ksbe.edu
Verna Lau, RN
16-716 Volcano Road
Keaʻau, HI 96749
Phone: 808-982-0611
Fax: 808-982-0612
Email: velau@ksbe.edu


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