Health guidance below has been verified with the Prince George’s County Health Department (PGCHD). Here are the answers to the most recent FAQ’s:
- 1. What is COVID-19-like illness?
- 2. If I meet this above criteria do I have COVID-19?
- 3. When should my child(ren) stay home?
- 4. How long should my child and their sibling(s) stay home?
- 5. What if someone in my household receives a positive test?
- 6. What about symptoms associated with other types of illness?
- 7. If we have a negative test should we still quarantine for the rest of the time?
- 8. What if my child has been vaccinated?
- 9. What if my child has already tested positive for COVID -19 in the last 90 days?
- 10. If we are in one of the classes identified as a close contact, can we still participate in outdoor activities with other children?
- 11. What if a family has 1 child who is a close contact, should they quarantine the other children too?
- 12. If your child is not in the classes identified as a close contact do they still have to quarantine or can they ‘go about their business’ just not in school?
- 13. When was the last date of exposure for the classes where there were positive cases?
- 14. How many total COVID-19 cases has St. Columba School had this school year?
PG County Health Department defines COVID-19-like illness as:
Any 1 of the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Fever of 100.4 o F or higher (measured or subjective)
- Sore throat
- New onset of severe headache (especially with fever)
- Nausea or vomiting
If you or anyone in your household meets any of the above criteria, you are considered to have COVID-19-like-illness and should be tested and isolated pending the guidance of your doctor and instruction from your local health department. If you have been exposed to someone that meets that criteria, you need to be quarantined for 10-14 days from the last known interaction with that person. Additionally, this will also trigger contact tracing.
Anyone in the household displaying COVID-19 like symptoms should prompt everyone in their household to stay home. This goes for the student showing symptoms and all siblings.
If any individual in your household displays symptoms of COVID like illness, the symptomatic individual should complete a COVID test and all household members should quarantine until the results are known. If the COVID test results are negative then that child can return 24 hours after symptoms have resolved and in the case of fever, they should be fever free for 24 hours without the use of any fever reducing medicine.
For example, if your first grader has a fever, then your 3rd and 5th grader should also stay home until it is known that the COVID test results are negative. COVID test results should be reported to the school as soon as they are obtained.
If anyone in your household receives a positive test, all household members that are not vaccinated are now considered close contacts and must quarantine. Vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine unless they become symptomatic. It is recommended that vaccinated individuals get tested between 3-5 days from last exposure.
Positive test results need to be relayed to the school as soon as they are received and further instructions can be given at that time.
St. Columba School cannot diagnose or differentiate between COVID-19 and other types of illness. If the criteria of “COVID-like” illness are met and present in a student who does not have a physician documented preexisting health condition, that student will be treated as a potential COVID-19 case. That student will be placed in the isolation area (with their siblings) to be picked up by their parents as soon as possible.
Yes, they should still quarantine for the duration. A person who is asked to quarantine because they are not vaccinated and determined to be a close contact should take the following steps:
■ Get tested for COVID-19 immediately. If they test positive for COVID-19, they should notify the school and switch from quarantine to isolation. The 10-day isolation period should begin from the day symptoms began, or if they do not have symptoms, from the date of their positive test.
■ Stay home for 14 days after the date of their last known exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19. The day of exposure counts as day 0. The day after their last known exposure is day 1 of the 14-day period. If the person who is quarantining does not develop symptoms of COVID-19 and does not test positive, that person can go back into public spaces, including school, on day 15.
■ If possible, stay away from people they live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. If the quarantining person is a young child, a family might select a single other individual within the household to be the primary caregiver for the child and ask that designated caregiver to also stay away from the other individuals in the home.
■ If they cannot separate from other people in the household, wear a mask at all times during quarantine, including within the household.
■ Watch for symptoms for a full 14 days after the date of their last known exposure. If they develop symptoms of COVID-19, immediately isolate, regardless of vaccination status, and contact the local public health authority or healthcare provider to be tested. If they test positive, notify the school for any additional contact tracing that may be required and for any school-specific instructions on isolation.
According to PGCHD, Students who are vaccinated do not need to be quarantined but should be monitored for symptoms. It is recommended that they get tested between 3-5 days from last exposure.
Students who can verify through a positive test result (Antigen or PCR) that they have tested positive within the last 90 days from the date of new exposure do not need to quarantine or test. Results of the positive test should be provided to the school.
10. If we are in one of the classes identified as a close contact, can we still participate in outdoor activities with other children?
If identified as a close contact, those in quarantine should stay home for 14 days after the date of their last known exposure and should not participate in outdoor activities, including extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs, with other children.
If possible, stay away from people they live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. If the person who is quarantining does not develop symptoms of COVID-19 and does not test positive, that person can go back into public spaces, including school, on day 15.
11. What if a family has 1 child who is a close contact, should they quarantine the other children too?
The 1 child identified as a close contact should quarantine and stay home for 14 days from the date of last exposure. They should stay away from people they live with (preferably quarantine in a room by themselves and have access to their own bathroom). As long as they remain asymptomatic and the person in quarantine is able to separate from others, the other children do not have to quarantine.
12. If your child is not in the classes identified as a close contact do they still have to quarantine or can they ‘go about their business’ just not in school?
It would be prudent and recommended for everyone in the household to stay home and/or avoid close contact with others while we are attempting to get the COVID activity in the school under control, but at the very minimum PGCHD strongly recommended the following:
■ Get tested. Know your COVID status.
■ Monitor for symptoms daily. If any COVID-19 symptoms develop, immediately isolate, regardless of vaccination status and get tested.
■ Strict adherence to mitigation strategies such as correct and consistent mask use, social distancing, hand washing, etc. when around others outside of your household.
■ In the case that 2 families wanted to get together, if they all tested negative and are asymptomatic, were outdoors practicing 6 feet or more social distance, then there would be a very low risk.
- 3 Grade 10/14/21
- 5th grade 10/15 21
- 6th grade 10/8/21
- 7th grade 12/10/21
Please note that these are both the known and probable cases. Without proper reporting and/or testing, there may be other cases related to the school outbreak. PGCHD strongly encourages the community to report any COVID like illness within your family to the school when it occurs.
Last updated: 12/10/21
Since the first day of school, (August 31st, 2021) St. Columba School has had a total of 7 covid cases (including confirmed through test results and probable cases.)
Last updated: 12/10/21