CDC Sick Student Symptom Screening Tool

CDC Sick Student Home-Based Strategy

This approach relies on students and their caregivers to identify when the student might have symptoms of infectious illness and take action (such as staying home).

 Some of the advantages of this approach include:

  • Using caregiver knowledge of their children’s health to identify when they might have symptoms of infectious illness
  • Encouraging caregiver participation in decision-making and discussion around their children’s health
  • Identifying students who might have infectious illness before they arrive at school, limiting contact between potentially sick students and others during transit and after school arrival
  • Avoiding repeated interactions during the screening process between school personnel or volunteers and students who may have COVID-19.

Deciding when and how long a student should stay home

For schools and families to make informed decisions about when a student should stay home and when it’s safe for the student to return to in-person school, two questions need to be considered

  1. What are the student’s symptoms? and
  2. In what context did those symptoms occur?

Symptoms of Infectious Illness

Symptom screening should not try to identify every known symptom of COVID-19. No single symptom indicates someone has COVID-19, and many COVID-19 symptoms can occur when a person does not have COVID-19 or any infectious illness. Instead, use symptom screening to determine if a student currently has an infectious illness that they might pass on to others.

The presence of any of the symptoms below generally suggests a student has an infectious illness and should not attend school, regardless of whether the illness is COVID-19. For students with chronic conditions, a positive screening should represent a change from their typical health status.

  • Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Sore throat
  • Cough (for students with chronic cough due to allergies or asthma, a change in their cough from baseline)
  • Difficulty breathing (for students with asthma, a change from their baseline breathing)
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever

Students should not attend school in-person if they or their caregiver identifies new development of any of the symptoms above.

Home-Based Symptom Screening

Caregivers:  If your child has any of the following symptoms, they might have an illness they can spread to others.

  • Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Sore throat
  • Cough (for students with chronic cough due to allergies or asthma, a change in their cough from
  • usual)
  • Difficulty breathing (for students with asthma, check for a change from their baseline breathing)
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever

Check your child for these symptoms before they go to school. Check symptoms for changes from usual or baseline health.

If your child DOES have any of the symptoms above:

  • Keep them home from school
  • Consider getting your child tested for COVID-19 an option is go.bucksiu.org/covidtesting.
  • Contact your child’s school and report that your child is sick. The school may ask some additional questions to help determine when it is safe for your child to return to school and about other people who may have been exposed.
  • CDC has a Coronavirus Self Checker* available on its website, which may help you make decisions about seeking medical care for possible COVID-19.

If your child does NOT have any of the symptoms above:

  • Consider whether your child needs to see a healthcare provider and be tested for COVID-19. Even if they don’t have symptoms, your child should be tested if they:

      healthcare provider.

  • For the purposes of these criteria, daycare and school settings that implement multiple prevention strategies, such as universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing to the greatest extent possible, are not considered higher risk settings.
  • If they do not have symptoms and do not meet any of the criteria above, send them to school as usual.

*Coronavirus Self Checker click HERE.  

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