Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 — August 17, 2022

“Shared expectations lead to predictability.”

582.  National and Connecticut Covid school restrictions are being relaxed.

         QHow are schools preparing differently for Covid-19 when they soon reopen?

         A:  In a recent Hartford Courant article, Connecticut was reported as modifying the Covid-19 requirements for children returning to school.  These changes follow new CDC guidance.  Both state and federal authorities openly state the intent is to no longer prevent new infections but to address the issues of increased hospitalizations and serious disease while still allowing an increase in the advantages of in-school learning.  Students with mild symptoms of Covid-19 are now allowed to attend classes under specified circumstances.  Children who complain of not feeling well should have their temperatures taken.  Kids who have a temperature over 100° F should remain home.  If the temperature is taken at school, the child must wear a mask and be isolated until a parent can come to pick them up to take them home.

If the temperature is below 100° F and the child has any symptoms of Covid, such as infrequent coughing, congestion, or a runny nose, the child can be tested using a free self-test.  Five million of these self-tests in 2-test kits are now being delivered to all Connecticut school systems and child-care programs.  If the test shows negative, the child feels well enough to attend classes in-person, and is not living with someone who has had Covid-19 in the prior 2 weeks, they still should attend classes but must wear a mask while in the school or child-care building.  To help parents and school officials remember, this new procedure is named, “Test-Mask-Go.”

The CT Department of Public Health’s guidance advises that any student exhibiting mild flu-like symptoms take a COVID test at school or at home every day until their symptoms stop. It also urges students with a fever, or who live with someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19, to stay home regardless of test results and refer to the CDC’s Quarantine & Isolation Calculator[1] for more information on how long to self-isolate.

Parents may want to check with their child’s school officials for specific procedures because not all schools have school nurses or other designated personnel who can test and hold several students waiting for parents to come to pick them up.

Opinion 5    More long-covid cases than previously reported raise the current risk.

Apoorva Mandavilli, a reporter for The New York Times who covers infectious disease and global health recently stated, “What we know about transmission in schools is still what we knew before, which is that children can and do spread the virus.  Ventilation in schools is going to be even more important this fall, simply because the variants that are circulating are more contagious.”