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Updated March 7, 2022

Spring allergies are upon us, please make sure your children are taking their allergy medication as prescribed. 

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 parents should continuously monitor their child/ren for symptoms of COVID-19. Staff and children who have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and contact their healthcare provider for testing and care. If your child is ill please email or call Wendy Walsh, walsh@stmm.net, 919-657-4800 ext. 7246. 

The questions below have been answered according to the information and protocols available at the time it was written.  * Please note that for any positive or presumptive case of COVID-19, we will follow protocols in the NC DHHS StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) or contact the Wake County Health Department for guidance.  Should the Diocese of Raleigh or the Wake County Health Department make a decision that is more conservative we will follow their guidance. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19

  • Fever (at least 100.4℉)
  • 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

Vaccination, including getting a booster if eligible, is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.  

People 5 years and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Visit yourspotyourshot.nc.gov or call 1-888-675-4567 to find out where you can get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the community.

COVID-19 booster shots are now recommended for children 12 years and older.  COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots | CDC

Individual contact tracing and exclusion from school after an identified COVID exposure is no longer recommended statewide in K-12 schools.  Although exclusion from school is no longer recommended following an exposure, as a school, we are required to report positive COVID cases to the Wake County Health Department (as required by NCGS § 130A-136).

  • Staff and students testing positive for COVID are required to follow the isolation guidelines set forth by the State of North Carolina as outlined in the NC DHHS toolkit.  

Our Preschool Program is subject to the NC DHHS Child Care guidelines which may differ from the NC DHHS K-12 school guidelines.

ChildCareStrongNC Public Health Toolkit

Local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last in the communities they serve, based on local conditions and needs. 

StMM will follow the NC DHHS toolkit for notification of exposures to families.  

Group Notification

No individual investigation; notification of a group with >15 minutes exposure in a given setting (e.g., class, sports team in indoor setting, lunchroom).

It is recommended that individuals who have been exposed should:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after the last known exposure, unless an exemption to face covering applies.
  • Be tested on day 5 after exposure, unless the person tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
    • If the exposed person develops symptoms, he/she should stay home and get tested immediately.  
    • The exposed person may also choose to test immediately upon notification of exposure to start an isolation period sooner if the test is positive.

Group notification does not require quarantine outside of school settings for members of the group. 

Staff and students who have symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status should:

  • Stay home and isolate themselves away from others 
  • Get tested for COVID-19 and stay home while waiting for the test results 
  • If testing is not possible follow the guidance below as if the person is positive

How long does my child need to stay home if they tested positive for OR a doctor says they likely have COVID-19? 

If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive with an antigen test or PCR/molecular test, they should stay home and away from others as much as possible until

  • At least 5 days have passed since the first day of symptoms, plus
  • At least 24 hours have passed since the person had a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; plus
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving

The child is not required to have a negative test to return to school.

The person must continue to wear a mask for 10 days after the first day of symptoms to minimize the risk of infecting others.

What if my child tested positive for COVID-19, but doesn’t show symptoms?

  • They should stay home 5 days after the day they were tested and keep away from other people as much as possible.  This is because even if they don’t have symptoms, they can still spread the virus. 
  • Your child may return to school 5 days after their first positive COVID-19 test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test. 
  • Then wear a well fitting mask for 5 additional days. 

The child is not required to have a negative test to return to school.

What if my child has COVID like symptoms but isn’t tested for COVID-19?

They should stay home, in isolation, until they are feeling better and all the following have happened:

  • At least 5 days have passed since the first day of symptoms, plus
  • At least 24 hours have passed since the person had a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; plus
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving

The child is not required to have a negative test to return to school.

The person must continue to wear a mask for 10 days after the first day of symptoms to minimize the risk of infecting others. 

What if my child has symptoms but has received a negative test for COVID-19 or has visited a health care provider and received an alternate diagnosis?

Your child can return to school when:

  • It has been at least 24 hours since the person had a fever (without fever- reducing medicine); AND
  • They have felt well for at least 24 hours 

What type of COVID-19 test should my child have to return to school?

  • A person who has symptoms of COVID-19 and has received a negative test for COVID-19 may return to school IF the negative test was either (1) a negative PCR/molecular test or (2) a negative antigen test AND the person has a low likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection (I.e., the person has no known or suspected exposure to a person with COVID-19 within the last 14 days or is fully vaccinated). 

 

Wake County Free COVID-19 testing site information. 

https://www.wakegov.com/covid-19-information/free-covid-19-testing

Families and staff can order four (4) no-cost rapid antigen at-home COVID-19 tests to be sent to their residential address from USPS.com.

 

If my child tests positive, who in the school will find out? 

St. Mary Magdalene takes your student's privacy and health information very seriously. The COVID-19 point person will be working closely with the Wake County Health Department to help maintain privacy of staff/students and to help maintain the health and safety of the school. 

What is the procedure if my child becomes sick while at school?

If a student has symptoms of COVID-19, they will immediately be isolated and a parent will be notified to facilitate students getting home and to medical care safely.

We have isolation tents with clear front covers to allow for separation should more than one student become ill at the same time. Students will  be visually monitored at all times until pickup.  The ill person must wear a mask until picked up - following CDC guidelines- face coverings should not be place on:

  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
  • Anyone who cannot tolerate a cloth face covering due to development, medical or behavioral health needs.

What type of mask should my child wear to school?

  • It is important for our Monarchs, who choose to wear a mask or  when returning to school after isolation, wear well-fitting masks.
    • If you are having a hard time finding a well-fitting cloth mask for your child/ren you can switch from cloth masks to  medical grade masks which are child-sized.
    • Here is a helpful video that shows how to make a medical grade mask fit better. Masks are only effective if worn properly. They should not gap at the sides and should cover the mouth and nose. Please talk to your child/ren about the importance of wearing their masks properly.  
    • Please make sure your child/ren have 2-3 extra masks in their backpack everyday. They may need a mask if they become symptomatic or if we have an outbreak and are advised by the health department to have staff and students wear masks.  

NO masks with exhalation valves, scarf/ski masks/neck gaiters are allowed to be worn at school. 

 

Normal Return to School Guidelines Following Illness

Keeping children at home when they are sick is best for your child and the school community.

A parent is the best judge of whether or not to send a child to school or keep them home.  Children should be kept home if they have:

  • A fever of 100° or above within the past 24 hours.  They should be fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of medication before returning to school.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours.  Children must be free of vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • An upper respiratory illness with significant coughing and/or nasal drainage.
  • A communicable disease.
  • A child started on an antibiotic for an illness may return to school after 24 hours of being on the medication.


Where can I find support around mental or behavioral health?

Disaster Distress Helpline

1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish), or text TalkWithUs for English or Hablanos for Spanish to 66746. Spanish speakers from Puerto Rico can text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat in

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522

National Child Abuse Hotline

1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453

National Sexual Assault Hotline

1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat 

The Eldercare Locator

1-800-677-1116  TTY Instructions

Veteran’s Crisis Line

1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat

or text: 8388255

Find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

1-800-662-HELP (4357) and TTY 1-800-487-4889

Treatment Services Locator Website 

Interactive Map of Selected Federally Qualified Health Centers

COVID-19 Update