Eau Claire Area School District updates sick child guidelines

If a child or staff member shows COVID-19 symptoms, the entire household must leave school.
Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 5:35 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Eau Claire Area School District has released new guidance for when staff and students get sick in another effort to keep COVID-19 out of school buildings.

According to the new guidance, anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home from school immediately, along with any other students or staff who live in the same household.

COVID-19 symptoms qualify as at least one of these: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell; OR at least two of these: fever, chills, or shivering muscle aches headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.

ECASD Director of Student Services Kaying Xiong says this guidance comes directly from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

“We believe by doing everything we can in this manner, we can help mitigate the spread in our schools and community,” Xiong says.

Once an ill child is sent home, it is recommended that they be tested for COVID-19. If the test comes back negative, household members can return to the classroom and the ill child can return as long as they have been fever-free for 24 hours.

If the student tests positive, the entire household must quarantine for at least 10 days and it must be 24 hours after fever subsides before they can return to school.

If the student does not get tested, the household must quarantine for 10 days since the first symptoms began and at least 24 hours after fever subsides.

If the sick student is diagnosed with a non COVID-19 related illness, the rest of the household can return to school.

“It is hard for all of us. We want kids in school, we don’t want to send whole households home but we believe this is the best way to mitigate disease and we are in this together. We are going to continue to work together, we will get through it and we appreciate the patience through this time,” Xiong says.

Xiong says teachers will work with quarantined students on a case by case basis to keep them up to date with school work. Quarantined students will not follow the virtual school option, as those students are on a separate schedule.

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