The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Governor’s Office recently released a new publication entitled, “Outbreak Response Protocols: K-12” https://dphhs.mt.gov/aboutus/news/2020/responseprotocolsforschools. Based on this new guidance document, and in collaboration with Lewis and Clark Public Health, we have made a change to our District protocol.
High Risk Symptoms
Low Risk Symptoms
If a student has ONE new or unexplained Low-Risk Symptom and has had NO exposure to someone with COVID-19, the student must stay home until 24 hours after symptom is gone without the use of fever/pain reducing medication.
If the student has ONE new or unexplained High-Risk Symptom or TWO new or unexplained Low-Risk symptoms and has had NO exposure to someone with COVID-19, the student must remain home until one of the following criteria are met:
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, proper hand-washing remains the number one tool for reducing the spread of germs that cause illnesses like COVID-19. Another easy hygiene rule is covering your sneezes and coughs with a tissue, and then throwing the tissue into the trash.
Vaccinations introduce weakened or inactive parts of germs to your immune system so your body can fight it if it’s later exposed to the germ. Getting vaccinated is not just something you do for yourself. Keeping up with your vaccines also protects your family, friends, and teachers from harmful diseases. The Center for Disease Control has more information on the importance of vaccines.
Health experts say the evidence is clear that masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that the more people wearing masks, the better. Tiny droplets are created whenever someone sneezes, coughs, or talks. Those droplets can contain germs like COVID-19. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth helps filter out the germs.
Viruses are often spread to another person by small droplets from a sick person’s cough or sneeze. Most of these droplets would fall to the ground before reaching the uninfected person if they are 6 feet apart.
Also, when a person has been found to have COVID-19, Lewis and Clark Public Health nurses talk with them about who they have spent time with for 48 hours before they developed symptoms. If you have been within 6 feet of the sick person for 15 minutes or several times for less than 15 minutes then you will be a “close contact”. The Lewis and Clark Public Health Officer will send an order for you to quarantine (stay at home) for 14 days. If you have been able to stay six feet apart then you will not be considered a close contact and you will not have to quarantine.