Children often get sick at the beginning of school or new group activity. Identifying their symptoms and evaluating if they should be tested for COVID-19 is key to minimizing the spread of the virus and also helps identify when they can safely return to school.
- Covid symptoms in kids are divided into high risk:
- Fever over 100.4
- Persistent cough or shortness of breath
- Loss of sense of smell (this is considered diagnostic for Covid regardless of testing)
And low risk:
- Runny nose or sore throat not consistent with allergies
- Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
- Unusual fatigue
- New or atypical headaches
- Diffuse muscle aches
If these symptoms occur, keep your child isolated at home. If your child has symptoms that resolve in under 24 hours, she/he can return to school without testing. If your child has only low risk symptoms which resolve in less than 48 hours, she/he can return to school without testing.
If your child’s symptoms do not resolve as above, contact your provider. We will discuss a visit to look for another diagnosis versus testing for Covid without a visit. If another source of symptoms is not found, they should be tested for SARS-CoV 2. If you prefer to go straight for testing, this can be self-scheduled. If no alternative diagnosis is found, kids need to have a negative Covid test AND resolved symptoms before returning to school.
If your child has loss of sense of taste or smell, they are presumed to have Covid-19 and should isolate at home for 10 days. They can return after 10 days if they have been fever-free for 24 hours. You may choose to have them tested, but a negative test will not change the need for isolation. For information on how to isolate at home view this post.