What should the procedures be if/when a student in the classroom tests positive? Does everyone get tested five days later? What should the policy be if they test either positive or negative?

What should the procedures be if/when a student in the classroom tests positive? Does everyone get tested five days later? What should the policy be if they test either positive or negative? What should the procedures be if/when a student in the classroom tests positive? Does everyone get tested five days later? What should the policy be if they test either positive or negative?

1 Expert Answer

Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.

Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Chair of the Department of Integrated Biomedical Science,  Florida Atlantic University

The CDC recommends in their return to school guidance to (1) isolate any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 from others immediately, (2) establish procedures for safely transporting the child home or to a health care facility, (3) notify local health officials of a possible case, (4) close off areas where the child has been, (5) clean and disinfect those areas 24 hours after the child was removed from the areas, and (6) advise those who had been in close contact with the child to stay home and quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms. The school would not have to close if the CDC guidance is followed. Additionally, schools should have plans in place to perform contact tracing (within the school community) for any student who tests positive and was in close contact with other students. Those students and school personnel with significant exposure to the student testing positive for COVID-19 should quarantine at home and self-monitor for symptoms.

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