Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
- Isolation is required when someone is sick and/or has tested positive for COVID-19 (confirmed case) ; they may or may not have symptoms. Isolation keeps the confirmed case away from others to prevent the spread of the virus. Isolation lasts a minimum of 10 days. Isolation ends when at least 10 days have elapsed since the symptoms started or the test was done AND the person is fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication AND symptoms are improving.
- Quarantine is used when someone is not sick, but may have been in close contact with or exposed to a person who has:
- tested positive for COVID-19
- is experiencing symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19
- Is awaiting test results for COVID-19.
What is the difference between disinfecting, sanitizing, and cleaning?
- Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects.
- Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements.
- Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects.
Properly worn facial masks are strongly recommended for all unvaccinated students and staff. How do you wear your mask correctly?
- Wash your hands before putting on your mask
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
- Don’t put the mask around your neck or on your forehead
- Don’t touch the mask, and if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect
Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a mask will help protect people around you, especially those who are at a higher risk of severe illness. Wearing a mask will help reduce the spread, especially when paired with other preventive measures.
Do I have to wear a mask when physically distanced from others?
Properly worn facial masks are strongly recommended for all unvaccinated students and staff. Students and staff who are not vaccinated but who properly wear masks while indoors will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. Masks will be optional for fully vaccinated students and staff. District 6 fully supports a person's choice to wear a mask regardless of their vaccine status. Those fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if exposed to someone with COVID-19.
What are the major and minor symptoms of COVID that impact whether you may come to work or attend school?
- Major Symptoms: Feeling feverish, having chills or registering a temperature of 100.0° Fahrenheit or greater; new loss of taste or smell; new or unexplained persistent cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Minor Symptoms: Sore throat; runny nose or congestion; muscle or body aches; headache; fatigue; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea
What if I am in a house where someone has symptoms of COVID? Should I stay home?
You should not go to work or school and should avoid public places for 8 days. Staff and students will return from quarantine on day 8, if no symptoms and a negative test on day 5, 6, or 7. District 6 will be utilizing targeted quarantines (3-6 feet depending on activity) as much as possible this school year to limit the number of students and staff that must quarantine after a positive exposure. An exposure is defined as an unmasked, unvaccinated person spending 15 minutes or more within six feet of an infected individual indoors. Students and staff who are not vaccinated but who properly wear masks while indoors will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. Those fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if exposed to someone with COVID-19. Staff and students will return from quarantine on day 8, if there are no symptoms and there has been a negative test on day 5, 6, or 7. Most outdoor exposures will not require quarantine.
What if I am in a house where someone has tested positive for COVID?
You should not go to work or school and should avoid public places for 8 days. Staff and students will return from quarantine on day 8, if no symptoms and a negative test on day 5, 6, or 7. If an individual exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, tests positive or is determined to be a probably case, suspect, or presumed case, the individual will enter an isolation period lasting a minimum of 10 days. Staff and students will return from quarantine on day 8, if there are no symptoms and there is a negative test on day 5, 6, or 7.
Should I send my student to school if they have any of the major symptoms of COVID but have not been tested?
No, they should remain home. If they resolve within 24 hours without the use of medication, you may consider returning to school If they have not resolved within 24-48 hours or have become worse, please consult with your healthcare provider.
What if I have some of the symptoms of COVID-19, but I think I just have a cold? Anyone with one of the major symptoms (see above) or a combination of major or minor symptoms needs to stay home. Previous to COVID-19, many of us came to work with cold symptoms or worked when we weren’t feeling well. This is not allowed now. If you are feeling sick, and have symptoms that are unusual for you, please stay home and contact your supervisor.
How do I know if I was exposed?
You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:
- Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19
- Caring for a sick person with COVID-19
- Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for over 15 minutes total (can occur in multiple interactions)
- Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g. being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.)
- Have been contacted by a public health official and told you have possibly been exposed
If you have not been in close contact with a sick person with COVID-19, you are considered to be at low risk for infection. You can continue to go to work and school but should monitor your health for 10 days and stay away from others if you get sick.
What should I do if I am a close contact to someone with COVID-19 but am not sick?
You should not go to work or school and should avoid public places for 8 days. Staff and students will return from quarantine on day 8, if no symptoms and a negative test on day 5, 6, or 7. Monitor your own health for fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell or any other symptoms new to you during the 10 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. If symptoms develop, contact your healthcare provider.
What should I do if I am a close contact to someone with COVID-19 and get sick?
If you get sick with fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell or any of the other symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19 (even if your symptoms are very mild), you should stay at home and away from other people for at least 10 days after your symptoms started. In addition, you should wait until you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine and other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough has improved).
If you have any of the following conditions that may increase your risk for a serious infection — age 60 years or over, are pregnant, or have medical conditions — contact your healthcare provider’s office and tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19.
If you do not have a high-risk condition but want medical advice, you can call your health care provider and tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Your health care provider can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person. There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel you might have been exposed to COVID-19.
Why are visitors - including School Board members, Central Office employees and other District 6 personnel - not frequently visiting schools like in a typical school year?
To make the cohort system work and to reduce the contacts in a building, visitors must be strictly limited, including school board members and other District 6 employees. Everytime a new adult is introduced to a building, there is a potential that person could be introducing the virus into that building. Every contact increases the opportunity of spreading the virus. That is why it is so important to limit the number of visitors to the building and keeping cohorts as isolated as possible.