Too Sick for School?


When Children and Staff Should Stay Home from School or Child Care


During Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, children and staff who have
been exposed to a positive case or who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19
listed below, must follow the Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and
Schools on the CDPHE website. Testing for COVID-19 is strongly recommended for
anyone with symptoms or a known exposure. When the guidance for COVID-19 instructs
children and staff to follow their regular return to school illness policy, this guidance may be
used to determine when children and staff may return to school or child care.

MAJOR SYMPTOMS of COVID-19 MINOR SYMPTOMS of COVID-19

●    Feeling feverish, having chills or
      temperature of 100.4°F or greater
●    Loss of taste or smell
●    New or worsening cough
●    Shortness of breath or difficulty
       breathing

●    Sore throat
●    Runny nose or congestion
●    Muscle or body aches
●    Headache
●    Fatigue
●    Nausea, vomiting
●    Diarrhea

There are four main reasons to keep a child home from school.

1. Someone who the child or staff lives with or has had close contact with who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19.

2. The child or staff member does not feel well enough to take part in usual activities. For example, a child is overly tired, fussy or will not stop crying.

3. A child needs more care than teachers and staff can give while still caring for the other children.

4. The symptom or illness is on this list, and staying home is required. Remember, the best ways to stop the spread of infection is staying home when sick and good hand washing.

Remember, the best way to prevent the spread of infection is through good hand washing.

Symptoms Child must stay home?
Coughing Yes - Is the cough new and unrelated to an existing chronic condition?  If the cough is unexplained and inconsistent with the person’s baseline, then follow the COVID-19 Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools found at https://covid19.colorado.gov/cases-and-outbreaks-child-care-schools. 
When the guidance for COVID-19 instructs children and staff to follow their regular return to school illness policy, they may return to school or child care as long as the cough has been resolved for 24 hours unless the cough is caused by an illness that requires them to stay home longer. If the cough is explained by a specific illness other than COVID-19, then the child or staff can return to school or child care following exclusion guidelines for that illness. 
Diarrhea
Frequent, loose, or watery stools (poop) compared to normal ones that are not caused by food or medicine.
Yes - Is the diarrhea new and unrelated to an existing chronic condition?  If the diarrhea is unexplained and inconsistent with the person’s baseline, then follow the COVID-19 Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools found at https://covid19.colorado.gov/cases-and-outbreaks-child-care-schools. 
When the guidance for COVID-19 instructs children and staff to follow their regular return to school illness policy, they may return to school or child care 24 hours after their last episode of diarrhea unless the diarrhea is caused by an illness that requires them to stay home longer. If the diarrhea is explained by a specific illness other than COVID-19, then the child or staff can return to school or child care following exclusion guidelines for that illness.  

Fever
Fever is a temperature of 100.4°F or greater. Babies who are 4 months or younger need to see a doctor right away for a fever of 100°F or higher. 

Yes – Follow the COVID-19 Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools found at https://covid19.colorado.gov/cases-and-outbreaks-child-care-schools. 
When the guidance for COVID-19 instructs children and staff to follow their regular return to school illness policy, they may return to school or child care if the fever has been resolved for 24 hours without fever reducing medications unless the fever is caused by an illness that requires them to stay home longer. If the fever is explained by a specific illness other than COVID-19, then the child or staff can return to school or child care following exclusion guidelines for that illness. 

Minor Symptoms of COVID-19 
Sore throat 
Runny nose or congestion Muscle or body aches Headache 
Fatigue 

Yes - Follow the COVID-19 Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools found at https://covid19.colorado.gov/cases-and-outbreaks-child-care-schools. 
When the guidance for COVID-19 instructs children and staff to follow their regular return to school illness policy, they may return to school or child care as long as the symptoms have been resolved for 24 hours unless the symptoms are caused by an illness that requires them to stay home longer. If the symptoms can be explained by a specific illness other than COVID-19, then follow the exclusion guidelines for that illness.  
New Loss of Taste or Smell  Yes – Is the loss of taste and smell unrelated to severe congestion? If yes, follow the COVID-19 Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools found at https://covid19.colorado.gov/cases-and-outbreaks-child-care-schools.
Vomiting/Throwing Up
 
Yes – Is the vomiting new and unrelated to an existing chronic 
condition?  If the vomiting is unexplained and inconsistent with the 
person’s baseline, then follow the COVID-19 Guidance for Cases and 
Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools found at 
https://covid19.colorado.gov/cases-and-outbreaks-child-care-schools. 
When the guidance for COVID-19 instructs children and staff to follow their regular return to school illness policy, they may return 24 hours after their last episode of vomiting unless the vomiting is caused by an illness that requires them to stay home longer. If the vomiting can be explained by a specific illness other than COVID-19, then follow the exclusion guidelines for that illness.  
If a child with a recent head injury vomits, seek medical attention. 

The following is a listing of illnesses that may require children or staff to stay home:

Illness Child must stay home?
Chicken Pox     Yes - until the blisters have dried and crusted (usually 6 days).
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Pink color of eye and thick  yellow/green discharge
No – children and adults do not need to stay home unless they have a fever or are not able to participate in usual activities.
Call your doctor for advice and possible treatment.

COVID-19 symptoms may include any of the following: 
New loss of taste or smell
Fever or chills 
Fatigue 
New or unexplained persistent cough
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Sore throat 
Runny nose or congestion Muscle or body aches Headache 
Fatigue 
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea 

Yes – children and staff who have been diagnosed with COVID–19 must be excluded until: 

1.    The child or staff member has not had a fever for 24 hours, AND
2.    Other symptoms have improved (example, the cough or shortness of breath has improved), AND
3.    At least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared.

Prior to diagnosis, children and staff with symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19 should follow COVID-19 Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools the exclusion guidelines for COVID-19 found at https://covid19.colorado.gov/cases-and-outbreaks-child-care-schools.  


Testing is strongly recommended for anyone with symptoms of or known exposure to COVID-19. 

 

 

Fifth’s Disease No – the illness is no longer contagious once the rash appears.
Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
(Coxsackie virus)
No - unless the child or adult has mouth sores, is drooling and is not able to take part in usual activities.
Head Lice or Scabies Yes - children may stay at school or child care until the end of the day but cannot return until after they have had the first treatment.
Hepatitis A

Yes - until 1 week after the illness starts and when the child or staff is able to take part in normal activities.
Children and staff should not go to another facility during the period of exclusion.

Herpes

No - unless there are open sores that cannot be covered or there is nonstop drooling. 

Impetigo

Yes – children and adults needs to stay home until antibiotic treatment has started.

Ringworm Yes - children may stay at school or child care until the end of the day but cannot return until after they have had the first treatment. Keep the area covered for the first 3 days if participating in sports with person to person contact.
Roseola No - unless there is a fever or behavior changes.
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial
Virus)
Yes – For any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, follow COVID-19 Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools the exclusion guidelines for COVID-19 found at https://covid19.colorado.gov/cases-and-outbreaks-child-care-schools. 

 (¿Qué tan enfermo es demasiado enfermo?)

Have questions or need more information?  Visit the Health Services page.