• COVID Monitoring

    We know that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future. EPS has protocols in place to monitor for illness at school and manage suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community in order to reduce exposure. 

    Monitoring at School

    Staff will monitor students for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and encourage self-monitoring throughout the school day. Students and staff who develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during the day will be moved to a designated space for assessment. This space will be separate from the health office space, where well-student care is delivered and will accommodate distancing of at least six feet. This space will be cleaned between uses. Staff members who become ill at school will be advised to go home immediately. 

    Students and staff with any of the following symptoms will be sent home: 

    • New or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fever (100.40 or greater)
    • Chills
    • Muscle Pain
    • Sore Throat
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea

    Exclusion Criteria

    EPS will follow the Minnesota Department of Health’s Decision Tree for People with COVID-19 Symptoms to determine when a student, staff member, or household member must stay home and when they may return to school. It is important to know the two types of symptoms:

    • More Common: fever greater than/equal to 100.4F; new onset and/or worsening cough; difficulty breathing; new loss of taste or smell
    • Less Common: sore throat; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; chills; muscle pain; excessive fatigue; new onest of severe headache; new onset of nasal congestion or runny nose

    Students/staff members with NO symptoms but a positive COVID-19 test are required to stay home for at least 10 days from the date of the positive test.

    Students/staff members are required to quarantine (stay home while healthy) for 14 days from the date of last contact with someone who tests positive for COVID.

    Students/staff members with only ONE of the following symptoms (and who do not develop a second symptom) are required to stay home until the symptom resolves and are encouraged to talk to their health care provider about testing for COVID-19: 

      • Fever (100.4 or greater)
      • Chills
      • Muscle Pain
      • Sore Throat
      • Loss of Sense of Smell or Taste
      • Gastrointestinal Symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea)

    Potential Exposures

    The Minnesota Department of Health recommends COVID-19 testing for all people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and for asymptomatic people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.  

    In the event of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a student or staff member, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will work with EPS to conduct a case investigation to determine whether any exposures may have occurred in the school setting. EPS will assist MDH in determining when the person first developed symptoms, what date they were tested, and when they last attended school. 

    MDH considers the infectious period to begin 48 hours prior to symptoms developing in a symptomatic individual or on the test date for an asymptomatic individual. In order to evaluate the case and determine next steps, the MDH case investigation team will consider several details, such as how long the person was on-site while potentially infectious, who the person came in contact with, and the level of interaction the person had with others. 

    EPS will notify all identified close contacts of their exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with state and federal law. 

    Quarantine of Close Contacts

    EPS will follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines for determining when exposed students and staff members may return to school. The following information is up-to-date as of 8/3/20: 

    • Close Contacts with no further contact with the infected person and who do not develop symptoms themselves may return after 14 days. 
    • Close Contacts who have continued exposure to the infected person do not begin their 14 day quarantine until the infected person is no longer contagious (10 or more days). These Close Contacts may return after a minimum of 24 days (10 days or more of illness + 14 days of quarantine) if no symptoms develop in the close contact. 
    • If a Close Contact develops symptoms, they begin the 10+ period of isolation.

    More Information

    EPS COVID-19 Information Webpage
    MDH: What to Do if You Have Had Close Contact with a Person with COVID-19