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Illness Guidelines

August 27, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Illness Guidelines (PDF)

Text of PDF:


The Northwood-Kensett Community School District references the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health.  We continue to work very closely with the Worth County Public Health office and local family healthcare providers to provide guidelines which define when a student is well enough to attend school during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The guidance will be modified to meet appropriate public health and safety needs as necessary.


Please consult your child’s primary healthcare provider to provide guidance regarding your child’s specific health needs.


The general message to NK’s students, and staff is to stay home if you are not feeling well during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • As previously noted, students and staff will not have their temperature taken upon arrival unless NEW onset of illness symptoms.  We ask you for your help in screening your children daily before sending them to school.
  • Students who become ill at school will be taken to a separate room and will need to be picked up from school within 45 minutes of receiving a phone call from school.  Please make sure all phone numbers are accurate within JMC and that you have an emergency contact listed that is able to pick up your ill student if you are unable.  Plan ahead how your child will be cared for at home due to illness.
  • Notify the school when your child is ill and will be absent from school.  The secretaries will ask your child’s symptoms for documentation and tracking purposes.
  • Notify the school if your child is positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 (close contact is contact within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes).


Symptoms Requiring Students to Stay Home:

(The CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health have outlined the following guidelines on when to stay or be sent home from school.)


  • The 1st 24 hours of antibiotic treatments (i.e. strep throat, pink eye, etc)
  • Rash or skin condition that is of unknown cause, undiagnosed, new, and/or needing treatment for a contagious cause
  • Active vomiting or diarrhea due to a suspected contagious illness
  • Doctor’s note requiring an individualized plan of care to stay home
  • Other communicable illnesses which pose a risk of disease transmission to others.
  •  If you have given your child ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or other fever reducing medication within 12 hours of school starting, closely evaluate the reason the medicine was given.  (If it was given for possible symptoms of COVID-19, then the student should stay home.)


Additional Requirements for Students to Stay Home:


  • COVID-19 symptoms with NO other confirmed diagnosis, cause, or explanation for the symptom(s) warrants reason to not attend school.
    • Any “High Risk” COVID-19 symptom
      • New Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • New loss of taste or smell
    • Any two or more “Low Risk” COVID-19 symptoms
      • Fever of 100 degrees or great or chills-do not come to school if you have a fever regardless if you don’t have other symptoms
      • Headache, muscle/body aches, fatigue, sore throat, congestion, sinus pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • If your child is reported to have 2 or more low risk symptoms (as indicated above) or 1 high risk symptom (as indicated above) out of their norm, Public Health requires them to be out of school until the following things occur if COVID-19 testing is not complete and no physician’s note is given with a diagnosis for the illness.
    • Symptoms have improved


    • They have had no fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medicine)


    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • Children reported to have 2 or more low risk symptoms or 1 high risk symptom out of their norm can return if they get tested for COVID-19 and receive a negative result AFTER 24 hours symptom free. 
  • If your child has had a “close contact” with someone positive with COVID-19.  Public Health defines “close contact” as being less than 6 feet from a person positive of COVID-19 for longer than 15 minutes. 
  • Testing positive for COVID-19


Guidelines for returning to school for either testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed to someone with COVID-19 are very specific.  You will need to consult with Public Health and Nurse Heather in these situations to determine when your child is able to return to school.


It is important to differentiate your child’s typical heath status from abnormal symptoms.  However, in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important to err on the side of caution; contact Nurse Heather if you question if you should send your child to school.


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