- Screen for symptoms before school
- If there are symptoms – use Decision Tree
- One less common symptom – evaluate if your child seems well enough to come to school. Siblings can come to school
- One more common symptom – family stays home until MD gives ok to return or negative test
- Two less common symptoms – family stays home until MD gives ok to return or negative test
- If anyone in the family is tested for COVID-19 because of symptoms – everyone stays home until the results are known
- If a family member tests because of a job requirement, pre-surgery, etc – other family members do not need to stay home
How Long to Stay Home
- For the person who tests positive, they are home for 10 days from symptom onset
- Close contacts of the positive person are home for 14 days from their last contact with the positive person
- If there have been no symptoms, but a positive test, then the person is home for 10 days from the testing date
- Quarantine is staying home from all activities, outside of school as well
Notify the Health Office of Test Results
Where to Test
- Contact your healthcare provider for direction
- At home saliva testing provided by MDH – free
- Saliva centers set up by MDH – free
- MDH testing locator
- Stand alone laboratory facilities
- There can be a delay of 1 to 3 days to schedule testing and it can be difficult to find testing centers on the weekends. MDH is making efforts to reduce the barriers to testing.
Athletes and COVID
If your student athlete tests positive for COVID, here is an excellent update by Dr. Julie Ewasuik of South Lake Peds. Our athletic department is following this closely.
As I am writing this article the COVID-19 cases in Minnesota continue to rise at a rapid pace. It remains true that children who get COVID-19 typically have mild symptoms and recover quickly without problems. However, as we learn more about this virus we are learning more about it’s potential to cause serious problems such as heart inflammation, known as myocarditis.
This heart inflammation is of particular concern to our young athletes. The American Academy of Pediatrics and The Minnesota State High School League both have put out policies to guide return to play after COVID-19 infection in athletes. These recommendations include a rest period after COVID-19 infection along with a medical evaluation prior to returning to play. This evaluation includes a good heart exam and screening for cardiac symptoms and may include testing such as an EKG.
The recommendations for return to play vary based on how severe the symptoms of the COVID-19 infection were in an athlete. Athletes who have asymptomatic or mild symptoms with a COVID-19 infection may be ready to start a gradual return to play after a 14 day resting period. Children and teens with moderate COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever and/or symptoms lasting longer than 5 days, are currently recommended to rest for a minimum of 14 days prior to starting a gradual return to play. All of these athletes are recommended to see their doctor prior to returning to exercise for guidance.
An athlete who had severe disease requiring hospitalization or who was diagnosed with MIS-C may be out of play for 3-6 months to allow their heart to heal. MIS-C (multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children) is a rare, but serious condition that results in widespread inflammation in the body that can lead to blood clots, kidney problems and heart inflammation. We are still learning about MIS-C and it’s association with COVID-19 infections, so far it has been found to be treatable. Thankfully, MIS-C and serious COVID-19 infections in children resulting in hospitalization are very rare. To date there have been 31 cases of MIS-C in Minnesota and none have resulted in deaths.
Any athlete who has a history of COVID-19 infection should return to play gradually to monitor for heart symptoms. They would start with 2 days of light aerobic activity, followed by starting to do drills and then gradually increasing the intensity and duration back to full play. This gradual return is done over a period of 1-2 weeks. If an athlete has any cardiac symptoms such as: chest pain, chest tightness, fatigue, fainting or feeling lightheaded they should stop participation and see their doctor for further evaluation.
As with anything related to COVID-19 our information about this virus is rapidly changing as we learn more every day about the effects of this virus. The information in this article is up to date as of 11/13/20 but is likely to change as we gain more knowledge. The safest thing for you and your athlete to do before returning to play after any severity of COVID-19 infection is to see your pediatrician for guidance. We stay up to date on all of the latest guidelines so that we can work together to keep your athlete safe and active in the sports they love.