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Message from your School Nurses - November 2022

Message from your School Nurses - November 2022

Dear Belmont Families,

Does my child have RSV, COVID or the flu?

As the holiday season approaches and temperatures begin to cool off, so does the concern of flu and other respiratory illnesses. This flu season we are facing continued concerns of rising COVID infections as well as a rise in RSV infections (respiratory syncytial virus). More people will be gathering indoors in larger crowds.

At BPS your nurses continue to monitor the cases that are reported though mitigations have been lifted and absences are not monitored as thoroughly as they have been in the past 2 years. 

Early symptoms of Covid, RSV and the flu can look similar for many children, including congestion, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, fever, and headache. Since each virus typically begins as an upper respiratory infection, it can be difficult to know which one you are dealing with when your child gets sick. The only way to determine which virus is causing an infection is by getting a test. We recommend at home COVID  testing, please note that testing more than once is recommended as it may take time for the virus to show on a home test. If your child continues to have symptoms a test negative, reach out to your health provider. Testing for all viruses can be done by health care providers and sometimes treatment may be needed for ongoing or concerning symptoms.

Please report all positive COVID cases here.

BPS nurses continue to track and monitor cases in order to identify potential trends or outbreaks. We cannot do this work if we don't have the information. Please be sure to report cases to your school nurse. See our website for more information on COVID Protocols

It is important that sick individuals continue to follow the illness policy  and stay home to reduce the spread of illness to others. Best practice would include wearing a mask when symptoms are present.

When to keep your child home:

  • A cold or COVID-like illness,  in the early contagious stages (frequent sneezing, coughing, nose stuffed up, nose constantly running, child feels ill ) Please use a rapid antigen at-home COVID test prior to their return to school. 

  • A temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher.  Students should not return to school until their temperature is normal for 24 hours without fever reducing medications (Tylenol, Motrin etc.), regardless of a negative COVID test.

  • Vomiting or diarrhea. Students should not return to school for 24 hours after the last episode.

  • An undiagnosed rash.

  • Infections such as strep throat, conjunctivitis, ringworm, or impetigo, until they have been on prescribed treatment medication for 24 hours

At-home COVID Test Kit Distribution

Belmont Public Schools will distribute COVID take-home tests the week of November 20th. These tests will provide families the opportunity to test prior to the return of school on Monday, November 28. There is no official sign up for these tests. Watch for more information from your school principals. Please check those backpacks! 

Here are some of the recommended uses for the COVID at-home test kits: 

  • Recommended use for return from Thanksgiving break
    • Test on Sunday, November 27 or Monday morning, November 28 prior to returning to school 
    • Test again during the week of November 27.
  • Other recommendations for at-home antigen tests are when an individual is:
    • Experiencing symptoms (test before returning to school)
    • Deemed to be a close contact (test on day 5 or later)

Please remember to report all positive cases HERE

We do want to stress that anyone at any time can be considered a close contact without knowing it. Though it is not mandated, we strongly recommend that students and staff consider wearing a mask to school upon return from the holiday break.

A yearly flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine/booster are an important step in protecting your family against illness. Contact your student’s pediatrician or visit your local pharmacy for an appointment. COVID vaccine and FLU clinics continue to be offered by the Belmont Health Department.. We thank the Belmont Health Department for their collaborative efforts to keep our school community safe. 

 For more information: 

RSV, COVID and Flu: What to look for if your child has a respiratory illness.

DESE preventing-fall-illness.pdf

Be Well!

BPS nurses