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Understanding the Minnesota Department of Health Decision Tree and “when to stay home” from school.

  • COVID-19 “more common” symptoms: fever greater than or equal to 100.4 F, new onset and/or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell
  • COVID-19 “less common” symptoms: sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, excessive fatigue, new onset of severe headache, new onset of nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Close Contact definition: Any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes (over the course of 24 hours) starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. You are still considered a close contact even if you were wearing a cloth face covering while you were around someone with COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are meant to prevent someone from transmitting the disease to others, and not to protect someone from becoming infected.
If you have ONE “less common” symptom Consider staying home if you feel ill (see decision tree guidance), monitor that symptom and ensure you are feeling better for 24 hours before returning to school.
If you have TWO or more “less common symptoms” Stay home and keep all household members (siblings) home as well. CALL YOUR DOCTOR and let them know you are having these symptoms. Let the doctor evaluate you and decide if they want to give you an alternative diagnosis and/or test you for COVID-19.  Keep siblings home from school as well. You will need an alternative diagnosis and/or negative COVID-19 test result to return to school and to allow siblings to return to school.
If you have 1+ “more common symptoms” Stay home and keep all household members home as well. CALL YOUR DOCTOR and let them know about your symptom(s). Let the doctor evaluate you and decide if they want to give you an alternative diagnosis and/or test you for COVID-19. Keep siblings home from school as well. You will need an alternative diagnosis and/or negative COVID-19 test result to return to school and to allow siblings to return to school.
If you live with someone who has symptoms of illness AND is waiting for COVID-19 test results Everyone in the household should stay home until you know the results.
If you have been told you are a “close contact Stay home and call your school attendance line and school health office. You will be required to quarantine in your home (away from other family members) for 14 days after your last contact with that known COVID-19 case, even if you have a negative test. You cannot “test out” of quarantine.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 Stay home and notify your school health office and attendance office.
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