My child has COVID-19 Symptoms: What do I do next?
If your child comes down with symptoms of COVID-19 or is ill, please proceed with the following steps:
STEP 1: Pick Up Your Child From School
The school will call you if your child is sick or develops symptoms of COVID-19 at school. Your child will be isolated in a room where they can remain comfortable, until you can pick them up. You should make every effort to pick your child up immediately.
If symptoms develop at home, please keep your child at home and DO NOT send them to school.
Please Note: Only symptomatic students will have to go home. Those not presenting any symptoms can remain at school, including any siblings of the symptomatic child.
STEP 2: Book a Test for COVID-19
The Alberta Government recommends that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. A negative test result for the Five Core COVID-19 Symptoms could speed up your child’s return to school. Parents can call Health Link 811 or their primary health care practitioner, and fill out the COVID-19 AHS Online Self-Assessment Tool at: www.alberta.ca/covid-19-testing-in-alberta.aspx
Please Note: Only symptomatic students need to be tested. Siblings and parents/guardians are not required to be tested, unless they too develop symptoms.
STEP 3: Stay Home and Get Better
The Five Core Symptoms of COVID-19 are:
• Shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing (new or worsening)
• Runny nose
• Cough (new cough or worsening chronic cough)
• Sore Throat
If your child has one or more of the Five Core Symptoms, they must do one of the following before they will be allowed to return to school.
1. Stay home and isolate for a minimum of 10 days or until COVID-19 symptoms are gone, whichever is longer.
2. Receive a negative COVID-19 test result and no longer have symptoms of COVID-19.
The other symptoms of COVID-19 are:
• painful swallowing,
• stuffy nose,
• muscle or joint aches,
• feeling unwell, fatigue or severe exhaustion,
• gastrointestinal symptoms, (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,
or unexplained loss of appetite),
• loss of sense of smell or taste,
• conjunctivitis (commonly known as pink eye)
If your child has one or more of these other symptoms, they must do the following before they will be allowed to return to school.
1. The sick student must stay home and minimize contact with others until they feel better.
2. They must be completely free of all illness symptoms. No student will be allowed at school with any COVID-19 symptoms.
Please Note: Only symptomatic students will have to isolate at home. Siblings can still attend school as long as they have not developed symptoms. Continued learning will be supported for students in self-isolation.
STEP 4: Return to School
If isolation period has ended, or negative COVID-19 test results received and symptoms have resolved your child may return to school.
No student with symptoms will be allowed at school.
Please Note: You are required to continue completing self-screening health assessment of your child each day. That is available on your school website.
If your child is ill or has developed COVID-19 symptoms, or previous symptoms persist, Do Not attend school.
If a student has symptoms related to allergies or a pre-existing medical condition:
• The student should be tested at least once before returning to school and have a negative COVID-19 test result.
• These symptoms would be their baseline health status. As long as the cough or runny nose is always the same and does not get worse, the student can attend school.
• Talk to your school about your child’s pre-existing medical condition so the school may keep a confidential record of this condition.
About Your Child’s COVID-19 Test Results
AHS will contact you with your child’s test results.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19
• They are legally required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days.
• Isolation period is for 10 days from the start of symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer.
• Close contacts of confirmed cases (siblings, parents/guardians) are legally required to isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
• If a close contact becomes sick with cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat during this time, they should get tested for COVID-19, and must isolate for an additional 10 days from the beginning of symptoms or until they no longer have symptoms, whichever takes longer.
If your child has symptoms but tested negative for COVID-19
• If your child tested negative and has known exposure to COVID-19, they are legally required to isolate for 14 days.
• If your child tested negative and has no known exposure to the virus, they are not legally required to isolate. However, it is important for them to stay home until symptoms resolve so that they do not infect others.
What does it mean to stay home and isolate?
Isolation requirements are set by the Alberta Government. More information on isolation requirements are available at: www.alberta.ca/isolation.aspx