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
A negative test result for the four “core” COVID-19 Symptoms could speed up your child’s return to school. Parents can call Health Link 811 or 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 Four "Core" Symptoms of COVID-19 are:
• Fever (38 °C or higher)
• Cough (continuous, more than usual)
• Shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing
(continuous, out of breath, unable to breathe deeply)
• Loss of sense of smell or taste
If your child has one or more of the four "core" COVID-19 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 from when symptoms began.
Isolation requirements are set by the Alberta Government. More information on isolation requirements are available at: www.alberta.ca/isolation.aspx
2. A student can return before 10 days ONLY if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result, AND symptoms are gone, AND they are not a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
Please Note: Siblings of a child with symptoms can still attend school, unless they too have symptoms, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
The other symptoms of COVID-19 are:
• chills (without fever, not related to being outside in cold weather),
• sore throat/painful swallowing,
• runny nose/congestion,
• feeling unwell/fatigued, lack of energy,
• nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea,
• unexplained loss of appetite,
• muscle or joint aches,
• conjunctivitis (commonly known as pink eye)
If your child has ONE of the above “other” symptoms, they can return to school if they are feeling better, as long as it has been at least 24 hours.
Testing is not needed if they only have one of the above “other” symptoms, and it improves after 24 hours.
If they are not getting better, if they get worse or develop another symptom, keep your child home until symptom(s) resolve, use the AHS Online Assessment Tool or call Health Link 811 to check if testing is recommended.
If a child has TWO or MORE of the above “other” symptoms:
• Keep your child home.
• Use the AHS Online Assessment Tool or call Health Link 811 to determine if testing is recommended.
• Your child can return to school and activities once their symptoms go away as long as it has been at least 24 hours since their symptoms started.
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.
Close contacts of confirmed cases of original or variant COVID-19 are legally required to quarantine and monitor for symptoms.
Quarantine requirements vary dependent on household or non-household close contacts. AHS will direct close contacts on quarantine requirements. Make sure to visit www.alberta.ca/isolation.aspx for more information on quarantine.
Should Close Contacts be tested?
AHS recommends that all Albertans, including students and staff in schools, who are close contacts be tested twice.
The first test should be as soon as possible after receiving notification of the exposure.
The second test should occur between Day 10 and 14 of the quarantine period, if the first test is negative. Anyone who develops symptoms should be tested as soon as possible.
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.
What does it mean to stay home and isolate or quarantine?
Isolation and quarantine requirements are set by the Alberta Government. More information on isolation requirements are available at: www.alberta.ca/isolation.aspx
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.