COVID-19 Sick Policy for Students

The following policy will be submitted for a first reading at the September 8, 2020 School Committee meeting and will be considered for adoption at a future School Committee meeting.

The Smithfield School Committee, Administration, and every staff member of Smithfield Public Schools have a responsibility to follow and implement the guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health and the CDC to reduce the risk of community spread of the COVID virus. An important recommendation is for individuals experiencing symptoms to stay home. This may be contrary to regular practice, since oftentimes, students go to school with mild cold symptoms. The following policy outlines the expectations of families and students in the Smithfield School District. As any new guidance is developed by the CDC or the RIDOH, this policy will be adjusted accordingly.

A. Symptoms Requiring Absence - People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. CDC defines a probable case of COVID as an individual who meets the following criteria:

Those with only one symptom should also remain at home and monitor their symptoms closely. This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list (see this link) as we learn more about COVID-19.

B. Self-Reporting

Families are to self-report to school nurses any of the following conditions:

  1. If their child has symptoms of COVID-19
  2. If their child is awaiting test results for COVID-19
  3. If their child has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  4. If their child has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks
  5. If their child has been notified by the RIDOH to self-quarantine

C. Returning to School After Having COVID-19

It is important to remember that any student who has close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after exposure based on the time it takes to develop illness.

For any student who has traveled internationally or to a US state where > 5% of COVID tests are positive, the preferred method is to quarantine for 14 days after returning to RI.

COVID-19 can develop any time between 2-14 days after exposure

  • A single negative test only indicates that you are negative at that point in time, but you could become infectious any time through day 14
  • Quarantining for 14 days before returning to school is the best way to reduce the chance of exposing the school community to COVID-19

Upon returning to school, students must submit an after-illness return attestation form that has been completed by a parent.