Common Questions About COVID-19 – Updated 01-11-21

11th Jan 2021
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COVID-19 guidelines tend to change as we learn more about it. We will try to keep updating our Q&A below with the most recent guidelines. You can also visit the link below for quarantine guidelines from the mass.gov website: https://www.mass.gov/guidance/information-and-guidance-for-persons-in-quarantine-due-to-covid-19

What should you do if your child is not feeling well?

Stay home. Call Reading Pediatrics for the next steps to be seen/tested. We may be able to see you in the office, refer you to an urgent care facility, or refer you to a local testing site. Follow the protocol below to return to school.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

For any of the symptoms listed below. Remember that symptoms of COVID can vary from no symptoms at all (asymptomatic) to any or a combination of the following symptoms: fever (100.0 or higher), chills, cough (not due to other causes ), difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, headache (when in combination with other symptoms or when not due underlying condition), muscle/body aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue (when in combination with other symptoms and not due to other causes), and nasal congestion or runny nose (when in combination with other symptoms and not due to other causes such as allergies).

Any of these symptoms may warrant testing. Best practice is to test.

When can children return to school if they have COVID-like symptoms?

You may return to school once you have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

  • If a provider makes an alternate diagnosis for COVID-like symptoms, you may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g. Influenza, strep).
  • If you choose not to get tested, you must remain out of school for 10 days (as well as have improvement in symptoms and fever free x 24 hours without the use of medications).
  • If you need assistance finding a testing location, please reach out. We strongly recommend PCR tests to be the most accurate.

    What happens if you test positive for COVID-19?

    Please alert the school/work. You will receive a call from the Board of Health. You must isolate yourself in your home for 10 days.

    What is a close contact?

    Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) starting from 2 days prior to illness onset (for asymptomatic patients 2 days prior to test specimen collection).

    What happens if you are identified as a close contact?

  • If you chose not to test, you must quarantine for 10 days (release day 11).
  • If you chose to test, we recommend doing so on day 5 or after and you may be released on day 8 if negative.

    You must monitor for any symptoms for a full two weeks and if any symptoms arise, we recommend retesting. You must quarantine for the full 14 days if any symptoms within this period.

    What should you do if you are awaiting a COVID test or COVID test results?

    If you are awaiting an appointment for a COVID Test or are awaiting a COVID test result you must quarantine at home. You are not allowed to attend school, work, or school related activities.

    What if my family is traveling?

    If traveling, please adhere to the guidelines on mass.gov. If traveling to a restricted state (red), quarantining for 10 days upon return OR receiving a PCR test within 72 hours of your return to Massachusetts is acceptable. For children 10 or under, proof or parental PCR testing is accepted. Children older than 10 must submit proof of own PCR test. Please note that only PCR testing accepted for travel.

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