I have had a number of questions regarding what it means to be quarantined, and if those who are considered a close contact should get tested for COVID-19. I wanted to take the time to address those questions. First I will add that a representative from the TN Dept. of Health would typically contact all positive cases of COVID-19, and those who have been determined to be a close contact, however, due to the high numbers of positive cases of COVID-19, the chance of this happening is low. This was confirmed to me this week by a TN Dept. of Health COVID response team member over the phone. Therefore, I will share that information should your child be considered a close contact at some point, and not get that daily call from the TN Dept. of Health.What it means to be in quarantine:
I have received several questions about what it means for someone to be quarantined. To be clear, as a school nurse I am able to tell parents that their child is quarantined from school and school related activities, but I do not have the authority to tell you that your child must abstain from anything else. As I stated above, those with that authority (The TN Dept. of Health) do not currently have the capacity to contact everyone to give them this guidance, so we are strongly encouraging those who have been quarantined from campus to follow the recommendations of the CDC and the TN Dept. of Health. According to the CDC “Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19
away from others. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, and monitor their health.” The quarantine of an individual is for 14 days because it can take up to 14 days for the virus to present itself. Please keep others out of harm’s way by continuing to intentionally quarantine your child not only from in-person school, but by not allowing them to participate in extracurricular activities; such as dance, recreational league sports, trips to the store, or a restaurant, etc. until the quarantine is completed. This also includes not having other people over to your house. During the 14 days of quarantine it is important to keep an eye out for any symptoms that may present. If the TN Dept of Health had the capacity to do so, they would be calling to do symptom checks each day and to ask if your child has remained at home. While this may occur, as I said earlier, the likelihood is low.
Please see this link
for what the TN Dept. of Health says about what to expect if you or someone you know has been possibly exposed to COVID-19. Please click this link
to view the TN Dept. of Health’s Release of Cases and Contacts From Isolation and Quarantine.Should my child get tested if they are quarantined:
The CDC recommends that all individuals who are considered a close contact, and therefore quarantined, get tested. The CDC states, “Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested.” This can help with the stop of the spread of the virus, and to help us assess if it has spread in our school community. If your child does get tested please let us know the result, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. As a reminder, a negative test result does not mean that the quarantine is lifted.
That test was a reflection of the individual's status at the time of the test, so if it is negative the full 14 day quarantine still needs to be completed. If you want to read more about COVID-19 testing please click on this link
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I will answer them as I am able. You can also call the TN Dept. of Health’s Nashville COVID Hotline is (615) 862-7777.
Moira Clark, RN, BSN