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04/16/2024 Community Update - Reducing the Spread of Illness in Our Schools


On behalf of the Springfield School Nurses

As a school community, we are working to reduce the spread of illness in our schools by taking universal precautions such as reinforcing respiratory hygiene practices with staff and students, cleaning and disinfecting, and encouraging handwashing.  In addition, it is important to remember that these illnesses are contagious, so it is critical to follow the guidelines below on when to keep your child home from school. 

The CDC has recently lifted COVID-19 isolation guidelines for those who test positive for COVID-19. Instead of a strict 5-day isolation period, individuals who have COVID-19 should stay home until they have been fever-free without medication and symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours. Individuals are also recommended to take additional precautions for the next five days such as wearing well-fitting masks, washing their hands, limiting close contact with others, and improving ventilation. 

Please stay home when experiencing COVID/Flu-like symptoms. Testing either through PCR or antigen (at-home COVID test) provides an additional level of prevention and protects individuals who are at higher risk of developing severe outcomes.

Please see the CDC’s Preventing Spread of Respiratory Viruses When You’re Sick for further guidance on when you can resume activities and precautions to follow.

Reduce the Spread of Illness:

  • Covering coughs and sneezes reduces the spread of airborne germs.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and light switches.
  • Thorough 20-second handwashing and/or the use of hand sanitizer is important throughout the day including before and after eating, after using the restroom, and after recess.

When to Keep Your Child Home:

  • Fever: Your child has a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. Your child must be fever-free (without fever-reducing medicine) for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting: If your child has been having diarrhea and/or vomiting, they must be tolerating food for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Strep Throat: If your child has been diagnosed with strep throat, your child may return to school 24 hours after the initial dose of antibiotic has been given and they can tolerate the demands of a school day. Please confer with their medical provider. Strep Throat Guidance
  • Pink Eye: If your child has been diagnosed with pink eye (conjunctivitis), they can return to school once examined by their medical provider, started on antibiotic therapy, and approved to return to school. Pink Eye Guidance
  • Impetigo: If your child has been diagnosed with impetigo, they can return to school after taking antibiotics for 24 hours, and have been cleared by their health care provider. Impetigo Guidance
  • Rash of unknown cause: Your child has a rash of unknown causes. Please call your child's healthcare provider for guidance. Please provide a note from your healthcare provider when a diagnosis has been determined and treatment, if necessary, has begun.

Sending Your Healthy Children to School

Children who do not feel well cannot participate comfortably in school activities and may spread illness to others.  No student should come to school sick.  Detailed returning-to-school guidelines are indicated in the link below.

Springfield Public Schools Health Chart

Please assess your children each morning and do not send them to school if they are experiencing symptoms including, but not limited to:

  1. Diarrhea, vomiting or nausea
  2. Chills, shivers, or temperature of 100 degrees or more
  3. Sore throat or severe coughing
  4. Difficult or rapid breathing
  5. Red eyes with discharge
  6. Open, oozing skin patches
  7. Skin rashes lasting more than one day
  8. Swollen joints and pain
  9. Visibly enlarged lymph nodes
  10. Moderate to severe pain or discomfort, including muscle aches, headache

Please use the Call for Safety (CFS) Attendance Line (973-376-1025), to report if your child will be tardy or absent due to illness or other reasons.

School/Nurse                             Call for Safety Extension
JDHS: Jeanine Pentz                       5243
FMG: Renee Mowczan                   1472
JCS: Roxanne Graham                    4039
TLS: Patricia Mader-Karan             3311
EVW: Regine Jules                           2650

Upon the student's return to school, please submit health care provider tardy/absence notes regarding your child's diagnosis and the course of treatment.