The Virginia Department of Health VDH has very good guidelines for assessing risk and determining when to test for COVID-19. Please click here to see the VDH algorithm:
FAQs (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)
Quarantine vs. Isolation
QUARANTINE means staying away from others because you MIGHT have a disease and don’t want to infect others. During quarantine you should not be near anyone outside of your immediate family, so NO in-person school, NO sports team activities, NO in-person classes/tutoring, etc. You should wear a mask at all times if you are in the same room as anyone outside your immediate family.
ISOLATION means that you are contagious, so you need to be extra careful and need to stay away from others. This means NO in-person school, NO team sports, NO in-person activities for the full duration of your isolation. You should wear a mask at all times except when you are alone in your room.
We traveled out of state for the holidays, when can my child return to school?
If you traveled out of state for the holidays, you & your children should remain in quarantine for 14 days after your return.
My child was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, what do we do?
If your child has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, your child should stay home from school & all activities for 14 days from the last known exposure. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of COVID-19 to appear, so you should keep your child away from others for a full 14 days to be sure he/she is not infected and that he/she does not inadvertently infect someone else.
What if someone in our household tests positive for Covid-19?
If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, then all household members should be considered EXPOSED and all household members should QUARANTINE for 14 days. Hopefully no one else will show symptoms, but it can take up to 14 days for symptoms of COVID-19 to appear, so all household members should stay away from others for a full 14 days to be sure none of you are infected.
My child’s friend’s father tested positive for Covid-19, my child saw her friend when the kid’s father’s test was pending. Has my child been exposed? Does my child have to quarantine?
This is an exposure to an exposure. If your child’s friend was asymptomatic at the time the children were together and both children were wearing masks or appropriately distanced, then there is nothing you need to do other than take usual preventive measures: stay 6+ feet apart, wear masks and wash hands frequently. Your child’s friend will need to quarantine because the friend has a direct exposure. If your child’s friend tests positive or develops symptoms consistent with Covid-19 within 48hrs of when your child was with that friend, then it becomes a direct exposure and your child will need to quarantine.
My child has symptoms of Covid-19, what do we do?
If your child has a runny nose or cold symptoms, you should keep your child home from school and other activities and manage those symptoms at home as you typically would. If the symptoms resolve in 3-5 days as would be expected for a typical cold, then your child may return to school once symptoms have resolved and he/she has been fever free without the use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen for >24 hrs.
My child just has a runny nose, should they come in to be seen?
If your child has a runny nose, keep him/her home from school and other activities, use nasal saline mist to help clear his/her nose and monitor for 3-5 days to see if symptoms resolve. If your child has a history of allergies (uses Claritin or Zyrtec), then treat as you would during allergy season to help manage symptoms. If the runny nose goes away with nasal saline (+/- allergy regimen), then your child may return to school and activities as long as he/she has remained fever free and no other symptoms have developed. If the runny nose does not improve in 3-5 days or if other symptoms develop, please call to make an appointment for your child to be seen.
Can my child return to school right away if he/she is tested for COVID-19 & the test is negative?
If your child has been exposed (< 6 ft apart for 15 minutes or more) to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, your child should stay home from school & all activities for 14 days from the last known exposure. It does not make a difference if your child has been tested as the test tells your child’s status only at the time of the test, so the safest thing to do is to have your child quarantine for the full 14 days regardless of the test result. If quarantining for 14 days is not possible, and your child has no symptoms, then he/she may be tested on or after the 5th day from exposure and may be released from quarantine after 7-10 days if the test is negative and he/she remains symptom free. There are some risks associated with this plan, but you can discuss this with your provider.
How long does it take to receive Covid-19 test results and will I be notified?
Rapid COVID testing done in our office takes about 20 minutes. PCR testing is a send out test that takes 3-5 days for results. Because this is a send-out test, we have no control of the timing and have no ability to speed the process. When there is an increase in testing in the community, testing may take longer than expected. We will notify you ASAP once results come back to our office.
Are parents able to be tested for Covid-19 in the office?
Unfortunately, we are not able to test parents or caregivers.
** You can find more detail and answers to many more FAQ in the VDH guidelines