COVID-19 and Illness Protocols and Practices
For the Sioux City Community School District
These Sioux City Community School District COVID-19 and illness protocols and practices have been implemented to assist in promoting the safety and wellness of our students, staff, and community. Thank you for being a responsible partner in helping us maintain these protocols and practices.
- Fever (at least 100.4°F)
- Shortness of Breath
- Muscle or Body Aches
- New Loss of Taste or Smell
- Sore Throat
- Congestion or Runny Nose
- Nausea or Vomiting
When Students/Staff Should Remain Home
Parents/Guardians, please screen your child at home, and staff members, please screen yourself at home before going to school. Click here to download a helpful home screening checklist. Check for a temperature of 100.4°F or higher and determine if any of the symptoms of COVID-19 are present. Students and staff members should remain home when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Please call the school to report an absence due to illness.
The Sioux City Community School District illness policy also requires students to stay home:
- The first 24 hours of antibiotic treatment for an alternative illness (strep throat, etc.)
- When experiencing undiagnosed, new, and/or untreated rash or skin conditions
- If questionable or undiagnosed pink eye appears
When Students/Staff Exhibit Illness Symptoms at School
If a student displays any of the COVID-19 symptoms during the school day, they will be moved to the Caring Room, and a parent/guardian will be called to pick up the child. Parents/guardians must ensure that your contact information is current in Infinite Campus. Appropriate personal protective equipment will be worn in the Caring Room to limit the transmission of illness. Parents/guardians must pick students up promptly when called to reduce close contact and exposure to others.
Staff members will be sent home if they experience the COVID-19 symptoms during the school day.
When a Positive COVID-19 Case is Confirmed
The identity of the individual with the COVID-19 positive result is confidential. This individual will not be allowed to return to school for at least 10 days and 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and symptoms improving.
Only individuals that are identified as close contacts will be notified about positive COVID-19 cases in the District. Appropriate actions will be taken, in accordance with District protocol, to thoroughly clean, sanitize, and disinfect any impacted areas. Classes will continue for those who have not been identified as close contacts, unless announced otherwise.
Defining Close Contacts of a COVID-19 Positive Case
The Sioux City Community School District will work closely with Siouxland District Health to establish a list of close contacts that interacted with any individual who tests positive for COVID-19. Close contacts will be determined through a process called contact tracing. Learn more about contact tracing.
A close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person, without a mask, for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
Effective September 28, 2020, per guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health and Siouxland District Health, individuals who interacted with a person who tested COVID-positive will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days if a mask was consistently worn by both people during the exposure. A face shield or gaiter is not considered an acceptable face covering under this guidance, and quarantine is still required if one or both people were wearing a face shield or gator only.
A Siouxland District Health official or school official will notify a close contact if they may have been exposed to COVID-19, provide information on symptoms, and encourage them to self-quarantine, if needed, to prevent the spread of the disease. In accordance with the guidance from the state, careful consideration will go into determining critical personnel.
Protocols for Close Contacts
Close contacts must determine if they have experienced any of the COVID-19 symptoms.
If close contacts experience any of the COVID-19 symptoms, they are advised to seek medical care. Individuals who need medical care should call a medical provider to report an illness prior to seeking care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital. Parents of students exhibiting flu-like symptoms or staff exhibiting flu-like symptoms are asked to contact a school nurse, a primary care provider, or Siouxland District Health.
Close contacts that have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms should:
- Self-quarantine, only if face coverings were not worn consistently or if only face shields or gaiters were worn, until 14 days after the last potential exposure, maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others at all times, and follow all CDC guidance on self-quarantine.
- Self-monitor daily for symptoms.
- If you have a thermometer, check and record your temperature twice a day. Thermometers should not be shared.
- Contact a healthcare provider immediately if you experience COVID-19 symptoms.
- Avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe illness (unless they live in the same home and had the same exposure as you).
When Students/Staff Should Return to School Following Illness
If a student/staff member with symptoms has been seen by a medical provider and either receives a NEGATIVE COVID-19 test result or an alternative diagnosis of another illness, the student/staff member can return to school after 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and symptoms improving.
If a student/staff member experiences COVID-19 symptoms and is NOT seen by a medical provider nor tested for COVID-19, the student/staff member can return to school after 10 days since symptoms started and 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and symptoms improving.
If a student/staff member has been seen by a medical provider and receives a POSITIVE COVID-19 test result, the student/staff member can return to school after 10 days since symptoms started and 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and symptoms improving.
Academic Instruction During Absence Due to Illness or Quarantine
Schools within the Sioux City Community School District will continue to support students with acute and/or chronic health conditions. Short-term absences will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and instructional materials will be provided for continued learning.
The expectations of participation in remote learning may vary for students who are sick compared to asymptomatic students who have been sent home due to potential exposure.
Tips for Talking with Students About COVID-19
It’s important to help students understand the facts about COVID-19. Parents/Guardians: View tips to help you navigate this conversation with students.
Community Resources to Support Families
The Sioux City community offers many resources for families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. View a list of resources for families.
Sioux City Community School District guidance is based on CDC guidelines and may be updated if the CDC guidelines change.