Health Services / Nurses Office

  • This page includes information about COVID-19, health office procedures, dismissal from school, and in-person guidelines.  Please feel free to reach out to our Nurses’ Office at 847-424-7260 with any questions. 

     

    COVID 19 Information 

    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.  Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.  

    The following may be COVID-19 symptoms:

    • Fever (100.4 or higher) or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    This list does not include all possible symptoms.   CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html 

    How long does it take for symptoms to start?

    It can take anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus to develop signs and symptoms of illness. People have had a wide range of symptoms reported, from mild discomfort to severe illness.  Some people can be positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms (asymptomatic). 

    Where can I find COVID-19 testing sites?

    The following locations offer testing.  Please contact them directly for hours and availability.  Parents/guardians should contact their child's healthcare provider for testing guidelines and requirements, and to schedule an appointment.

    Community-based testing sites: Illinois Department of Public Health 

    Evanston-area healthcare providers, including Erie Family Health CentersAMITA Health, and NorthShore University HealthSystem, also provide COVID-19 testing.

    What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

    These terms refer to public safety procedures used to help prevent the spread of germs and disease.  Isolation means keeping sick individuals apart from the healthy population.  This generally means that a person remains home, keeping distance from others.  Quarantine refers to separating people who may have been exposed to a sick individual from others.  Because individuals can spread the virus to others before symptoms have had time to develop, quarantine prevents them from spreading it to others. 

    Students who are confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 must complete 10 calendar days of isolation from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school.

    Students with COVID-like symptoms who do not get tested for COVID-19 and who do not provide a doctor’s note documenting an alternative diagnosis, must complete 14 calendar days of isolation from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school.

    Students who have been in close contact (15 minutes or longer and within 6 feet) with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (includes siblings/family members/school contacts), must quarantine for 14 days after the last contact with the confirmed case. During the quarantine period, active symptom monitoring (temperature check twice daily, watch for symptoms) must be completed.  If your child develops symptoms of illness, their healthcare provider, as well as our nurses' office should be notified.

    What is “Close Contact”?

    For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period, starting from 2 days (48 hours) before the person began feeling sick (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient was isolated.  If individuals meet the criteria for close contact, they should remain at home for 14 days since the last time they were in contact with the infected person.  If they develop symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider for further instructions and possible testing.

     

    ETHS Health Services Office Procedures

    When should I keep my child home from school?

    Your child must stay home if they:

    • show any signs and symptoms of illness, including Active vomiting or diarrhea, Fever/chills/generalized body aches, Undiagnosed, new, and/or untreated rash or skin condition (i.e. generalized hives, wound with green/yellowish drainage, etc.) or any COVID-19 symptom.
    • has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting results, 
    • has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 

    Students who present with any COVID-19 symptoms at school will be sent home immediately.  

    If a student is sent home sick with suspected COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., cough, fever, diarrhea, shortness of breath, etc.), must all their ETHS siblings/household members be sent home as well and quarantined for 14 calendar days?

    Yes. If one of the household members is being evaluated for COVID-19, the rest of the household must be quarantined until an alternative diagnosis is made or a negative result received. If the sick student becomes a confirmed case (i.e., tests positive for COVID-19) or a probable case (i.e., has COVID-like symptoms and is epidemiologically linked to known case), the local health department (LHD) conducting contact tracing will place household contacts, including siblings, in quarantine for 14 calendar days. (Note that cases are to isolate for a minimum of 10 calendar days or if symptoms persist, when released by the LHD, while contacts are to quarantine for 14 calendar days. This is because the incubation period--the time they might develop symptoms after an exposure—is 14 calendar days, while the infectious period when a case can transmit illness is approximately 10 calendar days.) The health department also will provide guidance on how to safely quarantine and isolate within the household.

    • Call the attendance office to report absence. The attendance office will inform the health services office, who will then reach out.  
    • Follow up with a medical provider.
    • Parent/guardian to call IDPH Hotline (1-800-889-3931) or Evanston Health Department at 847-448-4311 or 311 for guidance regarding presenting symptoms, if testing for COVID-19 is warranted.

    What is the procedure for reporting my child’s absence due to illness?

    • Parents/guardians will follow these steps for calling in student absences https://www.eths.k12.il.us/domain/385
      • Students should remain home if they are ill or have any of the below symptoms, and parents/guardians will call in their absence https://www.eths.k12.il.us/domain/385.  
      • The following symptoms require absence from in-person classes: active vomiting or diarrhea, fever/chills/generalized body aches, undiagnosed, new, and/or untreated rash or skin condition (i.e. generalized hives, wound with green/yellowish drainage, etc.), doctor's note requiring an individualized plan of care to stay home, any COVID-19 symptoms, if diagnosed with COVID-19, with or without symptoms.

    How have school health office procedures changed?

    In order to ensure the safety of our students and staff, a number of changes have been made.  ETHS will have two spaces to assess the health needs of students who may need medical care, while in the building.  

    Space 1 - Health Annex in North Cafeteria

    Students who present with any sick symptoms will be escorted to the Health Annex for triage.

    Space 2 - Nurses’ Office in N121 

    Students who need diabetes management, medication administration, or other minor health concerns will be escorted here.  Students will not be allowed to come and rest, come for cough drops, band-aids or other minor items.  This is for their own safety.  

    Nurses will be wearing PPE, including masks, and face shields, and gloves and disposable gowns as needed.  

    Health offices are reconfigured to allow separate care areas for sick children and for those who require treatment for injuries and routine care such as medication administration.  Social distancing guidelines will be observed.

    Traffic flow through the health office will be minimized.  Parents/guardians will be asked to wait outside when picking up their child.  Parents/guardians who need to drop off materials, such as health forms, will need to do so at Door 1, Door 2, or scan a PDF and email the information to nurses@eths202.org.  

    Enhanced cleaning measures will be implemented.

    What happens when my child becomes ill at school?

    If your child appears or feels unwell, arrangements will be made for safety to escort your child to the Health Annex in North Cafeteria. One of our nurses will meet your student there to triage.  Our nurse will do a brief medical assessment and to check for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 (see above).  If your child has any of the signs or symptoms, they will be placed in a safe, supervised area in the Health Annex to ensure that there is no contact with other students or staff pending your arrival.  School nurses will contact you to pick up your child as soon as possible.  It is important that you provide the school with current phone numbers for yourself and those you have designated as emergency contacts.  We realize that in certain circumstances you may not be able to pick up your child immediately; therefore, it is imperative that you arrange for other individuals to do so in case you are unavailable or allow your child to walk home.    To prevent the spread of infection, individuals with symptoms must be dismissed from school as quickly as possible; therefore, please consider making a plan in advance for your child to be picked up in case of illness at school.  Pick up for your child will occur in the front of the building.  Upon your arrival, your child will be escorted to the nearest exit to meet you in the front of the building. Our ETHS nurse will excuse your child’s absence for the rest of the day.   

    Returning to School In Person After Illness

    What are the guidelines for my child to return to school after illness?

    Please contact your child’s healthcare provider if they were sent home from school due to illness or if your child develops illness at home.  The following guidelines must be met before your child can return to school after illness.

    • Students returning from illness related to COVID-19 or non COVID-19 (whether reported from home or dismissed from school while ill) or following quarantine, must speak with the Nurses’ Office to ensure that the following guidelines are adhered to:
      • All students sent home with COVID-like symptoms should be diagnostically tested.
      • Students should remain home from school until they receive the test results.
      • Students who are confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 must complete 10 calendar days of isolation from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school.
      • Students returning to school after experiencing COVID-like symptoms, but being diagnosed with a non-COVID illness must meet the criteria for returning to school for the illness with which they have been diagnosed.  At a minimum, the individual must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and have had no diarrhea or vomiting in the previous 24 hours.
    • Other diseases have specific criteria for when a student can return to school after illness. Follow school health policies and communicable disease guidance for those illnesses. Communicable Disease Chart for Schools
    • A doctor’s note documenting the alternative diagnosis and a negative COVID-19 test result should accompany a student returning to school with an alternative diagnosis after experiencing COVID-like symptoms.
    • Students with COVID-like symptoms who do not get tested for COVID-19 and who do not provide a doctor’s note documenting an alternative diagnosis, must complete 14 calendar days of isolation from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school.
    • Medical evaluation and COVID-19 diagnostic testing is strongly recommended for all persons with COVID-like symptoms. IDPH-COVID19-Exclusion-Decison-Tree

    How will students and families be notified if a student has come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

    ETHS will communicate with students and families via phone and/or email. Students and staff members who have been exposed will be notified of possible exposure and ask that they follow up with their healthcare provider for further direction.  They should notify the school if they have tested positive for Covid-19.

    What is the procedure for quarantine if my child was possibly exposed to someone with COVID-19?

    Students who have been in close contact (15 minutes or longer and within 6 feet) with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (includes siblings/family members/school contacts), must quarantine for 14 days after the last contact with the confirmed case. During the quarantine period, active symptom monitoring (temperature check twice daily, watch for symptoms) must be completed.  If your child develops symptoms of illness, their healthcare provider, as well as our nurses' office should be notified.

    What steps can be taken to prevent from getting COVID-19?

    Please take the time to talk to your child about everyday steps to stay healthy:

    • Frequently washing hands and using hand sanitizer safely
    • Avoiding close contact with people who are ill, even within the household
    • Remaining 6 apart from others outside the home
    • Covering nose and mouth with a cloth face cover when around others outside the home
    • Sneezing/coughing into a tissue or inside of elbow
    • Avoiding touching face with unwashed hands
    • Helping your child identify and monitor his/her own symptoms of illness
    • Teaching your child about the importance of wearing a mask
    • Obtaining adequate rest and exercise and maintaining a healthy diet

    COVID-19: How to Protect Yourself and Others

     

    Chronic Health Conditions/Allergies 

    My child has a chronic health condition.  How will care be handled at school?

    During registration for the start of the 2020-21 school year, parents/guardians had the opportunity to notify ETHS of your child’s health conditions and medical needs. Nurses review the health information submitted by parents, contact them for additional details as needed, and develop an individualized healthcare plan when needed.  This information will be shared with school staff to ensure that appropriate staff members are aware of the particular health concern, yet confidentiality is maintained.  If you have any questions about your child’s care at school, please contact our nurses.

    If your child has complex health issues, please consult with their healthcare provider to determine which learning option is best (in-person learning or remote learning).

    Where should students pick up their daily medication at school? 

    Please work with nurses to ensure that required forms (Allergy Action Plans and Medication Authorization Forms) are on file, and that emergency medication has been submittedThe nurse’s office will continue to distribute medicine, support students with diabetes, and do preventative care in the health office.  All students presenting with symptoms of an illness will be directed to the health annex.  Review our Medication Administration guidelines.

    Will symptoms of a known condition (allergies, migraine, etc) be taken into consideration?

    Every symptomatic person should be evaluated by their healthcare provider on a case-by-case basis and decisions to test for COVID-19 should be based on their personal health history. Diagnostic testing is strongly encouraged whenever an individual experiences COVID-like symptoms as it is possible to have COVID-19 and other health conditions at the same time. Early diagnosis can prevent further transmission. Individuals who have undergone testing should remain home away from others while waiting for COVID-19 test results.

    Students with any symptoms, even though they may be due their allergies, must remain home and do remote learning until they are symptom-free.

    How will my child remain safe in regard to food allergies?

    Please work with nurses to ensure that required forms (Allergy Action Plans and Medication Authorization Forms) are on file and that emergency medication has been submitted.  ETHS will not be providing lunch during in-person learning.  

    Safety Student and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    Will my child have to wear a mask?

    All students and staff are required to wear a mask while in any of our school buildings.  Students should bring their own masks each day, although this can be a family-bought mask or one that was provided by the school district.  Students and staff may also choose to wear a face shield in addition to the mask. Masks brought from home must align with dress code policies.  

    Extended Absences/Staying Home

    How will my child’s learning continue in the event of an extended absence?

    If your child requires an extended absence and is not able to do remote learning due to illness or quarantine, the nurse will work with team members to put a support plan in place.

    How do I talk to my child about staying home from school and COVID-19?

    • Find out what your child already knows by asking questions geared toward their developmental level.
    • Remain calm, offer honesty and reassurance, and allow your child to express fears.
    • If you do not know the answer to a question, use the opportunity to learn together.
    • Help your child feel in control: discuss healthy habits, put news stories into context, focus on positive advances in controlling the virus.
    • Keep the conversation going.

    Other Health Information

    What are the deadlines for mandated health requirements such as Child Health Examination, proof of immunizations, and Dental Exams,

    At this time, deadlines for submission of required health documents remain the same.  If these should change, you will be notified.  

    Requirements are: 

    • Freshman (Class of 2024) and students who transferred to ETHS this school year must have submitted their Child Health Examination Forms on November 15, 2020.  If your child has not been cleared medically, they will not be allowed into the building for in-person learning. 
    • Freshman (Class of 2024) Dental Examination is due May 15, 2021.
    • Seniors (Class of 2021) must have submitted their proof of the Meningitis vaccine on November 15, 2020.  If your child has not been cleared medically, they will not be allowed into the building for in-person learning. 

    For more information visit: https://www.eths.k12.il.us/Page/436. Paperwork can be dropped off in medical boxes (in the main office, door 1&2, etc.) or emailed or faxed to Health Services.

    How have vision and hearing screening procedures changed?

    Prior to the pandemic, schools conducted screenings for mandated grades/programs on a scheduled day. Due to social distancing guidelines and revised cleaning procedures, we will not be conducting screenings at this time. Your child is not required to undergo school vision screening if an optometrist or ophthalmologist has completed and signed a report form indicating that an examination has been administered within the previous 12 months, and that evaluation is on file in your child's health record. 

    If you have concerns about your child’s vision or hearing, please reach out to our nurses for further direction. 

    What is the capacity for ETHS to offer health services? Nurses (all/some) on-site full time? Additional staffing (nurses, CNA’s, health staff)? 

    ETHS Health Services has 3 full-time school nurses for over 3,800 students. School nurses provided in-school health assessments and first aid to students presenting with illnesses, while in the building. School nurses also provide preventative healthcare to students such as medication administration, diabetes care, and more within the school setting. When needed, ETHS calls in substitute nurses to support services.

    What if I do not feel comfortable sending my child who is in a high-risk category to school? 

    ETHS will not require students who are in a high-risk category to attend in-person learning.  Remote learning will be provided to your child. Please contact the ETHS Health Services at 847-424-7260 to share your medical concerns. 

    What if I do not feel comfortable sending my child to school? 

    ETHS will not require students to attend in-person learning, if uncomfortable.  Remote learning will be provided to your child. 

    Additional Frequently Asked Questions

    Are there telehealth opportunities for students with ETHS nurses?

    ETHS nurses will be available via phone or video call to students/parents/guardians for school-related health questions.  Parents/guardians should reach out to the SBHC and/or their primary care physician/primary care clinic to inquire about telehealth opportunities.

    Will the school-based health center (an ambulatory health care component of NorthShore University HealthSystem) will continue to provide services in the same manner? The SBHC, not to be confused with the ETHS Health Services (Nurse’s Office), continues to serve students who are registered at the center. For more information call them at 847-424-7265.

    How will ETHS collaborate with the Evanston Health Department? 

    ETHS nurses will continue collaboration and consultation with the Evanston Health Department regarding communicable disease prevention, intervention, and communication.

    What is the capacity for ETHS to offer health services? Nurses (all/some) on-site full time? Additional staffing (nurses, CNA’s, health staff)?

    The ETHS Health Services has 3 full-time school nurses for over 3,800 students.  School nurses provided in-school health assessments and first aid to students presenting with illnesses, while in the building. School nurses also provide preventative healthcare to students such as medication administration, diabetes care, and more within the school setting. When needed, ETHS calls in substitute nurses to support services.  

    Will mental health support be offered for students? 

    ETHS mental health staff (social workers, psychologists, and counselors) will continue to provide mental health services remotely.   During in-person learning, crisis counseling will be provided and staff will adhere to social distancing measures.  

    Will I need to certify that my child is not presenting with any COVID-19 symptoms on a daily basis?

    ETHS is requiring students or their parents/guardians to self-certify that the student does not have any COVID-19 symptoms when attending in-person classes.  

     

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