Return To Learn

Special Edition: Monitoring Health & Reporting Illness 9/02

This is a Special Edition of our Urbandale CSD Return To Learn weekly newsletter focusing on Illness Prevention, Monitoring Health/Reporting Illness, and Isolation/Quarantine. Please make note of the "View it in your browser" link at the top of this page which can be used to enlarge the text of this email and/or translate this email.
As part of our efforts to mitigate virus transmission and keep our schools healthy, please review the following information related to illness prevention, monitoring health/reporting illness, and isolation/quarantine. We know this is a lot of information to take in and we appreciate you taking time to read this in order to help us maintain safe and healthy learning environments. This information is also posted within the Return To Learn "Health & Safety" section of the district website.

Illness Prevention

  • Know the general symptoms of illness

    • Temperature of 100.4 or greater unless there is a known noninfectious cause of fever. (Note: The school nurse may exercise discretion and exclude a student at a lower temperature in the presence of other symptoms of communicable illness or when symptoms are persistent, not conducive to school participation, or felt to be at risk of spreading illness to others.)

    • Vomiting and/or diarrhea

    • Undiagnosed rash associated with fever or behavior changes suggestive of communicable disease

    • Persistent, productive cough

    • Headache, especially associated with fever or vomiting

  • Good handwashing is a priority

    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently during the day, including:when entering the classroom, before and after eating, after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, after spending time outside, and before and after removing and reapplying your face mask

    • Hand sanitizer is appropriate when soap and water are not available

    • Avoid touching your face

  • Clean commonly touched contact surfaces

  • Practice social distancing

    • Maintain a six feet distance from others

    • Face the same direction and avoid face to face contact

    • Avoid congregating in large groups

  • Wear an appropriate face covering

    • Face coverings are required at all times in Urbandale CSD buildings. Cloth face masks or neck gaiters should be at least two layers of fabric. Disposable face masks may also be worn.

Monitoring Health/Reporting Illness

  • Stay home if you are sick or if you become a close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19.

    • Contact your building school nurse and stay home until you contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.

    • If you are notified outside of the school day that your child is a close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19, or your child is ill and tests positive for COVID-19, please contact your building principal by email immediately and keep your child home.

    • Work with your school nurse to determine when you may return to school.

  • As part of our efforts to keep buildings healthy, please be aware that school nurses may send a student(s) home for 10 days, based on recommendations from the Iowa Department of Public Health and Polk County Health Department.

  • We will contact you to pick up your student if any concerning symptoms occur. Your availability to pick up your student as soon as possible will assist us in preventing further spread of infection at school.

  • Common COVID-19 symptoms include: feeling feverish or a fever of 100.4 or greater, chills, dry cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle pain/body aches, headache, sore throat, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, nausea, diarrhea.

  • Your student must stay home until ALL these conditions are met:

    • No fever for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine

    • AND All symptoms have improved

    • AND At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.

  • If your student should test positive for COVID-19, please notify your student’s principal or school nurse right away.

  • Documentation of a negative COVID-19 test or alternative diagnosis must be provided to the school in order for the student to be readmitted to in-person activities sooner than the 10 day recommendation.


There is often confusion between the terms Isolation and Quarantine. Please review the following information to better understand the differences between them.


Quarantine keeps someone who was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine procedures include:

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19

    • If the contact is a household member, you will be in quarantine during the time the positive person is in isolation (see isolation information below) and then continue in quarantine for 14 days after the family member has completed isolation requirements

  • Check your temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms of COVID-19; record daily in a log

  • Continue these strategies: physical distancing, face coverings within household, increase ventilation (open windows), frequent hand washing, increased cleaning/disinfection

  • Stay away from people who are higher-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19

  • Follow the best practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

  • If you develop symptoms of illness during quarantine: contact your healthcare provider and let them know you were exposed, contact your school nurse and report the symptoms, stay home while the results are pending and then report the results to your healthcare provider and school nurse/

  • Quarantine may be discontinued 14 days after your exposure if you remain symptom-free AND you do not have ongoing exposure to someone with COVID-19. If you do have ongoing exposure to someone with COVID-19 (e.g. if the person who tested positive lives in your home), then your quarantine will last longer than 14 days. Contact your school nurse for further guidance regarding when your quarantine would end and again to confirm the date to return.

  • A negative test result during this period does NOT shorten the length of quarantine.

  • If you are a contact of a contact who has been exposed to COVID-19, you are not required to quarantine unless the original contact develops symptoms or has a positive COVID-19 test and is put in isolation

    • Example: A parent is determined to be a close contact of a coworker with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and the parent is placed in quarantine. The family living in the same household as the parent does not need to quarantine unless the parent develops symptoms and is diagnosed with COVID-19.

    • If the parent develops symptoms, the school nurse should then be notified and quarantine would need to be established. Release from quarantine would be dependent on other exposures and the 14 day quarantine would then be added on after the parent completes isolation. Again, please visit with your school nurse to confirm the date of return before allowing the student to return to school.

  • If you have a family member, such as a college student, returning home:

    • If the college student is confirmed positive COVID-19 and comes home to recover, all household members are in quarantine.

      • However, if the college student drove themself home, enters the house through a separate door and stays in a room (such as in the basement), not sharing any space, including bathroom, meals are delivered in a mask and left outside their door, then the family does not have to quarantine. It needs to be strictly followed. If this is not doable, the household members are in quarantine.

    • If the college student comes home and is in quarantine (exposed to a positive and deemed a close contact) the college student is in quarantine, the family is not (contact to a contact).

      • If the college student has symptoms and becomes positive for COVID-19, the household members are in quarantine and their quarantine would begin upon learning of the positive test or symptoms and extend 14 more days following the college student completing their isolation. (No fever for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine AND all symptoms have improved AND at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.)


Isolation keeps someone who is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others, even in their own home. Isolation procedures include:

  • Stay home, except to get medical care

  • Separate the isolated person from other people and pets as much as possible

  • Wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people

  • Continue habits of covering your cough or sneeze, washing hands often, avoid sharing personal household items, cleaning “high touch” surfaces daily

  • Household contacts must quarantine, staying home for 14 days after the last exposure to the person in isolation

  • Track your symptoms and log them daily, including your temperature

  • If you become more ill, contact your healthcare provider or 911 in an emergency

  • Scenario 1: You may discontinue isolation when all of the following criteria are met:

    • You tested positive for COVID-19 and had symptoms

    • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine

    • AND All symptoms have improved

    • AND At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared (symptom onset day counts as day 0)

  • Scenario 2: You may discontinue isolation when all of the following criteria are met:

    • You tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms

    • AND You continue to have no symptoms

    • AND 10 days have passed since the test

IMPORTANT: If you developed symptoms at some point during your isolation, please start your 10 days from the date your symptoms started.

Again, thank you for taking the time to review this information. We are continuing to implement recommended strategies to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses in schools. We are also working closely with our local public health department, enabling us to respond quickly to any problems or concerns of illness. Please contact your school nurse for questions related to illness prevention, monitoring, reporting, quarantine, and isolation.