Returning to school after a Covid-like illness or travel

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COVID-like illness and return to school

Please read this important message from our School Nurse, Kathy Leone, about the symptoms which signal that a child should stay home.  Students showing these symptoms at school will be sent home.  Communication with Nurse Kathy is critical if your child is absent due to illness or exposure to COVID-19.  Nurse Kathy will follow up with you and let you know when your child may return to school.

Dear Families:

I would like to express my thanks for your flexibility and patience while we go through this trying time.  All of our families have been wonderful in their responsiveness to calls about students who do not feel well and have been sending the school their child’s test results quickly. Our community has been testing their children as an overabundance of caution for more than the symptoms listed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It is only because of your diligence that our school is able to remain healthy and safe. 

 Please see below the most common symptoms of COVID:

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 in children are fever and cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness and loss of taste or smell. 

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in adults and children and can look like other common illnesses, like colds, strep throat, or allergies. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 in children are fever and cough, but children may have any of these signs or symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomachache
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Poor appetite or poor feeding, especially in babies under 1 year old

 CLI Protocol to return to school

Any individual showing signs of COVID-19 can only return to school when all the following conditions are met:

  • Received a positive COVID-19 test AND  • Isolated for 10 days AND• The individual has been fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication.


  • Received a negative COVID-19 test AND • The individual has been fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication. OR
  • Never got a COVID-19 test  AND• At least 10 days since symptoms started AND • The individual has been fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication AND
  • Overall illness has improved

Once I receive the Covid test results sent to I will email you a clearance letter, based on the results, for your child to return to school. Please show the clearance email to the person at the door upon arrival. Please do not come to school unless you have received a clearance email from me. It can be upsetting to both the parents and the children to be turned away from entering the school. 

Please note I check my email frequently throughout the day and evening and answer as quickly as possible. It is important to email me the results as soon as received so I can clear the children to return to school.  

We are all here to care for the children. When I see a child, in addition to making an assessment, I interview the child. If your child informs me they took medication before school, coughed the previous evening or that morning. I will contact you to pick up your child for further medical assessment. 

If your child has seasonal allergies, please be sure to inform me and have the proper documentation so we can rule out Covid like illness. 

At times parents will email me that their child has cold symptoms. Please include in your emails what cold symptoms they are experiencing. For example: runny nose, cough, stuffy nose, sore throat. If your child had “mild fever”, please tell me what the temperature was/is. The DOHMH considers a fever to be 100.4, but if a student has a 100 and other symptoms, depending on the symptoms, I may request a Covid test. 

Travel and Return to School

We expect new guidelines from the CDC to be announced on November 8, 2021.

Domestic Travel 

The DOHMH is no longer monitoring domestic travel and a Covid test is not needed to return to school.  Please follow CDC guidelines for Domestic Travel.

International Travel

If you plan to travel internationally for any reason, please follow the CDC guidelines for travel internationally. If you plan to travel, please notify me at my email address KLeone 

Recommendations for People Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated

If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, take the following steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Before you travel:
    • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip.
    • Make sure you understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.
    • Check the COVID-19 situation in your destination.
  • While you are traveling:
    • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus). CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling.
    • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you.
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Before you arrive in the United States:
    • All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 viral test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States.
  • After you travel:
    • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
      • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
      • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
    • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.
  • Visit your state, territorial, tribal, and local
  • external icon
  •  health department’s website to look for the latest information on where to get tested.

Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, you test positive for COVID-19, or you are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

International Travel Recommendations Quick Reference

International Travel

Recommendations and Requirements

Not Vaccinated Fully Vaccinated
Get tested 1-3 days before traveling out of the US Yes
Mandatory test required before flying to US Yes Yes
Get tested 3-5 days after travel Yes Yes
Self-quarantine after travel for 7 days with a negative test or 10 days without test Yes
Self-monitor for symptoms Yes Yes
Wear a mask and take other precautions during travel Yes Yes


Kathleen E. Leone RN JPHN


15K058 330 Smith Street

Brooklyn, NY 11231




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