• Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) FAQs for School Communities



    General

    Q: There is a confirmed case in my school community, though I don’t know if I have interacted with the person. Should I be concerned?

    A: For well individuals, DPH recommends limiting social contacts while practicing social distancing from others (keeping six feet apart) and finding alternative ways to greet people that don’t involve shaking hands and practicing good hand and cough hygiene. However, individuals who are at elevated risk, which includes persons age 60 and older and those with chronic underlying health conditions, are urged to remain at home to limit their exposure to germs. For well individuals, DPH recommends monitoring any possible symptoms and if they do emerge, to contact your doctor for further guidance.

    Q: What should I do if I have interacted with a person with confirmed COVID-19?

    A: If you are well and exhibiting no symptoms but did have close contact (were within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) with the individual, DPH recommends that you stay home for 14 days in your home, being careful to keep distance from your family members.

    If you have developed symptoms, particularly with fever, cough and shortness of breath, stay at home, and contact your primary care provider for guidance regarding symptoms and next steps.

    If you do not have a primary care provider but do have insurance, you can reach out to the insurance company at the number listed on the back of your insurance card to locate a doctor near you. You may also seek guidance from the nurse line through your insurance company.

    If you do not have health insurance, you can call a local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) nearby.

    Q: Someone on my staff has a close contact (sibling, spouse, colleague, child) that has been confirmed to have COVID-19. Should I notify the people that have interacted with that person in the past week?

    A: You are not required to contact the exposed individuals that you know of but may choose to provide extra guidance to individuals at greatest risk, including those with underlying health conditions or over 60 years old. All members of the school community should follow the recommendations for social distancing unless symptoms emerge. Additionally, it is critically important that you protect the personal identity of the staff member.

    Q: Someone on my staff is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Do I need to keep the person out of the office for 2 weeks?

    A: DPH recommends that any employee exhibiting symptoms should be sent home and advise him or her to seek immediate medical attention. The employee should be required to remain at home until he or she no longer displays symptoms.

    Q: Who is most at risk for COVID-19?

    A: Those with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease are most at risk and those over 60 years old. More information about high-risk populations can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html.

    Q: A colleague was with someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19 just yesterday. That colleague hosted a sleepover for her daughter’s friends over the weekend. Are those friends at risk?

    A: Typically, only those with prolonged exposure to infected individuals are most at risk of getting sick. At this point, DPH would recommend that well individuals practice social distancing and good hygiene habits, and to contact a doctor should symptoms emerge.

    Q: I am feeling sick with the symptoms described. What should I do?

    A: If you have developed symptoms, particularly with fever and cough or shortness of breath, stay at home, and contact your primary care provider for guidance regarding symptoms and next steps.

    If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, such as being unable to breathe, call 911 immediately.

    Q: How should we practice social distancing in our neighborhood, including for children and their friends?

    A: DPH recommends:

    • Avoiding group gatherings for students, including sleepovers, play dates, parties, or teen groups.
    • For those who need childcare, trying to limit the number of interactions and families involved as possible.
    • If you are socializing with others, maintaining 6 feet of distance between individuals outside of the immediate family.
    • Remember that if you are outside for walks, hikes, bike rides, or other activities, it is important to still maintain 6 feet between people beyond immediate family and limit your group size.

    Q: Which school staff should wear a cloth face covering during their normal job duties?

    A: School staff are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering when engaging in tasks or duties that require or involve interactions with other staff, families, or students, such as distributing meals or school materials and resources, and it is difficult to maintain a distance of six feet from others. Wearing a cloth face covering does not eliminate the need to physically distance from others. Visit https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/guidance-for-face-coverings/ for more information.

    Q: Should staff involved in food preparation wear a cloth face covering while preparing food?

    A: Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through food. However, DPH recommends that you consider wearing a cloth face covering if you are working in proximity to others, though you should continue to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others and continue to follow standard food safety preparation procedures, such as frequent handwashing. Visit https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/guidance-for-face-coverings/ for more information.

    Q: Should school facilities staff or those cleaning school buildings and offices wear cloth face coverings while they engage in their work?

    A: If staff members are working with others, they are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering and continue to engage in physical distancing. Visit https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/guidance-for-face-coverings/ for more information.

    Q: Who can I contact for more information?

    A: For general information, please contact DPH at 1-866-408-1899 or email us at DPHCall@delaware.gov. Individuals with hearing impairment can call 7-1-1.

    Testing

    Q: I have no symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but have been exposed. Do I need to be tested?

    A: Testing for coronavirus disease is not recommended for individuals who do not have any symptoms of illness.

    Q: I do have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and have been exposed. What should I expect from testing?

    A: For individuals who have symptoms of illness (fever and cough, or shortness of breath), specimens will be collected by medical providers and run at either a commercial laboratory or the Public Health Lab. Medical providers must collect specimens for testing; specimens are not collected at the DPH Lab or at commercial labs. Medical providers should evaluate patients and rule out other causes of illness first before recommending testing for COVID-19.

    Q: Where can I go for testing and what should I expect?

    A: At this time, testing is being conducted based on a medical screening. Those with a primary care provider, should contact that provider for further direction. Individuals without a primary care provider can contact the DPH Call Center at 866-408-1899 for screening or other questions. Tests can also be done in New Castle County by physician referral at ChristianaCare at their Provider Referral Center, located at the HealthCare Center of Christiana, 200 Hygeia Drive, Newark, DE 19713. The Center will operate while testing supplies are available.

    • Christiana Care Provider Referral Center is not a walk-in facility. Only patients referred by their provider and in possession (physically or electronically) of a testing order will be tested.
      • Patients will need to arrive to the testing site with their ID and insurance card as well.
      • Patients must reserve a testing time and pre-register their appointment online: christianacare.org/prc.
      • Provider offices may reserve a testing time on behalf of patients who are not able to or don’t have access to a computer. Reservations are only able to be made online and will only be available for same-day or next-day appointments.
      • Information from ChristianaCare at: https://christianacare.org/forhealthprofessionals/covid-19/.
    • Test results will be communicated within two to five days to the referring provider, who is responsible for delivering the results to their patient.

    Treatment

    Q: How is COVID-19 treated?

    A: There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection at this time. While in some cases illnesses can be severe and require hospitalization, many individuals infected with COVID-19 recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids and taking pain, and fever-reducing medications.

    Cleaning

    Q: How can I be sure that we have sufficiently “deep cleaned” our school facilities?

    A: CDC recommends cleaning frequently-touched surfaces, pointing out: “current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings.”

    Complete CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations can be found at:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

Last Modified on April 30, 2020