Protocol in place: How PV is handling students with COVID-19

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Nathan Van Utrecht

Ethan Stigler looks at the district’s COVID-19 tracking form. This is the form that shows the various COVID-19 categories.

Nathan VanUtrecht, Copy Editor

After the first six weeks of school, only a few dozen students have tested positive for COVID-19. These small numbers are thanks to the protocols set in place by PV’s administration.

Pam Cinadr, the nurse at PVHS, said the protocols are based on information given by various government health programs. “We follow the directives of the CDC, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Scott County Health Department,” Cinadr stated. With this information, Cinadr and the other members of the district’s health department have developed guidelines regarding COVID-19 tests.

To track students who have the virus or were exposed to it, Cinadr and the other nurses have developed a COVID-19 tracing form. This form has three specific categories that students fall into.

The first category pertains to students with either one high risk symptom or two low risk symptoms, but have no known contact with other people. These students can either stay out for 10 days, have their symptoms declared non-COVID-19 by a doctor or test negative for COVID-19. In all three of those scenarios, however, the student must be symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to school

The second category is quarantine. “Often, these are students that have been in direct contact with a patient that is positive for COVID,” Cinadr explained. Students in the quarantine category have to stay out of school for 14 days, and if they develop symptoms, the district asks them to wait a couple of days before getting tested.

The third category is isolation. As the title implies, this category is for people that have tested positive for COVID-19. They can return to school after 10 days have passed and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

While the district does not provide any direct instructions on how to get tested, Cinadr does have some suggestions for students. “I usually recommend students get tested after they’ve had symptoms for 3-5 days so they have a change to build a viral load in their sinuses,” she said. She recommended students use Test Iowa because the tests are free, timely and accurate.

Senior Kaitlyn Robinson was exposed to COVID-19 during her cross country practice on Sept. 26. However, Robinson has yet to develop symptoms, so she was not required to get tested. “If I were to develop symptoms over the time I was quarantined at home, then they [The administration] said I should get tested,” Robinson said. 

After she was exposed to COVID-19, Robinson received instructions from Cinadr regarding quarantine. “She gave me a sheet of paper that explained what I should do at home, symptoms to watch for and when I could come back to school,” Robinson said.

Cinadr hopes that students will continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines by social distancing, having no unnecessary social gatherings, wearing clean masks and shortened face-to-face contact. By doing these things, Cinadr believes that PV can continue to be successful in keeping its amount of positive cases low.