RMS COVID-19 FAQs
Please check this page often as our FAQs can change due to evolving information.
- What are the symptoms and signs of COVID-19?
- Fever over 100.4
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Congestion/runny nose
- Fatigue and/or unexplained fussiness
- For known or suspected to be infected with the COVID-19 virus the symptom-based strategy excludes an employee or student from returning to school until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and, at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
- The test-based strategy excludes an employee or student from returning to school until resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and negative results of the following tests:
Either test can have a false negative result. If a person has symptoms, particularly if they get worse, he/she should assume they have the virus and quarantine, and make sure to consult his/her health care provider.
- Antigen Medical Evaluations & Testing – Rapid results
- PCR Medical Evaluation & Testing – test sent to a lab
- The student is made comfortable in our COVID-19 clinic. RMS has two separate clinics on each campus for i) typical healthcare issues and ii) possible COVID-19 cases.
- After notification, parents are obligated to pick their child up within 30 minutes
- Student begins quarantine
- Parents are encouraged to contact their health care provider
- Parents are encouraged to always have a “plan B” ready for childcare in the event their student is required to quarantine for any reason.
When would close contact with a case result in exclusion from school?
Close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (case) results in exclusion from school for 14 days since last being in close contact with the case. Stay at home, monitor for symptoms and check in with your healthcare provider for further instructions.
- If the case is in your child’s class, the entire class will self-quarantine for 14 days and RMS will conduct contact tracing to determine if anyone else outside of the class should self-quarantine.
- If the case is not an RMS student or employee member, the employee or student will self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of his/her last contact with them. In this scenario, no one else in the class including the teachers, will need to self-quarantine.
- If the case lives within your household, the employee or student will self-quarantine for 14 days after the infected person has completely recovered to ensure they have not contracted the illness.
- If the employee or student was within six feet of a person with a confirmed case for less than 10 minutes, he/she does NOT need to self-quarantine.
- If the employee or student develops symptoms and tests positive, all close contacts from school must self-quarantine.
A person who tests positive for COVID-19 may be contagious up to two days prior to experiencing symptoms. If someone has not been in contact with the infected person since before the two days prior to signs of symptoms, they are not considered a close contact.
When would symptoms of COVID-19 result in exclusion from school?
RMS employees and students who present with symptoms of COVID-19 are excluded from school until they meet one of the following criteria:
- An alternate diagnosis is received from your healthcare provider.
- A negative COVID-19 test is obtained from your healthcare provider.
- After completing a self-quarantine of 14 days starting two days before symptoms first appeared.
If the employee or student is diagnosed with COVID-19 they must follow the guidelines above for “Exclusion from school due to COVID-19 diagnosis.”
Domestic air travel does not trigger self-quarantine. Return to school and monitor for symptoms. It is possible that areas of the U.S.A. may be labeled as high risk travel destinations at some future date, by either the Centers for Disease Control or the Virginia Department of Health – we will regularly monitor these agencies for updated guidance.
What are the exceptions to exclusion from school?
RMS employees or students will not be excluded from school simply because they have been around someone who later developed symptoms of COVID-19. In this case, they should simply monitor carefully for symptoms. For example, students in adjacent classrooms would not be required to self-quarantine or stay home if a person in the other classroom tests positive for COVID-19.
- The school is required to notify the health department and the department of social services upon being informed of a positive case of an employee or student.
- The school is obligated to inform the RMS community of a positive case of an employee or student; names will not be disclosed in the interest of confidentiality.
- The school will immediately notify any employee or student who is a known close contact of the case. Contact tracing beyond the school will be performed by the health department.
- RMS will not conduct COVID-19 testing.
- Testing can be performed by most healthcare providers.
- To find testing sites in the Richmond/Henrico area, visit the Richmond and Henrico Area COVID-19 Testing Sites page. This page is updated frequently
- Each testing site has different policies and procedures for testing and billing. Please reach out to the individual site for information about testing availability and cost. Free testing may be available at some sites.
- RMS will reimburse its employees for COVID-19 test expenses that are not covered through health insurance.
- If at home, staff should contact their supervisor and begin to quarantine immediately
- If at work, staff should contact their supervisor to relieve them and then leave as soon as possible to begin quarantine
- Staff are encouraged to contact their health care provider
Are staff and students required to wear a mask?
All staff and students (excluding toddler students) wear face coverings to the greatest extent possible, allowing for and promoting mask breaks. Those who are unable to wear a mask must submit a physician’s note citing the medical reason and are required to wear a face shield. Due to the dynamic nature of our Montessori learning environments, it is critical for parents to support us regarding the use of face coverings. Should you need an exemption for your child for medical reasons, please contact our health coordinator, Darlene Marschak. We encourage you to follow this practice over the coming weeks so that your child is comfortable with this new routine at school. All students should have a mask for the morning. Full day students should have an additional mask for the afternoon, and extended day students a fresh mask for extended day. It is suggested to keep at least one mask at school for back-up purposes. Please follow these guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health when selecting masks for your child: Cloth face coverings should:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of your face and cover your nose and mouth
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Be made of more than one layer of fabric that you can still breathe through
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape
What is close contact?
Close Contact means being within six feet of a case for 10 or more minutes, or having physical contact with a case, or being in the same room for an extended period of time. A person who tests positive for COVID-19 may be contagious up to two days prior to experiencing symptoms. If someone has not been in contact with the infected person since before the two days prior to any signs of symptoms, he or she is not considered a close contact.
What is self-quarantine?
Self-quarantine is used to separate people who display symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been in close contact with a case. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school.
What is isolation?
Isolation is used to separate people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).
What is social distancing?
Social Distancing also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. When social distancing is not possible, wear a face covering.