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How do I call the school nurse?
You can reach our school nurse, Jessica Rose, at 610-969-9037 OR by email at [email protected]
What are COVID-19 symptoms?
The following combination of symptoms may be an indicator of COVID-19 and you should follow the protocol for getting a COVID-19 PCR test:
One of the following - Fever of 100.4 or higher, new cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
Two of the following - Chills, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell
How do I get a COVID-19 PCR test? When can I expect results? How much will it cost?
For children, your pediatrician can work with the Philadelphia Department of Health to coordinate drive through testing at CHOP. Through this system, testing is available to any child (regardless of where they live or where they receive primary care). Currently CHOP testing is being offered daily at three locations (including one in New Jersey). Turn around time is currently within 24h. There is no copay for testing. If your pediatrician is not able to coordinate testing at CHOP, the school nurse will try to assist you. Testing is also available at local urgent cares (CHOP and PM Pediatrics); there is a cost for the urgent care visit. 
For adults, consult with your clinician. Drive through COVID testing is available in many places with variable turnaround time. Currently Jefferson has multiple locations offering testing with ~24h turn around time for results. If you are not currently a Jefferson patient, you can schedule a telehealth visit through JeffConnect (cost $49) using their app. The telehealth clinician can order testing for you. There is no copay for testing. 
As with all COVID related matters, these processes are subject to change. Please communicate with the school nurse if you face barriers to testing or delays in obtaining test results so that we can continue to identify the most expedient systems for testing. 
Other schools are providing tests for students or staff with symptoms. Why isn't Kohelet?
The above processes (through CHOP and Jefferson) are currently providing rapid access (same/next day), quick turn around (less than 24 hours), highly accurate, and low or no cost testing. Therefore, at this time, it is not necessary for Kohelet to contract with a company to provide on-site testing. Should these systems change, experience delays, or increase in cost, we will pursue alternative approaches to testing for our community. 
Why aren't you testing everyone before they return to in-person learning?
Testing asymptomatic individuals at a single point in time is of limited utility. Individuals can become ill at any point and the current testing modalities are only useful in answering the questions "are my symptoms a result of COVID-19?" and "do I have COVID-19 right now?" They can't predict who will develop or be exposed to COVID-19. They are not a substitute for effective preventative measures, including strict physical distancing, masking, vigilant symptom monitoring, hand hygiene, and surface cleaning. Furthermore, individuals with known exposures or travel to places with high COVID prevalence should quarantine for 14 days in accordance with state guidelines. Because the negative predictive value of tests is not perfect and because individuals may become ill at any point during that 14d period of time, there is no role for negative testing in shortening quarantine periods at this point. 
What if my pediatrician says it's not COVID-19?
If your pediatrician diagnoses your child with another condition (for example, a urinary tract infection) and does not feel your child requires COVID testing, please submit this documentation to the school nurse. 
What if my child has a cough that I know is related to his/her asthma?
While we trust that your child's cough is likely related to his/her asthma, an asymptomatic carrier of COVID who has asthma, allergies, etc., is more likely to transmit the virus than an asymptomatic carrier who doesn't have asthma, allergies, etc. because the former is sending many more droplets into the air than the latter. For that reason, it is particularly important that we rule out the possibility of your child being an asymptomatic carrier. 
What would cause you to suspend in-person education for the whole school?
The state has issued guidance  for determining the appropriate model of education based on local prevalence of COVID. Currently our county (and surrounding counties) fall into the "moderate transmission" category, and therefore in-person learning requires physical distancing, limited cohort sizes, and other measures (referred to as a "blended (hybrid) learning model." Our current in-person model has been designed to meet the state-definitional criteria for a "blended-learning model," namely "a model in which the number of students in a school building is reduced to allow for social distancing of 6 feet." 
What would cause you to suspend in-person education for my child's cohort?
We have designed the current in-person educational model so as to limit the risk of in-school exposure to COVID; namely children will not be spending more than 15 minutes within 6ft of each other without masks. This approach should limit transmission of COVID and allow for on-going in-person education. Final determinations of exposure status and the need for quarantine are made by county contact tracers, however, and we will, of course, defer to the Department of Health with regard to the need for a given class or group to transition to learning for a defined quarantine period.