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Dealing with Our First COVID Quarantine - Siblings!

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TLDR: If you have a student who is quarantining because they are a close contact, do you send their siblings with no contact with COVID+ person into quarantine as well? A sibling in school who was not in contact is getting bullied. 

We have a student A who was a close contact with a positive. Student A is quarantining, NO symptoms, tested neg 5 days after contact but obviously continuing full 14-day quarantine. student A's sibling was not in contact with the positive. At home, they are separated. Sibling is getting bullied by peers for being at school. Per our state guidelines, sibling can be in school (unless Student A develops symptoms or tests positive), so sibling is not doing anything wrong. 

I was NOT expecting the bullying backlash. I am considering that in future cases all siblings must go home, just for this reason. Thoughts?

*(small private school, everyone knows everyone's business, the parents knew the whole story even before I did... they just don't understand how determining "close contacts" work)

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience.

Ugh  that's awful. I bet underneath they are afraid... doesn't excuse their behavior. May be time for some small group counseling with data driven information. Guidance? Administration?

On 10/7/2020 at 5:58 PM, NutmeggeRN said:

Ugh  that's awful. I bet underneath they are afraid... doesn't excuse their behavior. May be time for some small group counseling with data driven information. Guidance? Administration?

Some are afraid, some are just Mean Girls. 😞 I made a little contact tracing activity to help them understand how this works and I'm presenting it in some of the advisories, other teachers may do it on their own. 

It's so hard because I can't say TOO MUCH and violate the students' privacy! 

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience.

Mean girls are the worst...

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

OP - totally off the point, but what is TLDR mean? I don't know a lot of shortcuts.

As if your job wasn't tough enough, but then to deal with the bullies!

4 hours ago, amoLucia said:

OP - totally off the point, but what is TLDR mean? I don't know a lot of shortcuts.

As if your job wasn't tough enough, but then to deal with the bullies!

"too long didn't read" version (TLDR) 🙂

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 43 years experience.

37 minutes ago, jnemartin said:

"too long didn't read" version (TLDR) 🙂

Always learn something new at AN!

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

UGH. I'd say kids are the worst sometimes, but I can't say that without acknowledging they learned that behavior, and often from a family member...

But interestingly, I just talked through a similar situation with my local DPH. Except one child attends my school and their sibling that was exposed (and has tested negative, but completing full quarantine) attends another. On that end, I actually dealt with more staff concern vs other student/family concern, which did and didn't surprise me. 

SchoolNurseK, BSN, RN

Specializes in Geriatric Home Health, High School Nurse. Has 18 years experience.

I just spoke with our DOH about a similar situation.  Both siblings were exposed four days before the person became symptomatic and tested positive.  This of course does not make them contacts.  However, one sibling woke up with a "headache" and I cleared the second sibling to come to school.  Turns out first sibling was actually having sore throat, congestion, and a headache.  SMH!  Sent sibling two home immediately and both were tested.  Both came back negative.  The guidance I later received from DOH is that if one sibling is having two or more COVID-like symptoms, all siblings should be kept home.  In this case, only h/a was shared with me, so I didn't have all the information I needed to make an appropriate decision.  I am now checking for siblings when I go through our daily call-outs and I will send siblings home if needed.  As the DOH person said, you have to put the puzzle together and then act once you've figured it all out.  It just seems like the puzzle keeps getting bigger by the day!

GdBSN, RN

Specializes in School Nurse. Has 6 years experience.

32 minutes ago, SchoolNurseK said:

 It just seems like the puzzle keeps getting bigger by the day!

All my puzzles seem to be missing pieces. 😩

 

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I spoke to my doh about this very thing.  I haven't had (knock wood) and real interaction with present students and contact with covid +, but I have had an abundance of sending one sibling home and the parent asking what to do about the other siblings in school.  I don't love the guidance, but as I seem to say a dozen times a day, these are orders from above:  They say that siblings do not HAVE to be quarantined unless also symptomatic.  Certainly, this does not take into account the number of asymptomatic spreaders or those who just haven't shown anything yet, but I guess all we can do is see how it plays out.  In the meantime, I keep reinforcing the idea that  I would not knowingly allow any covid 19 + persons to remain in school.  

BrisketRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

Another small private school nurse here.  Yes, our policy is that if a student is being quarantined then their sibling may not be at school.  The idea is that since a person can be contagious up to 2 days before being symptomatic then there is a chance we're spreading it across the school without realizing.  The other idea is that small private schools are breeding grounds for these rumor spreading situations.

We've actually had our first positive case and have had to quarantine an entire class in one grade level.  During the other class in that grade level's lesson yesterday a child shouted out "That class isn't in because Johnny Smith has COVID!"  First off, it's not Johnny that has COVID.  Secondly, this is a concurrent class so all the at-home kids (and their parents) heard that.  I was told the teacher shouted "We do NOT talk about anyone's medical information.  That is like passwords and addresses.  It is private, and we will not talk about it anymore."  I was told right away because we expected the rumor mill to start spinning. 

I think your situation needs to be handled as a disciplinary issue.

2 hours ago, BrisketRN said:

Another small private school nurse here.  Yes, our policy is that if a student is being quarantined then their sibling may not be at school.  The idea is that since a person can be contagious up to 2 days before being symptomatic then there is a chance we're spreading it across the school without realizing.  The other idea is that small private schools are breeding grounds for these rumor spreading situations.

We've actually had our first positive case and have had to quarantine an entire class in one grade level.  During the other class in that grade level's lesson yesterday a child shouted out "That class isn't in because Johnny Smith has COVID!"  First off, it's not Johnny that has COVID.  Secondly, this is a concurrent class so all the at-home kids (and their parents) heard that.  I was told the teacher shouted "We do NOT talk about anyone's medical information.  That is like passwords and addresses.  It is private, and we will not talk about it anymore."  I was told right away because we expected the rumor mill to start spinning. 

I think your situation needs to be handled as a disciplinary issue.

After this incident, we are considering changing the school policy to say that if one sibling goes home, all siblings need to go home. The leadership team is torn about this because, well, parents will be mad they're paying all this money for "homeschool." Plus, it's not the actual recc from CDC/dept of health, so parents will have a way to push back. 

 

And yes, the bully girl is going to be in big trouble. I saw what she posted on social media and the tests she sent to sibling, and it was NASTY. 

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 10 years experience.

In our district the nurse of the initial case calls the nurses whose campuses house the sibs. They get a 14-day quarantine. That is straight out of our third-largest-county-in-the-state's Department of Health playbook. What a lousy thing to have happen.

NurseInTheHall, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics; School Nurse. Has 8 years experience.

On 10/8/2020 at 9:48 AM, BrisketRN said:

"We do NOT talk about anyone's medical information.  That is like passwords and addresses.  It is private, and we will not talk about it anymore." 

I like this! I usually say "Medical information is private information" and leave it at that, but this gives them a nice example. Totally using this from now on. 

BrisketRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

16 hours ago, NurseInTheHall said:

I like this! I usually say "Medical information is private information" and leave it at that, but this gives them a nice example. Totally using this from now on. 

Right?  I was proud to hear how well the teacher handled it.  New, young teacher too.