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Important COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, reminders

Important COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, reminders

St. Anthony-New Brighton families,

We want to provide families with clear guidelines for when and how long to keep students home from school when sick. Important reminder: make sure to complete a daily screening via Skyward every morning before your student(s) enter a school building. 

Guideline distinctions for when someone is sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and when they have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case.
The district follows The Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) COVID-19 decision tree exclusion guidance that lays out a number of scenarios and appropriate steps for families and staff to take when making decisions when sick, have a confirmed positive or negative case of COVID-19, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Please review the district’s COVID-19 Response Plan at The plan includes MDH health guidance information for families and staff:

IMPORTANT: Parent/guardian to complete daily screening in Skyward
Parents/guardians will need to log into Skyward and perform a daily screening every morning before students enter a school building. For technical assistance, please send an email to the Technology Department at or call their help line at 612-706-1014.

Who to contact when sick
Please contact District Nurse Lori Watzl-King at 612-706-1263/1077 or via email at / if your child— or any member of your family— experience the following:

  • Become sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or 
  • If they have a confirmed case, or 
  • An exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 (exposure means being within 6 feet of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more).

New protocol during the 2020-21 school year 
As a school district, we follow MDH guidance to maintain the health and safety of our students and staff. Lori Watzl-King, district nurse will be notified when students and staff are sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or when they have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19. Parents/guardians will be asked what symptoms their child is experiencing. District Nurse Lori Watzl-King will contact the family directly to let them know when their child will be able to return to school.

The following will provide guidelines for families if a student/family member becomes sick.

Guidance for when exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19
Any student/school staff member who has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 needs to stay home, quarantined, for a minimum of 14 days. This is regardless of test results and includes those who have received a negative COVID-19 test result. It is very important to remember that individuals cannot test out of quarantine after a close contact. This is because there is no way for us to shorten the 14-day incubation period. To put it another way, it could take up to 14 days for the virus to take hold in your body and for you to become infected. It is possible that you could test negative at the beginning of the incubation period, but then test positive toward the end of the incubation period. In fact, the guidance recommends that testing should occur no sooner than five to seven days after a close contact or exposure (or at any point if symptoms develop) to guard against a potential false negative test result due to being tested too early in the incubation period.

Guidance for when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms without known exposure
For those who do not know if they have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 but are feeling sick – this guidance provides direction about when to stay home. It recommends anyone with a single symptom more common to COVID-19 or two less common symptoms, stay home until a negative COVID-19 test result, an alternative diagnosis from a doctor, or at least 10 days pass from the time symptoms start until they improve. Those more common symptoms include fever of 100.4 or higher, new onset or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, and a new loss of taste or smell.  The less common symptoms of COVID-19 include sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, excessive fatigue, new onset of severe headache, and new onset of nasal congestion or runny nose.

FREE COVID-19 testing beginning Sept. 23
The MDH is launching a four-week effort to provide increased access to “no barrier” COVID-19 testing in communities across the state beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Increasing testing helps ensure those who test positive are cared for and prevents the virus from spreading in communities. Free COVID-19 testing will be available at four to six separate community testing events spread throughout the state each week. Testing will be:

  • Free.
  • Available to anyone (symptomatic or not).
  • Will not require health care insurance.

This week’s testing events will be held in Grand Rapids, Pine City, Waseca and St. Paul. For more information, testing locations, and specific details, visit MDH’s COVID-19 Community Testing webpage.

Important reminders: 
We recognize it is frustrating when students cannot return to school. That’s why it’s so important that we all work together to keep students and school staff as safe as possible by encouraging our school communities not to gather in large groups, to wear a mask, wash hands often and practice social distancing when not at school.

Thank you,

Superintendent Dr. Renee Corneille

District resource: