Health Resources for COVID-19
Posted on 08/20/2020
COVID Health Resources Graphic

Helpful links & documents:

Centers for Disease Control

Virginia Department of Health

Virginia Department of Health Dashboard with School Metrics

Click here to view the Phase II Health Plan.docx

If employees have questions or concerns, please call Employee Health at 853-2990.

COVID Screening questions

COVID-19 Screening Questions

If during the daily health screening of your child, any of the screening questions should reveal a "yes" response, your child will need to remain home.

In the last 24 hours have you experienced:


Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?


Sore Throat?


New loss of taste or smell?

Fatique/Muscle or body aches?


Have you been exposed to someone being tested for COVID-19?

Are any members of your household on quarantine for exposure to COVID-19?

RCPS will conduct a daily health screening and temperature check on every student prior to entering school. If your child is determined to have illness, you will be contacted to pick your child up from school. For this reason, RCPS encourages you not to send your child to school if they are ill.

RCPS recommends review of the following documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

If your child has medical considerations, RCPS encourages you to reach out to your child’s primary medical provider and discuss options for return to school. RCPS will offer remote learning as well as in person instruction. Your primary medical provider may help you decide what is the best learning environment based on your child’s medical needs.

Please understand that despite the best safety practices available, it’s not a matter of “if” but rather “when” cases of COVID appear within a school. Please know that when this should occur, RCPS has plans in place to mitigate the spread.

Parent/Guardian COVID Education and Resources

Children may feel nervous or reluctant to return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this does not have to be a scary time for them. Reassure children about safety measures that may keep them safe. Explaining the changes your child may experience this school year will help to reduce nervousness.  Try to maintain a positive outlook and assist children with any questions they may have. Candid conversation and positive education can significantly reduce the stress your child may have.

Know you are not alone! RCPS will have behavioral health/emotional support available for your child's school and will be prepared to address a wide range of mental health needs. Additionally, your child’s school will have a Registered Nurse available to coordinate your child’s healthcare needs.

To help you prepare for back to school conversations with your child, RCPS has prepared the following material to help educate and prepare your child.

Face Covering Guidelines

COVID-19 spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets usually travel around 6 feet (about two arms lengths). Face coverings are essential in preventing the spread of COVID-19. RCPS has adopted recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that face coverings should be worn by all individuals, symptomatic or not. However, face coverings should NOT be placed on:

  • Children younger than 2 years’ old
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
  • Those that are not developmentally or medically appropriate

The conversation around wearing face coverings should be approached with empathy. Share that the goal of face coverings is for personal protection and the protection of those around. To assist you with this discussion, RCPS recommends review of the following documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Encourage regular handwashing. When children understand why they need to wash their hands, they’re likely to continue doing so. Teach your child that germs and viruses are invisible, but they are in the environment. Encourage your child not to touch their face with unclean hands. Teach them the proper way to wash their hands. RCPS recommends review of the following documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Show your child 
how to cover a cough or a sneeze by using the bend in their elbow. Explain the importance of conducting a daily health screening on your child. To help with this process, please review the provided COVID-19 Screening Questions prior to sending your child to school.

In this video, Nurse Caldwell at Monterey Elementary gives you an overview of the screening process.

As you may have seen in the news recently, the definition of close contact has changed. The new definition states that close contact is not determined by being within 6 feet of an infected person for an isolated 15-minute time period but is now defined by 15 minutes of time accumulated over a 24-hour period. Please see the definition for Close Contact from the Center for Disease Control listed below.

As educators, this criterion presents a new challenge we must overcome to provide instruction for our students. It is easy to accumulate 15 minutes in small increments when you spend all day with students. Unfortunately, this may result in many more people being identified as close contacts. Please remember, face masks and social distancing is essential.

We want to thank you for rising up with creativity, flexibility, and a remarkable commitment to find a way to support our students. If you have any questions, please contact the Employee Health Hotline at 540-853-2990 between 7am and 4pm Monday through Friday.    

Close Contact

Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

* Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors). Because the general public has not received training on proper selection and use of respiratory PPE, such as an N95, the determination of close contact should generally be made irrespective of whether the contact was wearing respiratory PPE.  At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended.

Resource: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

40 Douglass Avenue NW, Roanoke, VA24012 Phone 540-853-2502