Nurse’s Letter to EP Families – Jan. 12, 2021

Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Celeste Bowler, Asst. Supt.
Dr. Sandra Forand, Asst. Supt.

January 12, 2021

Hello East Providence Parents/Guardians and Educational Community, I hope you all had wonderful holidays and stayed safe and healthy. There have been some changes from The RIDOH and CDC. I would like to address them in this letter. Due to the high incidence of positive COVID cases, there are changes in the number of days for quarantine. There is also new information concerning testing.

All information in this letter is directly from the RIDOH Playbook which provides guidance for COVID-19 outbreak response in Pre-K to Grade 12. The playbook was updated on Jan. 6, 2021. This information is meant to be a guide to help you with the process. The RIDOH and your doctor should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Guidelines

If a person is having the following symptoms, and needs emergency attention, please call 911.

These symptoms may be related to COVID:

– Difficulty breathing

– Persistent pain or pressure in chest

– New confusion

– Inability to wake or stay awake

– Bluish lips or face

** Please be aware, this list does not reflect all possible symptoms requiring emergency care.

How long is isolation if you test positive for COVID?

If you are symptomatic

– Isolation is at least 10 days since the day symptoms first appear, 20 days if you are severely immunocompromised

Isolation ends after day 10 with

– at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medications

– other symptoms of COVID are improving

– loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and will not delay the end of isolation

If you are asymptomatic

– isolate ten days from the date the individual was tested, 20 days if severely immunocompromised

Quarantine for close contacts

– Close contacts must quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day they were in contact with the infected individual

This is a change. Previously it was 10 days, however, out of an abundance of caution during this time of a COVID-19 surge, the East Providence School District is requiring 14 days for quarantine. The CDC and RIDOH at this time consider 14 days their “gold standard” in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Rhode Island by Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order allows for the school district to choose this option.

Quarantine of household contacts

– Household contacts need to quarantine while the individual is infectious (until 10 days after symptom onset) and then start their 14 day quarantine

**RIDOH recommends ALL close contacts of people with COVID -19 get tested (with an antigen or PCR test) on day 5 or later of quarantine. This will assist in detecting asymptomatic infection and isolating quickly to prevent further spread.

Lastly, travel quarantine:

Domestic travel:

Currently, all states in the United States are red zones with the exception of Vermont and Maine.

Quarantine is 14 days with an option to test out of quarantine. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative result from a COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Rhode Island or travelers who receive a COVID-19 test during their quarantine period in Rhode Island and get a negative result (either antigen or PCR) can stop quarantining, however, need to self-monitor for symptoms (including fever) for 14 days.

International travel:

Quarantine is for 14 days. There is no option for testing out of quarantine for international travelers.

Some frequently asked questions:

1. Do contacts of contacts need to quarantine?

No, only direct contacts of the infectious person need to quarantine.

2. If I am not on quarantine and I want to go for asymptomatic testing, do I need to quarantine while I wait for test results?

No, if you are asymptomatic, not on quarantine and get tested, you do not need to quarantine while waiting for results.

3. If I get tested during quarantine and I’m positive, how long do I need to stay at home?

If an individual on quarantine tests positive for COVID -19, the quarantine stops and isolation begins.

The isolation for a symptomatic individual is 10 days from the onset of symptoms or 10 days from the date of the positive test if you are asymptomatic

K-12 COVID-19 Test Scheduling Service:

Phone number: 844-857-1814 or

Who can schedule a test through this service?

Anyone associated with K-12 (students, staff, coaches, etc.) who are:

– Symptomatic or

– A close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 or

– A classmate of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19


If a symptomatic person is tested, can the person return to school if the rapid test result is negative, but the PCR test result is still pending?

– No, if an individual is symptomatic they should not return until they receive both a negative rapid and a negative PCR result

I hope this information is helpful. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at

Thank you.

Diane M. Wallace, RNBSN

Head Nurse East Providence School District

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