Letter From Head Nurse Diane Wallace 3/2/2021

Kathryn M. Crowley

Superintendent of Schools


Dr. Sandra Forand, Asst. Supt.

Dr. Celeste Bowler, Asst. Supt.


March 2, 2021

Hello East Providence Parents/Guardians and Educational Community,

I hope you all are well and safe.  We had some encouraging news recently with the number of COVID-19 cases leveling off.  In many cases, numbers are reducing.  This news plus the availability of two vaccines and the approval of a third vaccine are making us all feel optimistic.

However, this is not the time to let our guard down.  We still need to follow all the RIDOH and CDC guidelines.

Most importantly, wear a mask.  For a year now, this has been the #1 recommendation in the fight against COVID.  Also, extremely important,  is social distancing.  We all need to remain 6 feet away from others.

Frequent hand washing is so important especially with use of hand sanitizer in between hand washing.  It is important that you are compliant with this information in order to “stop the spread’.

I am, also, resending information from a previous letter dated Jan. 11, 2021.  It states signs and symptoms, quarantine/isolation dates and travel guidelines.  All information in this letter is directly from the RIDOH Playbook which provides guidance for COVID-19 outbreak response in PreK to Grade 12.  Some of this information was updated on Feb. 15, 2021.  This information is meant to be a guide to help you with the process. RIDOH and your doctor should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

If a person is having the following symptoms, and needs emergency attention, please call 911. These symptoms are related to COVID:  if one of the following symptoms is present, it is a probable COVID case and requires a COVID test:

–       Difficulty breathing

–       pain or pressure in chest

–       New confusion

–       Inability to wake or stay awake

–       Bluish lips or face


** this list does not reflect all possible symptoms requiring emergency care.

Other COVID symptoms:  Two or more of the following symptoms is a probable case and requires a COVID test. One symptom requires a call to the pediatrician and time out of school until symptoms resolve:

–  Fever or chills

–  Fatigue

–  Muscle or body aches

–  Headache

–  Sore throat

–  New loss of taste or smell

–  Congestion or runny nose (new)

–  Nausea or vomiting

–  Diarrhea


How long is isolation if you test positive for COVID?


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

immunocompromised.  Isolation ends after day 10 and

–   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



–     isolate ten days from the date the individual was tested.  20 days if severely immunocompromise


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 has changed. Previously it was 10 days, however, out of an abundance of

caution, the East Providence School District is requiring 14 days quarantine.  The CDC and RIDOH

consider 14 days their “gold standard” in reducing the spread of COVID-19.


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. To clarify further, this is a 24-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 the infected

person quickly to prevent further spread.


Lastly, travel quarantining:

Domestic travel:

RIDOH and CDC websites have current lists of states that are red states.  If you travel to a red state, you must do the following:

Quarantine is for 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.


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.


  1. 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 and get tested, you do not need to quarantine while waiting for results.


  1. 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 portal.ri.gov

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.


As new information becomes available, I will send it to you.

Diane M. Wallace, RN BSN

School Nurse Riverside Middle School

Head Nurse East Providence School Department.

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