COVID-19 UPDATE (January 4, 2022)
** Note: information is changing rapidly. We wil update this page as we learn more **
As coronavirus information and recommendations seem to change hourly, it is difficult to keep up and know what we should be doing to keep our families and communities safe. Amherst Pediatrics strives to keep up as well, and will continue to provide you with the most accurate information we can. That said, there may be no single answer to some of the questions that you have about this outbreak.
As you may know, the state has issued new guidance for the management and follow-up of COVID-19 cases and close contacts. DESE and DPH released updated protocols for schools late last week which can be found in full HERE.
A summary of key points and changes is outlined below.
ISOLATION (for those who tested positive, regardless of vaccination status)
- Stay home for 5 days.
- If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house. If you have a fever, continue to stay home until you are fever-free for 24 hours or more.
- Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
QUARANTINE (for those who were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19)
FOR FULLY VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS: If your child is vaccinated (it has been more than 14 days since they completed the primary series of Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson):
- They do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask around others for the 10 days following exposure. At school, this includes while outdoors unless more than 6’ from others.
- A test on Day 5 from last exposure is recommended.
- If you develop any symptoms, stay home and get a COVID test.
FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNVACCINATED OR NOT FULLY VACCINATED: If your child is not fully vaccinated (they have less than 2 doses of Pfizer) or it has not been 14 days since their second dose:
- IF your child is part of a school testing program and they were exposed at school, they may participate in the 5 day Test & Stay program which allows them to continue to go to school provided they are asymptomatic and continue to test negative.
- Children who are not in a school testing program or were exposed to a case outside of the school setting, must quarantine at home for 5 full days.
- Though not required, an antigen or PCR test on day 5 is recommended to help rule out COVID infection.
- For days 6-10 after exposure, wear a well-fitting mask around others.
- If you cannot quarantine, wear masks around others for 10 full days.
- If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home
TESTING: Both PCR and antigen tests are accepted, including home tests for all testing purposes. PCR tests are still the best option and are recommended.
SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS (applies to those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated)
Those with symptoms (see list below) should stay out until:
- A negative test result is received (PCR or antigen)
- Symptoms are improved
- Have been without a fever for at least 24 hours.
If your child has symptoms and you do not want to have them tested for COVID in order to return to school, they must:
- Isolate at home for at least 5 days from symptom onset.
- They may return on day 6 if they have been without fever for at least 24 hours and symptoms are improved.
Please note: if the person with symptoms was a close contact they should follow the quarantine or isolation guidance above.
REMINDER: Please do not send your child to school if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Due to the elevated level of illness in our communities, please remain at home if you or your child is ill. If you have concerns about how your child is feeling, please contact us by sending a message through this patient portal. The clinicians will be able to respond to you during our regular hours. Calling the office may present a further delay in response times.
The COVID-19 situation is ever unfolding. We are dedicated to the safety of our patients and staff. Please refer to our website for updates on this changing situation.