COVID-19 or something else? DOH releases flowchart to aid parents, school officials

ALBANY — Is it COVID-19 or something else? A diagnosis can determine when your child may return to school.

As New York schools brace for flu season, the state Department of Health has released a COVID-19 flowchart to help parents and school administrators decide if students should stay home and whether contact tracing is necessary.

The health department’s “Pre-K-12 COVID-10 Toolkit” also outlines the protocols for staff who have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus.

Classic COVID-19 symptoms like a cough or nasal congestion may resemble the flu or the common cold which would not necessarily require students to isolate for at least 10 days or trigger contact tracing.


Symptoms of the respiratory disease may include a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, feverishness or chills, a cough, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, sore throat, shortness of breath,  and headaches.

Any students or staff members

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