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Winter Health Guidance

Nov. 17, 2022 - As the cold weather moves in and families celebrate the holidays, sickness is on the rise. Contagious respiratory viruses (like the flu, COVID-19, and RSV) can spread easily and SSD schools are experiencing an increasingly high rate of illness in our student population. All three of these illnesses are expected to surge during the winter season.

Students or staff that test positive for any of these viruses should isolate if any of the following symptoms are present: fever of 100°, new onset of a moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue from unknown causes, or muscle or body aches from unknown causes. 

It’s not possible to tell the difference between COVID, the flu, and RSV by symptoms alone. Testing is strongly recommended for all individuals with flu or COVID-like symptoms. Obtaining an illness-specific test allows for proper diagnosis quickly and for proper guidance on returning to school or work possible.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DPH) is offering free biweekly testing for COVID-19, RSV, and the flu at select DPH health centers. Drive-through testing will be available at South County Health Center and John C. Murphy Health Center, from 8 AM - 4 PM. Testing will operate on a biweekly basis through March 2023. Additional information on free testing can be found on the DPH website.

Families are encouraged to contact their school nurses with any questions prior to returning to the building after an illness.