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Winter Health Guidance 2023-24

Nov. 20, 2023 - As we say goodbye to the summer heat, families are preparing for cooler weather, holiday celebrations, and the need to take preventative measures against illness. Sickness is on the rise throughout St. Louis County and contagious respiratory viruses (like flu, COVID-19, and RSV) can spread easily. SSD schools are experiencing an increasingly high rate of illness in our student and staff population. All three of these illnesses are expected to surge during the fall and winter seasons.

Students or staff who 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, 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.

St. Louis County’s Public Health Department continues to provide free vaccines at three locations. No appointments are necessary, walk-ins are welcome. Those with insurance are asked to bring their insurance card with them. For additional information, please visit the DPH website. Free testing is also available through DPH. Test kits are available at many St. Louis County Library branches.

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

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