Health & Safety
Re-Entry Decision Making Model
Range Community Schools Corporation has adopted this model of how and when students should return to the classrooms.
Determining County Score
Range Community Schools uses the Weekly County Score given by the Indiana State Department of Health every Wednesday. This is based on the metrics set by the Indiana Department of Health. You can view the state data here: https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2393.htm.
Health Screener FAQs
Safe & Clean Learning Environment
Sanitizer and Soap
Getting a Vaccine when available
Safety Best Practices
How to protect yourself and others:
Wash hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer gel
Catch coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues
Throw away used tissues and then wash hands
If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Stay home if you are feeling sick
Common Questions for Parents
Guidance is referenced from the Indiana Department of Health; Last Updated 7/3/20
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. The virus that causes COVID-19 is new. It is not the same as other types of coronaviruses that commonly circulate among people and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrom in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19?
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. It is not yet known what causes MIS-C. However, many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.
Where did coronavirus come from?
This particular virus was first identified in China in 2019 winter and has caused an outbreak of illness around the world. There is a lot that we are still learning about COVID-19, but it is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Why can't I just take medicine to cure COVID-19?
Because COVID-19 is a viral infection, like the common cold, rather than a bacterial infection, it cannot be cured with an antibiotic like penicillin. Right now, we do not have a way to cure COVID-19 and there is no vaccine to prevent it.
What are the Symptoms?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
Fever of chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste of smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to other, more common respiratory viruses we see frequently this time of the year. This means that, in most cases, we can’t use symptoms or a simple examination to tell COVID-19 apart from the flu, a cold, or other respiratory infections. Emergency warning signs include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face. Please get medical attention if you notice any of these symptoms.
Are my kids at risk for developing severe symptoms from COVID-19?
It is important to know that all evidence from around the world indicates that children usually DO NOT develop severe disease.
High-risk groups include smokers, older adults (particularly those over 65 years of age), and people with underlying health issues such as lung disease, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
What are the symptoms of MIS-C?
What should I do if my child is sick with cold or flu symptoms?
In general, mild cough and cold symptoms can be managed at home. For most children you can use Tylenol to treat fever or achiness. It is also important to make sure that your child stays hydrated. Gatorade, water, juice and popsicles are great choices for children older than the age of 1. For children younger than 1 year old, try Pedialyte. Let your child get plenty of rest. It’s OK if your child isn’t very hungry as long as he or she is drinking lots of fluids. Most children with viral respiratory illnesses recover well without any additional treatment or intervention.
Can we test to be sure my child isn't sick with COVID-19?
Test for children older than 1 year are available for free through any Indiana State Department of Health/OptumServe test site. A map of all test sites across Indiana and additional testing information is available here.
Why is COVID-19 such a big deal? Flu is here every year, and my kids do just fine.
There are three unique things about COVID-19 that make it a bigger deal for our communities.
Because it is a brand-new virus, more people are likely to become infected.
COVID-19 is easy to spread from person-to-person. It can be spread by droplets, like when someone coughs or sneezes near you or on surfaces you touch. This is why it is SO important to wash your hands frequently, clean surfaces and try and avoid touching your face. This is how the virus is shared with other people. This is also why you should be cautious about attending large gatherings or visiting anyone over age 65 for the time being because they are particularly at risk.
In most people, COVID-19 causes mild illness, which means that people are more likely to continue doing usual activities, like going to work, school and to the gym. While most infected children become only mildly ill, but they can easily spread the infection to other people who are more at risk. This wouldn’t be as big a deal if everybody only got mild illness, but some people can get very sick. Unfortunately, there have been people, almost all of them older adults, who have died from COVID-19.
What should I say when explaining COVID-19 to my kids?
Remain calm and reassuring. Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.
Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.
Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.
Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19. Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio or online.
Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety. Provide information that is honest and accurate. Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.
Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.
Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
Get children into a handwashing habit.
Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.
What can I do to prevent getting COVID-19?
We are also encouraging all students and staff to practice good health hygiene to prevent the spread of illness:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Staff and students that when they are ill, they should remain home; persons who have been ill should be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning to classes and work.
Always check reliable sources for up-to-date, accurate information about COVID-19; local, state and federal authorities are listed here.
When should I go the emergency room?
Go to the emergency room if your child is having an emergency. Here are some examples:
Your child has stopped drinking and urinating. If your child is drinking and urinating a little bit less than usual that is OK. However, if it is a LOT less than usual, then call your doctor or come to the emergency room.
Your child is having difficulty breathing in their lungs. Children with colds frequently may have trouble breathing through their noses. This is okay, as long as they are not having difficulty breathing in their lungs. Come to the emergency room if your child is:
Breathing a lot faster than normal
Using extra muscles to breathe, If this happens you may see them pulling in on their ribcage each time they take a breath or using extra muscles in their necks
Flaring their nostrils with each breath
Making grunting noises with each breath
Having trouble speaking
Having trouble drinking
Your child is acting “weird.” Children who are sick with a cough, cold and flu are typically less active than normal. For example, they may be crankier, want to sleep more or be held. This is normal. Bring your child to the emergency room if they seem newly confused or unresponsive.
What about fever? Children frequently get a fever with viral illnesses. This is the body’s normal response to help fight infection. Fever itself is not dangerous, but children with fevers generally feel worse and are not as excited about doing things such as drinking, which is very important. We treat their fevers to help them feel better. In some illnesses, the fever will not come all the way down to normal even with fever medicine, and that is OK. Also, as the medicine wears off, the fever may return. If the fevers persist for more than several days and don’t respond to medicines, you should talk to your doctor, sometimes you will need to be seen in the emergency department.
Your child has a fever AND is immunosuppressed (either because of medication they take or because of underlying illness). This includes children being treated for cancer, autoimmune diseases and sickle cell disease. You should call your doctor immediately anytime an immunosuppressed child has a fever.
Don’t go to the emergency department if you don’t need to.
You will expose your children to illnesses they may not currently have and will expose others as well. In addition, we want to keep our emergency rooms available to care for children with the kinds of emergencies we see every day. If you do decide to go to the emergency room, please call ahead if possible so precautions can be taken to limit the spread to others.