Managing Possible and Positive COVID-19 Cases at ISP

 

Last updated:
23 November 2020

What happens if a student or a staff member test positive for COVID-19?
  • ISP immediately contacts and informs the French Health Authorities (ARS - l’Agence Régionale de la Santé).
  • ISP transmits to the ARS the list of possible contacts (children in the same classes, staff, etc) and immediately informs the parents of affected students that:
    • Their child may be considered a contact at risk.  In this case,  the child may not attend school until the ARS communicates its definitive ‘contacts at risk’ list.  Parents must arrange to pick up their child / authorise their departure from school as soon as possible.
    • Their child is not identified as a contact at risk at this point, despite there being a case at the school or in the school community (please see below - “Who is considered a ‘contact at risk’ within the school” .
  • Possible contacts at risk must stay at home whilst the ARS establishes and communicates its definitive ‘contacts at risk’ list.  The definitive list includes all those who must be tested, and the required timeframe. (Testing too early could lead to a false negative result.)
  • Brothers and sisters of confirmed COVID-19 cases are not permitted to attend school, even if they have no symptoms.  If a child, or any member of your immediate household, tests positive for COVID-19, the quarantine is mandatory for the entire family. Please see 'When may my child, who is a positive COVID case, return to school?'. However, siblings of the students on the contact list may come to school normally, as long as there are no symptoms in the family.  
  • We will set up appropriate online home learning for students who must be out of school as possible contacts or contacts at risk. The learning will take place through our Online Home Learning Website, and we will contact families with the details within approximately 24 hours. Instructions regarding Online Home Learning can be found on our website, COVID-19 and Learning.
  • ISP will also promptly inform the whole community about the situation. Please note that the school will not disclose individuals’ names or health details in any of our communications. 

A strong recommendation
We recommend with the strongest urgency and sense of shared responsibility that when a child is out of school in a 'contact at risk' situation, that the family cancels all of their social interactions – activities, family get-togethers, or other – until they receive their test results.

Who is considered a 'contact at risk' within the school community? 
On September 17, 2020, the French High Council for Public Health (Haut conseil de la santé publique - HCSP) published its opinion as regards the definition of ‘contacts at risk’ within the school community.
 

They note within this opinion that ‘young children are at a low possible risk for a severe form and are low contributors in the transmission chain of SARS-COV-2’.

As of November 2, 2020 (date at which masks were required in elementary school in addition to middle and high school), it is assumed that all students in Grade 1 and older will be wearing masks, which further underlines that a positive case within the teaching or school staff, or a positive case of a child, does not automatically imply that classmates are contacts at risk.  This will be defined through the conversations with the school and ARS.

 

In Preschool and Elementary School (Nursery - Grade 5)

  • Teachers and staff wearing a mask (surgical or of equivalent category 1 AFNOR standards) who have had contact with a positive case in a student less than 11 years old are not considered to be a contact at risk.  
  • Similarly, students less than 11 years old are not considered to be a contact at risk if they have had contact with a positive case in a teacher or staff member, as long as the teacher/staff member is wearing a mask (surgical or of equivalent category 1 AFNOR standards).
  • Students less than 11 years old are not considered to be a contact at risk if they have had contact with a positive case with another student less than 11 years old.  This definition assumes that both students may not be wearing masks (preschool age children, for example).
  • However, in the case where there are three (3) or more persons in the same class (students of different households and/or personnel) who test positive for COVID-19, then the entire class is considered a contact at risk and the above rules apply as regards isolation and other testing requirements by the ARS. (Please see ‘What happens if a student or a staff member at ISP test positive for COVID-19’ above.)

In Middle and High School (Grade 6 - Grade 12)

  • Given as Middle and High School students, as well as all teachers/staff are all required to wear a mask (surgical or of equivalent category 1 AFNOR standards), a positive COVID-19 case of a student or staff member does not automatically imply that classmates are contacts at risk.  This will be defined through the conversations with the school and ARS.
  • However, in the case where there are three (3) or more persons in the same class (students of different households and/or personnel) who test positive for COVID-19, then the entire class is considered a contact at risk and the above rules apply as regards isolation and other testing requirements by the ARS. (Please see ‘What happens if a student or a staff member at ISP test positive for COVID-19’ above.)

 

When may my child or my child’s teacher, identified as a 'contact at risk', return to school?
Once a student or staff member has been identified by ISP as a contact at risk and confirmed by the ARS as a contact at risk, there are specific protocols before they may return to school. These protocols will depend if the contact at risk lives in the same household as the positive case, or does not.  For those living in the same household, an immediate RT-PCR test of all household members is required, and specific isolation and re-testing instructions will be communicated by the Assurance Maladie.  The requirement is that those with a positive case in their household fully isolate until such time as any or all positive cases in the household have fully recovered, and then a new RT-PCR test must be taken 7 days later for all those previously testing negative in order to determine if the contact case may end their isolation period.
 
You may please see a detailed description of the steps to follow when in contact with a positive COVID-19 household case (in French) here.
 
The protocols summarized below pertain to those who do not live in the same household as the positive case.
 

In Preschool and Elementary School (Nursery - Grade 5)

  • The student may return to school 7 days following their last contact with the positive COVID-19 patient.  
    • This is only possible if the student does not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
    • There is not an obligation for the student to be tested for COVID-19.

In Middle and High School (Grade 6 - Grade 12)

  • The student is required to be tested for COVID-19 with a RT-PCR test 7 days after their last contact with the positive COVID-19 patient.
  • The parent/legal guardian must provide an attestation (see attestation link HERE) which confirms the test has been completed and the result is negative.  When this is provided, the child may return to school.
  • In the absence of this attestation, the student must remain out of school until it is provided, for a maximum of 14 days.

For all personnel (teachers / staff)

  • The staff member is required to be tested for COVID-19 with a RT-PCR test 7 days after their last contact with the positive COVID-19 patient.
  • The staff member must provide an attestation (see attestation link HERE) which confirms the test has been completed and the result is negative.  When this is provided, the staff member may return to school.
  • In the absence of this attestation, the staff member must remain out of school until it is provided, for a maximum of 14 days.
  • All these periods of absence will have to be covered by an "arrêt de travail".


 

When may my child, who is a positive COVID case, return to school?

When a student has tested positive for COVID-19, there are specific protocols before they may return to school.  Under no circumstances may your child return to class until these protocols have been fully completed, and the return date must be cleared with our school nurse ahead of time (ispnurse@isparis.net).

For cases where a student is asymptomatic:

  • The earliest a student may return to school is seven full days following the day on which they tested positive (e.g. student may return on day 8 – day 1 is the day after testing positive).

For cases where a student tested positive after presenting COVID-19 symptoms:

  • The earliest a student may return to school is seven full days following the day on which they began to show symptoms (e.g. student may return on day 8 – day 1 is the day after first showing symptoms).

Additional important points to note:

  • A student can only return to school if they are well and do not present any symptoms; if they have signs of a fever, or other COVID symptoms, they need to wait an additional 48 hours following the absence of all symptoms before returning to school.
  • The student does not need to have another COVID-19 PCR test in order to return to school.  The time is counted as from their positive test result or beginning of symptoms, as noted above.
  • Your primary care physician may require the absence period be longer than 7 days.  If this is the case, the time out of school should strictly follow those medical recommendations.
  • During the seven day isolation period, the student should isolate as much as possible in a room(s) that are regularly ventilated.  Masks should be worn by all family members when they are in common areas and barrier gestures (social distance, hand washing, etc.) strictly observed
What happens if a student presents symptoms of COVID-19 whilst at ISP?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include: respiratory infection or respiratory difficulties with fever or feelings of a fever, unexplained fatigue, unexplained muscle soreness, headache, loss of or reduced sense of taste or smell, diarrhea.  Rhinitis alone (runny nose/sneezing) is not considered a symptom necessarily evocative of COVID-19.
 
  • The student is placed in the isolation room, respecting all barrier gestures and wearing a mask.
  • ISP contacts the parents.  Parents must immediately come to pick up their child from school, or may provide authorisation for Middle/High School students to leave school unaccompanied.  Attention must be paid to respect all barrier gestures and to avoid others (for example, do not take public transportation).
  • The family should immediately consult a physician.  A student who has presented COVID-19 symptoms may not return to school for at least 7 days, unless they have consulted a physician.
  • The student may return to school:
    • If their parents provide a written attestation (see Attestation Link HERE) noting they have consulted a physician and a COVID-19 test was not prescribed.
    • Otherwise, the student may return to school after 7 days (if there is no fever).

In the event a contact at risk tests positive for COVID-19, or someone in their household tests positive for COVID-19, you must immediately inform the school and follow the protocols as set forth for a positive COVID-19 case.

covidtestinginthe16th
Where can you get tested?

Please visit the website of the Ministère de Solidarités et de la Santé for a list of all testing sites near your residence.  It is sometimes quicker to queue early at sites that offer the PCR test without an appointment; some appointment sites include delays of a few days, or more.

At all times, you should respect the time delays for testing as prescribed by the ARS, or your primary care physician.

ISP Community Members (Students, Families and Staff) Positive for COVID-19

  1. We require, for the health and safety of our community, that any family with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case report this information directly to the school nurses via ispnurse@isparis.net.
  2. The school will immediately contact the French health authorities (ARS), and they will dictate all quarantine periods and / or closures of a specific class, grade or campus.
  3. Submission of required documentation before re-entry to school is allowed.

Testing Requirements

  1. ISP will follow and fully implement the French health authorities' (ARS) expectations for COVID-19 testing.
  2. If a student or staff member is unwell, ISP will contact the ARS immediately to implement testing and / or quarantines, as well as required communication.

Who to Contact?

COVID-19 related contact information and links.

COVID-19 Contacts Infographic

General questions contact information.

General Contact Infographic