COVID-19 FAQs

What should you do if your child has symptoms of COVID-19?

What are Common Symptoms of COVID-19?

• Temperature higher than 100.4 degrees F by mouth OR 100.0 degrees F by no-touch thermometer.
• Sore throat and/or a new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for
students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from
baseline).
• Diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
• New onset of severe headache, especially with fever.
• Fatigue, chills, muscle pain, congestion/runny nose, and/or new loss of taste or
smell.

When to Get Tested for COVID-19?

If your child has any of the above symptoms, OR if they have been exposed to
someone with confirmed COVID-19, you should contact your child’s health care
provider immediately. Your child’s healthcare provider may recommend consultation
or COVID-19 testing depending on symptoms and general health of the child. If you
do not have a healthcare provider, you may call the Florida Department of Health at
863-519-7911 and ask for an appointment to be tested. A referral is not needed.
Typically, these tests are free of charge and the results are available in 2- 3 days. Be
prepared to provide contact information for anyone who has been in contact with your
child over a period of days.

What should I do to keep the illness from spreading to my family and other people in the community?

Stay home and isolated, except to get medical care. Isolation means you stay home
and away from others (including pets and other household members) for a minimum
of 14 days to avoid spreading illness. Do not go to work, school, or any public areas
during this time. In addition, the following is recommended:

• As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people.
• Use a separate bathroom, if available.
• Wear a cloth face covering when around others.
• If face covering can’t be worn, other people should wear a face covering when
they enter the sick person’s room.
• Restrict contact with pets and other animals while sick. When possible, have
another member of the household care for animals. If a sick person must care for
a pet, they should wash their hands before and after interacting with pets and
wear a face covering, if possible.
• Don’t share personal items with people or pets, including dishes, drinking glasses,
cups, utensils, towels, or bedding.
• Clean hands often. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If
soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at
least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues. Throw away the used tissues and then
wash hands.
• Clean “high-touch” surfaces every day, including counters, tabletops, doorknobs,
bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Use a
household cleaning spray or wipe and follow the directions on the label.
• Monitor symptoms. Get medical help right away if symptoms get worse. Before
getting care, call your health care provider and tell them that your child has
COVID-19 symptoms. Put on a face covering before entering the health care
facility to prevent the spread of germs to other people in the waiting room and
exam rooms.
• If your child has a medical emergency and you need to call 911, tell the dispatch
personnel that they have COVID-19 symptoms. If possible, put on face coverings
before emergency medical services arrive.

How long does my child need to isolate?

If your child is confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 and has symptoms, they
can end home isolation when they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without
the use of fever-reducing medication; AND their symptoms have improved; AND at
least 14 days have gone by since symptoms first appeared. If your child is confirmed
or suspected of having COVID-19 and has not had any symptoms, they can end home
isolation when at least 14 days have passed since the date of their first positive
COVID-19 test, AND they are symptom free.
Your child may suspend isolation BEFORE 14 days if they receive a negative result on
their COVID-19 test; AND they have had 24 hours fever/symptom free without the use
of medication.

What should everyone else in the household do?

People often get exposed by a household member or through close contact with
another infected person. Close contact means that a person has been within 6 feet of
someone with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more. It is recommended that all persons
living with anyone who tests positive, should immediately quarantine themselves for a
minimum of 10 days to watch for the onset of symptoms. Quarantine becomes
isolation if you later test positive for COVID-19 or develop COVID-19 symptoms.
If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 the DOH(Polk) will contact
you directly for a interview. The interviewer will ask for contact information of anyone
who may have been exposed, and will help you understand what to do and what kind
of additional support is available to anyone who has had contact with the infected
person.

How does a person get exposed to COVID-19?

People can get exposed when they come into direct contact with the secretions
(droplets) of someone who has COVID-19 (being coughed or sneezed on, kissing,
sharing utensils, etc.). Some people get COVID-19 without knowing how they were
exposed.

My child had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but is not sick. What should I do?

Your child should self-quarantine for 14 days. This means that your child should stay
home. They cannot go to work or school and should avoid public places for the entire
14 days. Monitor their health daily and check them for fever, cough, shortness of
breath, and other symptoms for 14 days from the last day they had close contact with
the person that was positive with COVID-19. From the time of exposure, people who
contract the virus can take 2 to 14 days to show symptoms. This is why people must
self-quarantine for 14 days from last exposure. If a person is exposed to someone they
live with and they cannot quarantine away from the person who is positive, their
quarantine may last longer.

My child had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and now they are sick. What should I do?

If your child was exposed to COVID-19 and gets symptoms, they should self-isolate
even if they have very mild symptoms. The child should have their own room with
their own bathroom, separate from everyone else, if possible. If your child was a close
contact to someone and now is ill, contact their health care provider and consider
having them tested. The Health Department offers free COVID-19 testing without a
referral. An interviewer will help you understand what to do and what support is
available. If your child later becomes ill, they will ask you for the names and contact
information of people you were recently in close contact with to notify them about
exposure. Names are kept private.

For more information, contact the Department of Health of Polk County at 866.779.6121 (24/7), or Polk COVID-19 information line at 863.519.7911 (M-F/8am-5pm).