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New requirements for BC students recovering from COVID-19

Filed in Archive by on February 18, 2021

In consultation with the school district’s medical director, Bethlehem schools will follow guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) requiring any student recovering from COVID-19 to receive clearance from their primary care provider before returning to physical education, interscholastic sports or intramural activities requiring physical activity. The new district requirement takes effect immediately. 

Clearance for physical activity will depend on the severity of a child’s COVID-19 symptoms while ill with a diagnosed case of COVID-19. According to the CDC, most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all. For these students, a pediatrician or primary care physician can sign-off directly on the return to physical activity. Those with moderate to severe symptoms while ill with COVID may be referred to a cardiac specialist by their primary care provider before being able to return to sports or physical education. Students with a history of cardiac problems or who has any cardiac findings on examination will also be referred to a cardiologist.

The district is providing families of students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 with two different forms to assist in this process: 

For student-athletes who have had COVID-19, it is important to note there is a required 14-day minimum resting period. A student-athlete must be completely asymptomatic for more than 14 days before returning to exercise and/or competition.  Once a healthcare provider clears a student-athlete to return to physical activity, the AAP recommends doing so gradually. The guidance advises a five-stage “Return to Play” process which is outlined on the form

After a clearance form is completed by a student’s physician, it will be reviewed by the district’s medical director. For non-athletes, the child’s school nurse will be notified of the approved clearance. Student-athletes will work with the district’s athletic trainer on the completion of the return to play process once their form has been approved.

Families who have questions regarding the return to physical activity should contact your child’s school nurse.