Flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar; COVID-19 test may be required if a student is ill

Influenza, or flu, cases are being diagnosed across New York state as flu season has officially started.

Flu spreads easily and can make people very sick, especially children. Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Fatigue 

Some people, especially children, may have stomach problems and diarrhea. Unlike a cold, the flu comes on very suddenly. 

Flu symptoms are very similar to COVID-19 symptoms.  It’s important for families to know that the Fayetteville-Manlius School District is required to follow the guidance in the New York State Department of Health Pre-K to Grade 12 COVID-19 Toolkit when determining if a student can attend school and when staff can go to work. 

Please refer to the toolkit for help in determining if your child can attend school, return to school after an illness and whether your child needs a COVID-19 test to return to school. 

“There is a large overlap between flu and COVID-19 symptoms,” said Diane Montgomery, a local physician who is supporting the district as its COVID-19 Medical Supervisor. “Our school nurses are required to follow the state Department of Health protocols, and families should know that a COVID-19 test may be required for their children to return to school after an illness or symptoms of an illness.” 

If your child does need a COVID-19 test, please check the Onondaga County COVID-19 Testing website for testing information. 

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