Welcome to the Kennedy School Nurse Webpage!

J. F. Kennedy School Health Office

Monday-Friday 8am-3pm (school days)

Sherri Lapp BSN, RN, CSN-NJ

908 754 4620 x 5620

Fax: 908 777 7805


Answers to your questions:

Q: If my child was in contact w someone who had Covid and we can't find anywhere to get a PCR test what do we do as far as sending them back to school if they are not showing any symptoms or signs of Covid?

A: If your child meets the criteria for quarantine (within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) they must complete 10 days of quarantine before returning to school even if they show no symptoms. If your child is fully vaccinated they are exempt from quarantine, but testing is still recommended.

I understand the current backlog of testing sites. I will post here any testing resources that I become aware of. If you are able to have your child tested it is recommended that you test on day 5-7 of contact and if negative quarantine ends on day 8. ~Mrs. Lapp

Quarantine and Isolation Protocol: Sheryl Lapp, BSN, RN, CSN-NJ 1/1/2022

My child has tested positive for COVID what do I do now?

  • If you have not already done so, contact your child’s pediatrician for guidance.

  • Please notify the school ASAP so we can keep track of the number of cases within our school community.

  • Child must isolate for 10 days. Day zero is day of first symptom/s (If child has no symptoms day zero is day of positive test).

  • Child may exit isolation and return to in person school on day 11 if he/she is feeling better (meaning majority of symptoms have resolved) AND has been fever free without use of Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, etc for the last 24 hours.

  • Retesting is not necessary. If positive test was a rapid test, a negative PCR (lab) test result taken within the time frame of the illness but after the rapid test negates the positive rapid result.

My child was exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID. What do I do now?

  • If the positive individual lives in the same household as your child you must keep the positive individual away from other family members. Total isolation is best Do not share bathrooms. If you have only one shared bathroom sanitize between uses with a cleaning product that states it is effective against Coronaviruses on the label. Do not share eating utensils and mask and distance as much as possible if caring for the ill person.

  • Positive individual does not live in same household: Day zero is day of exposure.

  • Positive individual lives in same household and is able to totally isolate- Day zero is day your child last had contact with family member.

  • Positive individual lives in same household and cannot isolate from child. Example parent is COVID positive and must care for child- Positive individual must complete 10 day isolation period. Day zero of child’s quarantine is last day of positive individual’s isolation.

  • Child must complete a quarantine period. Testing is recommended on day five after an exposure. If test is negative, quarantine ends on day eight. If no test is done quarantine ends on day 10. LABORATORY TEST RESULTS ARE ONLY ACCEPTED IN THIS SITUATION.

  • If child is fully vaccinated (it has been 14 days or longer from second vaccine dose) the child does not need to quarantine. VACCINE RECORD NEEDS TO BE PRESENTED.

  • If child is not vaccinated but has previously tested positive for COVID within 90 days quarantine is not necessary. PROOF OF POSITIVE TEST MUST BE SENT TO SCHOOL IN ORDER TO BE EXEMPT FROM QUARANTINE. ONLY PRINTED LAB RESULTS ARE ACCEPTED.


What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Individuals testing positive for COVID are placed on isolation. Individuals exposed to a positive case must quarantine. In both instances, this means you must stay home away from others.

My home test shows a faint line, is that considered a positive?


Does my child need a negative test to exit isolation?

No, retesting is not recommended if individual has symptoms of COVID.

My husband was exposed at work and placed on quarantine. Does the rest of our household need to quarantine?

No, the other members of the household are considered secondary contacts and do not need to quarantine unless your husband develops symptoms and/or rests positive.

Are home tests acceptable?

Not for the purposes of school reentry. Please see above for clarification.

Does my child need to present COVID test results to return to school after traveling?


I am so confused about the different types of tests. Can you explain the difference?

The main difference is what the test is looking for. A home test is positive if it detects the COVID antigen. This means the presence of the COVID virus was found within the respiratory passage of the individual tested. A PCR test detects the presence of COVID antibodies and can mean you are currently infected with COVID or have had a recent, past infection. A positive PCR result along with active symptoms is indicative of a current infection. PCR results are considered more reliable over antigen tests. Rapid Antigen tests detecti very high levels of virus, which turn the test positive. People are only contagious once they reach a certain threshold of virus. So, by default, catching high levels of virus will result in capturing whether someone is contagious. On the other hand, PCR tests are very effective at detecting the presence of very low levels of a virus. Importantly, the threshold in which PCR tests can detect virus is below the level of contagiousness. So, people can stay positive with a PCR for a long time (some documented cases show up to 60 days) but not be contagious. With an antigen test, though, that person would be positive for a much shorter duration and, more or less, while they are contagious.

Is there such a thing as a false positive or false negative COVID test result?

It is recommended to test on day five but no sooner after an exposure. You may get a negative result if you test too early. A positive result from a rapid test may be ruled out from a negative PCR (lab) test. Consider a negative rapid test a snap shot of time and re test if you develop symptoms or if symptoms worsen. Consult you doctor for guidance.

I have recently heard that the CDC has shortened the isolation period for vaccinated individuals. Why is the school district not following this guidance?\

The CDC is currently updating guidance for specific settings such as schools. The NJ Department of health is awaiting this guidance and will update their guidelines for schools once this is released.

Help........I still have questions. Now what?

You can also email me directly-



For Immediate Release

Check the Carbon Monoxide Detector

89 NJ Residents Helped Since Oct 1st

(New Jersey) – When was the last time you tested your carbon monoxide (CO) detector to make sure it was working? Did you remove the batteries and forget to replace them? Is the detector turned off or unplugged because it kept beeping? Having working CO detectors in your living space is the only way to know if there’s a carbon monoxide leak in your home, building, business, or motorhome/RV.

“Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas overlooked by many people because it gives no warning – you can’t see, smell, hear, or taste it,” says Diane Calello, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Department of Emergency Medicine. “Since October of this year, our poison specialists have assisted 66 callers with carbon monoxide exposures.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning is an immediate and deadly danger. Dangerous levels of CO gas can build up quickly poisoning those inside. People and pets can come in contact with this gas any time of the year. Carbon monoxide can only be detected by having working CO detectors.

“CO detectors don’t malfunction as often as people think. When the alarm on your detector sounds, take it seriously and act fast,” says Calello. “Most of the time, it’s not malfunctioning – it’s trying to save your life. Get outside right away and call your fire department or energy provider.”

Install battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector on every floor and near bedrooms and other sleeping areas. Do a safety check two times a year to make sure the batteries and the units are working correctly. An easy way to remember to check the detectors is to check them when changing the time for Daylight Savings in the fall and spring. If you did not check the detectors on Sunday, November 7th, check them today.

“As we head into cold and flu season while continuing to battle COVID-19 infections, it’s important you pay careful attention to the signs and symptoms you may be feeling,” says Calello. “Early symptoms of CO poisoning can be confused with symptoms of viral illnesses like the common cold, seasonal flu and COVID-19.” Symptoms of CO poisoning may include headache, dizziness, weakness, tiredness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

Stopping a CO leak before it happens is the best way to prevent getting sick from carbon monoxide. This deadly gas can leak from heating systems and other fuel-burning appliances in your home or building. Have a heating and air conditioning professional do a safety check each year to make sure your heating system and other appliances are working properly.

Lesser-known sources of carbon monoxide poisoning include portable gas generators often used when homes and buildings lose power; blocked heating and dryer vents; portable room heaters; fireplace/chimney liners; blocked engine and exhausts on cars and boats; and smoking hookah in spaces that are too small and have little ventilation.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be hard to recognize. CO poisoning is a medical emergency that requires you to act quickly. If a person or pet came in contact with carbon monoxide, follow these steps and get help right away.

  1. If the person is not breathing or hard to wake up, get them out of the house and call 9-1-1. If a pet was exposed to CO, contact a veterinarian or animal hospital.

  2. Get out of the home or building right away. Do not stop to open windows. The longer you are inside the more carbon monoxide you will breathe in.

  3. Contact your local fire department or energy provider.

  4. Call the NJ Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for medical treatment advice. Do not waste time “Googling” what to do. Call for fast, free, and accurate information.

Poison control centers are a medical resource for the public and healthcare professionals. Get help 24/7. New Jersey residents: Call 1-800-222-1222 or Chat Here

If someone is not breathing, hard to wake up, or having a seizure, call 9-1-1.

Help is Just a Phone Call Away!

Real People. Real Answers.

The Middlesex County Office of Health Services is offering vaccine clinics that are open to Children ages 5-11.

The vaccine of choice is strictly Pfizer for children ages 5-11.

For more information about COVID Vaccines, including translated materials in Spanish and Gujarati, the most current clinic schedule, registration options as well as information about homebound vaccinations, residents are encouraged to visit http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/Government/Departments/PSH/Pages/Covid-19-Vaccine.aspx

11/03/2021 Update on the COVID vaccine for 5-11 year old children

Yesterday ACIP ( The CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) needed to vote on the following: “The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for children 5-11 years of age in the U.S. population under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization”.

  • Yes: 14 votes

  • No: 0 votes

The ball now goes to the CDC. If the CDC and FDA agree, then vaccines will officially be authorized and can go into the arms of 5-11 year olds. Unofficially, this may take a few days given distribution difficulties. Update: the CDC has given the go ahead clearing the way for immediate vaccination of the youngest age group yet in the United States.

"CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible," the agency said in a statement.

COVID19 will now be a vaccine-preventable disease for 5-11 year olds.

To see the CDC statement authorizing pediatric vaccine please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1102-PediatricCOVID-19Vaccine.html

For parents who will seek to vaccinate their children for COVID “right away”:

To find a vaccination site, visit covid19.nj.gov/finder. Pediatric doses are expected to be listed on the site soon and the list will get updated as additional sites are added.

  • The public will be able to search for sites that currently have the pediatric vaccine and can also contact the COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 855-568-0545.

  • When your child gets the vaccine, PLEASE enroll them into V-safe. Here is an overview of V-safe and how to register. You will get the follow-up text messages (not your 5-11 year old).

For parents who will “wait and see” or parents who will “definitely not” vaccinate:

  • First and foremost, please have a conversation with your child’s pediatrician. They are there to listen and know the health and medical history of your child best. Fact sheet for parents and caregivers here.

  • For a Q&A with the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding the vaccine for 5-11 year olds and a discussion that addresses many parental concerns click here.

  • Here are the top 8 parental concerns of the COVID19 vaccine

School Illness Protocol

Update to school district COVID protocol 10/01/2021

Parents/guardians must call the school to inform them of a student's absence and must report illness symptoms. If the school is unable to verify that the student is not exhibiting symptoms of COVID 19, the student will be excluded from school and entered into isolation "drop in" instruction until verification is received that the student's absence is not due to COVID symptoms or a negative COVID test result is provided.

Any student exhibiting two or more symptoms from column A and/or one symptom from column B must remain home and will be required to go for COVID testing (rapid or PCR test acceptable). Student may return to school if a negative COVID test result is provided to the school nurse AND the student is symptom free for 24 hours.

Symptomatic students presenting to the nurse's office with two or more symptoms from column A and/or one symptom from column B will be required to go for COVID testing. Rapid antigen testing is available in the Health Office with parent/guardian signed permission or you may elect to use your own provider. Click here for link to consent form. **home tests will not be accepted**

Students must be cleared by the school nurse prior to returning to school after absence related to COVID rule out, quarantine or isolation.

There is no longer any requirement for students either vaccinated or un-vaccinated to quarantine after domestic or international travel.

Column A Column B

Fever ( measured or subjective) Cough

Chills Shortness of Breath

Shivers Difficulty Breathing

Muscle Aches New Loss of Smell and/or Taste


Sore throat




Congestion/Runny Nose

Click here to access the interactive tool. If you have questions or concerns about sending your child to school please contact me by phone or email ~Sherri Lapp


908 754 4620 extension 5620

South Plainfield School District New Protocols for Quarantine and Isolation

(Updated 10/11/2021)

As of February 22, 2021, any unvaccinated student who has been in close contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19 (close contact is defined as within 6 feet for a cumulative time of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period. Exception: In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) where both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time). OR who has any two symptoms from column A and/or any one symptom from column B must quarantine for contact or isolate if symptomatic for a minimum of 10 days from the day of contact/ day first symptoms appear. You may have your child tested on day five if they are quarantined for close contact (day zero is counted as the date of contact/start of symptoms). If the test result is negative you must provide a copy of the test results to the school nurse and the student may then return to in person learning (if cleared to return) on day 8. Those choosing not to test may have their child return on day 11. Those in isolation with symptoms may test at any time and return with proof of a negative test. Students must be fever free for >24 hours and well enough to attend school. ***

Students with a documented COVID-19 infection (written documentation required from student's doctor) within the past 90 days are not required to quarantine due to exposure.

Column A Column B

Fever ( measured or subjective) Cough

Chills Shortness of Breath

Shivers Difficulty Breathing

Muscle Aches New Loss of Smell and/or taste Headache

Sore throat




Congestion/Runny Nose

Where can I find a list of public COVID-19 testing locations? How can I access free COVID-19 testing or treatment?

Last Updated: 03/03/2021

Free COVID-19 testing is available at many locations across the state.

To find a list of free public testing locations in New Jersey by county, including short-term pop-up testing sites use the test site finder tool here. You can search New Jersey's 400+ permanent testing locations, both public and private.

In addition, free COVID-19 testing and treatment is available at Community Health Centers, also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), to all people whether you have health insurance or not and regardless of your immigration status. Find an FQHC near you with this search tool, through 211 online, or by directly calling 2-1-1 (support is available in English and Spanish).

Individuals with urgent symptoms may also continue to access services at acute care hospitals. The COVID-19 testing cost will be waived for uninsured individuals eligible for charity care. Information on the Charity Care Program can be found at: https://www.nj.gov/health/charitycare. You should talk to a medical provider before going to your local hospital.

Covid Reporting Process 2020

COVID-19 Reporting Process

Click upper right corner of document to open in new tab

Quarantine, Isolation, & Return to School

Quarantine, Isolation & Return to School Information

Click upper right corner of document to open in new tab

How Can I Tell the Difference Between Asthma, COVID-19, the Flu, a Cold or Seasonal Allergies?

Some symptoms are similar between these respiratory illnesses. This chart can help you figure out if you may be feeling symptoms of asthma, allergies or a respiratory illness like COVID-19, the flu or a cold. Respiratory illnesses may worsen asthma, so it’s important to keep taking your asthma control medicines. If you have a fever and a cough, call your doctor. If you have seasonal allergies, there are things you can do to treat at home.

Too Ill for School?

In an effort to spread the latest, verified health information on COVID-19 I am sharing the following links. Please email me with any related questions. Stay healthy!

Sherri Lapp, Kennedy School Nurse

Make sure that you are taking care of your mental and emotional wellness during these stressful times. Here is a link to some free resources with tools to take care of your mind and stay healthy.

Your COVID-19 Questions Answered (click link) Answered by experts at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


*In rare cases, the virus can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure or death, so contact your doctor promptly if you have symptoms



Information regarding the Novel Coronavirus has spread throughout the news and social media. This virus has made its way to the United States from China and is being closely monitored by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and health departments. NJSSNA is dedicated to promoting the health and safety of our students, staff and communities. Therefore, we would like to share some information, including preventative measures, regarding Novel Coronavirus.

All of the guidance documents are posted on the NJDOH Novel Coronavirus web page: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml under the heading Guidance.

You can also visit the CDC website for additional information.

Prevention is always key when it comes to communicable diseases. So, what can you do to help decrease the risk of getting infected with Novel Coronavirus?

● If you are traveling overseas (to China, but also to other places) follow the CDC's guidance.

● Currently, the novel coronavirus has not been spreading widely in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public. However, the steps that you take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold can also help prevent coronavirus:

1. Wash your hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizer should be used if soap and water is not available.

2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

3. Avoid contact with people who are sick.

4. Stay home while you are sick and avoid contact with others.

5. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Stay Healthy,

NJSSNA Executive Board