Your kid wakes up with a case of the sniffles and a croak in their throat. What next?
A runny nose and sore throat are examples of what N.W.T. schools are calling "minor symptoms" of COVID-19. If your kid has two of them, they've got to stay home.
But that's as far as many schools have gotten in their reopening plans. It's not immediately clear from those plans when your child would be able to return.
CBC News requested information from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) on what parents should expect if their child develops COVID-19 symptoms. Here's what they said.
Step 1: Keep your child at home
The first thing to do is isolate your kid. That means keeping them at home while they're symptomatic.
Most schools are asking parents to monitor kids for either one "major symptom" of COVID-19 — fever, shortness of breath, or a dry cough — or two more common "minor symptoms." Those include aches, sore throat, runny nose, diarrhea, vomiting, "general unease," or a loss of smell, taste or appetite.
If they develop symptoms at school, they'll be placed in a sick room set aside for this purpose until you can come collect them.
Step 2: Call your local health centre
After that, OCPHO advises parents to call their local health centre, which will "give the appropriate guidance."
"Every situation can be a little bit different and it is essential that advice from local healthcare providers are followed throughout the process," Mike Westwick, a spokesperson for the OCPHO, wrote in an email.
Based on your child's potential exposure to COVID-19, local health workers may order a test for your child.
For most people, that test involves a long swab being dabbed at the back of your throat. It's not painful, but it can be unpleasant.
WATCH | Take a tour of one Yellowknife school's measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19:
When can my kid go back to school?
There's been some confusion about that.
Health officials initially said "if a child has no travel history or known possible exposure to COVID-19, they will be expected to stay home and get assessed by their local healthcare provider for testing."
If they received a negative test result and their symptoms had "improved," they could return to school. But it was left to health centres to determine if a test was necessary.
Later in the day, they clarified that children who had been tested and were at some point exposed to COVID-19 would be required to isolate for a minimum of 14 days — seemingly regardless of the test result.
If a child had not been exposed to COVID-19, they would need to wait for a negative test, have no fever, and show some improvement in their symptoms.
"If a child is NOT tested," Westwick wrote, "they must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days since symptom onset and their symptoms must have completely resolved before they can return to school."
But Tuesday evening, Westwick clarified that if the local health clinic decided testing was not necessary, the child could return to school as soon as symptoms subsided.
In short, if your child has been exposed to COVID-19 or has recently travelled, prepare for a minimum of 14 days of isolation. And if your local clinic decides a test is necessary, prepare to wait for the result.
Westwick says the average turnaround time for a test is about four days, though positive results are reported more quickly. Yellowknife's COVID-19 testing clinic has been advising patients they should receive a result in four to seven days.
And if your clinic decides no test is necessary, treat it like an ordinary sick day and wait for symptoms to subside.
What should we be doing while waiting for a result?
Most schools are offering "blended" remote and in-class learning so students in isolation can keep up with their studies.
That could include take-home worksheets, online classes and regular check-ins with teachers to discuss their progress.
If your kid is waiting for a test result but otherwise filled with youthful energy, it might be a good time to ask their teacher about options for learning at home.