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Covid-19 Screening and Return to School

COVID-19 Screening & Return to School


  • If a campus is notified that a student or staff member has a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, the student or staff member will be required to stay home until the return to school criteria is met. Refer to COVID-19 Protocol Flowchart.
  • Student or staff member exposed to a lab confirmed case of COVID-19 outside of school should stay home and contact the school for instructions on meeting the return to school criteria.
  • District communication will be provided to the students/staff members who came in contact with a student or staff member with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

CDC Update Dec. 2, 2020

As of December 2, 2020, the CDC amended their guidance to allow two shorter options for the stay at-home period. Based on current CDC guidance, the stay-at-home period can end for individuals experiencing no symptoms:

  •   On Day 10 after close contact exposure without testing
  •   On Day 7 after close contact exposure and after receiving a negative test result.

If individuals return to school from these shorter stay-at-home windows, they should regularly monitor themselves for symptoms to ensure they remain symptom-free and take appropriate precautions (e.g., more consistent mask usage) for the duration of the 14-day incubation period.

Finally, the CDC has also advised that critical infrastructure services—which includes schools—may permit close contact staff members who are asymptomatic to continue to work in select instances when it is necessary to preserve school operations. Per the CDC, this option should be used only in limited circumstances. When using this option, school systems may consider adding additional protocols to increase monitoring for these individuals, which might include the use of COVID-19 tests (e.g., on Day 3 and/or Day 7 after the close contact exposure).

Taking into account all of the above, school systems may apply any of the following stay-at-home periods to those individuals who are identified as close contacts.

Specifically, the stay-at-home period can be:

  •  10 days after the last close contact, so long as they continue to monitor themselves daily for symptoms and take appropriate precautions through day 14
  •  7 days after the last close contact, after receiving a negative test result (administered at least 5 days after the last close contact), so long as they continue to monitor themselves daily for symptoms and take appropriate precautions through day 14
  •  For staff who are necessary to preserve school operations, school systems can choose not to require any stay-at-home period, so long as the affected staff continue to monitor themselves daily for symptoms and take appropriate precautions through day 14, and schools can consider the use of rapid tests for these individuals
  • 14 days after the last close contact

Covid-19 Symptoms

​If a student or staff member has any of the following symptoms, stay home, contact the school, monitor symptoms, and practice social distancing.

  • Feeling feverish of a temp greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering
  • Significant muscle pain or ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting


*Best practice – staying home for 72 hours to monitor symptoms may be warranted.

*Any individual who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the following criteria are met.

● In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:

1. At least 24 hours has passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
2. The individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, etc.); and
3. At least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

● In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria listed above.

● If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either, (a) obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or (b) obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location that comes back negative for COVID-19.


Contact Definition

Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?

For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had 
any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.

I had direct contact (household member, etc.) with someone who has COVID-19, and my COVID-19 test came back negative. Do I still need to quarantine for 14 days after I was last exposed?

Yes. You should still self-quarantine for 14 days since your last exposure. It can take up to 14 days after exposure to the virus for a person to develop COVID-19 symptoms. A negative result before the end of the 14-day quarantine period does not rule out possible infection. By 
self-quarantining for 14 days, you lower the chance of possibly exposing others to COVID-19.

What if I have been around someone who was identified as a close contact?

If you have been around someone who was identified as a close contact to a person with COVID-19, closely monitor yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19. You do not need to self-quarantine unless you develop symptoms or if the person identified as a close contact develops COVID-19.

covid flowchart