2023-24 School Year COVID-19 Guidance
● Things have changed since the beginning of the pandemic, including the availability of vaccines, therapeutics, level of community immunity, circulating variants, and we know about how COVID-19 impacts children.
● As the response to COVID-19 continues to move out of the emergency phase, there are still everyday steps we can all take to ensure everyone has access to a safe and healthy learning environment, including those who are at higher risk of severe outcomes.
● Here are some important reminders:
○ Stay home when sick, and reach out to your health care provider to discuss testing and treatment options if you think you might have COVID-19 (e.g., you know you have been exposed to COVID-19, or know that COVID-19 is circulating in your community, school, or family and you have symptoms). If you think you may have COVID-19, avoid interacting with anyone who is more likely to develop severe disease. Though older adults have the highest risk for severe illness, some children may have medical conditions that increase their risk.
○ Public health recommends isolation as an important strategy to control the spread of COVID-19 in the community, schools, and child care settings.
It is recommended that people with COVID-19 symptoms stay home, see the following for further guidance:
■ If you test positive or think you have COVID-19 (for example, if you feel sick and you’ve recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19), isolate at home for five full days after your positive test or the start of your symptoms. Wear a mask around others for five full days after that.
■ If you test negative, you can end isolation.
○ If unable to stay home for five days, wear a mask, especially around those who may be at risk of severe disease (grandparents, residents living in long-term care, etc.).
○ Stay home any time you're sick, even if you know it's not COVID-19, for at least 24 hours after your fever resolves without fever-reducing medications and your other symptoms are improving.
○ Familiarize yourself with your school's illness policies to ensure you follow any school-specific requirements.
○ Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
School Based Health Centers (SBHC) are available to administer COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and up. To opt into SBHC care please follow this link.