When Someone Gets Sick

Returning to School After Testing Positive

Isolation for testing positive or for having COVID-19 symptoms is strongly recommended but not required. 

If your child is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, return if:

  • Symptoms are not severe, AND
  • They have spent at least 24 hours with no fever, without taking fever-reducing medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin)

If symptoms do not improve or are severe, if they are at high risk of serious disease, or if they have questions concerning care, contact your healthcare provider for available treatments.

When Someone Gets Sick

Screen for symptoms and stay home if you're sick

It takes all of us to maintain safe and healthy schools. This means all school staff and students should:

  • Self-screen for COVID-19 before coming to school every day
  • Stay home when sick
  • Wash or sanitize hands frequently

Masks are strongly recommended but not required. 

Scenario Action

Student/Staff exhibits COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Fever greater than 100.4° F, chills, cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue




Student/Staff tests positive for COVID-19



Student/Staff reports being a close contact of someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19

Recommend following California Department of Health (CDPH) guidelines for testing and isolation

Helpful Definitions

(see CDPH Guidance for Local Health Jurisdictions on Isolation and Quarantine of the General Public)

  • For symptomatic confirmed cases, 2 days before the confirmed case had any symptoms (symptom onset date is Day 0) through Days 5-10 after symptoms first appeared AND 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms have improved, OR
  • For asymptomatic confirmed cases, 2 days before the positive specimen collection date (collection date is Day 0) through Day 5 after positive specimen collection date for their first positive COVID-19 test.​

Close contact

"Close Contact" means the following:

In indoor spaces of 400,000 or fewer cubic feet per floor (such as homes, clinic waiting rooms, airplanes, etc.), close contact is defined as sharing the same indoor airspace  for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) during a confirmed case's infectious period. In large indoor spaces greater than 400,000 cubic feet per floor (such as open-floor-plan offices, warehouses, large retail stores, manufacturing, or food processing facilities), close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of the infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the confirmed case's infectious period.

Spaces that are separated by floor-to-ceiling walls (e.g., offices, suites, rooms, waiting areas, bathrooms, or break or eating areas that are separated by floor-to-ceiling walls) must be considered distinct indoor airspaces.

Infection Period

For the purposes of identifying close contacts and exposures, symptomatic and asymptomatic infected persons who end isolation in accordance with this guidance and are no longer considered to be within their infectious period. Such persons should continue to follow CDPH isolation recommendations, including wearing a well-fitting face mask through Day 10​.


Separates those infected with a contagious disease from people who are not infected.

This page was last updated on March 13, 2023