Protocols for Illness & Isolation
Updated August 9, 2022
Guidance for WSA Families
Staying home when sick
Preventing exposure to COVID-19 is the first line of defense against transmission. All students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 are required to stay home and should get tested. Follow the DOH What to do if a Person is Symptomatic flowchart.
Developing symptoms at school
Any student or staff member who reports or has COVID-19-like symptoms is required to be immediately isolated from others and sent home regardless of vaccination status.
While waiting to leave the school, the individual with symptoms is required to be isolated and wear a KN95 mask. Each student's family will be required to provide primary and secondary contact persons who are most likely able to pick up a student on short notice in their registration paperwork. Before leaving school, the student or employee will be given a rapid COVID test. A student with a negative test result will still need to be picked up as soon as possible.
Returning to school after testing positive for COVID-19
Any positive test results in students, staff, or family members should be immediately communicated to the Head of School email@example.com.
Regardless of vaccination status or presentation of symptoms, any student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 is required to isolate at home.
If a person tests positive for COVID-19 by a molecular or antigen test, they can return to school only when all the following criteria are met:
- 10* days since symptom onset, or since positive test specimen collection date if no symptoms are present, AND
- No symptoms or symptoms are resolving AND
- 24 hours after fever resolves without use of fever-reducing medications
*Individuals who test negative with an antigen test on day 5 who meet all the symptom criteria listed above may return to school on day 6. These individuals will be required to wear a KN95 of N95 mask and eat outdoors until after day 10. Testing after day 10 is not recommended.
Day 0 is the first day of symptoms. For people without symptoms, day 0 is the day of the positive viral test. See Isolation and Quarantine Calculator. Repeating initial tests does not change the isolation protocol; a positive test initiates the isolation protocol.
Returning to school after COVID-like symptoms
If a person with COVID-19 symptoms tests negative for COVID-19 with a rapid antigen test, they can return to school when the symptoms have resolved.
Returning to school after being in close contact to someone with COVID-19
The Department of Health no longer requires exposed students, children, and staff to quarantine. To protect their school community, students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, who are potentially exposed to COVID-19 should:
- Monitor for symptoms, AND
- Test* as soon as possible after exposure and then repeat testing every 24-48 hours through at least the first 5 days after exposure AND
- Students and staff who spend time indoors with individuals at risk for getting very sick with COVID-19 should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after exposure.
Follow the Symptom Decision Tree flowchart.
Exposed students and staff may continue to take part in all in-person instruction and care, including sports, performing arts, and other extracurricular activities, as long as they do not have symptoms or test positive. If an exposed student, child, or staff member develops symptoms, they should test and are required to immediately isolate themselves at home and follow the requirements in the Testing Positive section.
*Individuals who have been recently infected (within the past 90 days), should use an antigen test, as PCR results may remain persistently positive even if there is not a new, active infection.
For further questions, please contact Catherine Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org