Many times a school is notified of a positive case before the health department has received the lab result, so we cannot always immediately verify whether it’s a case or not. We recommend that that the school proceed with the contact tracing even without verification of the health department that a case is lab confirmed. They can also ask the case to send their result to the school for verification. Schools should report positive cases to Public Health.
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In order to protect others from possible COVID, we have to assume that the student is positive and have them isolate for 10 days from symptom onset AND 24 hours without fever AND improving symptoms. Schools may consider sending cohort members and/or other close contacts home to quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic student.
In cases where individuals are symptomatic; AND known contacts of a confirmed case; AND have been at school while infectious, quarantine of a cohort/close contacts (following Scenario 3) is recommended even in the absence of a confirmatory test, as this meets the CDC definition of a probable case and could pose a risk of undetected wider spread if not addressed.
As the COVID-19 situation around the world changes, CDC is monitoring COVID-19 risk in each country and making travel recommendations. Currently there is not a federal requirement for U.S. nationals to quarantine following international travel. If a school wishes to make it their policy, they could choose a consistent approach (e.g., travel to Level 3 Warning areas as listed on the CDC Travel page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html). However, note that there is also community spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and locally.
For state travel advisories or restrictions, visit the covid19.ca.gov website.
If a symptomatic student is in the same cohort as a confirmed case or is linked by the case investigation, they should be classified as a "probable" case and follow the same symptom-based clearance as confirmed cases before being released from isolation / returning to school. If the investigation determines it is not the case, it can be treated as a negative and follow return protocol for other illnesses.
According to the COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs, for children between 2 years old and 2nd grade, a face shield is an acceptable alternative for children who cannot wear a face covering properly. For those in third grade and above, face coverings are required unless exempt. Potentially, those exempt due to a medical condition could wear a shield per general state guidance.
No, Public Health does not share results of any person that is not a student or staff member in a particular school. However, we can provide verification that one of their students or staff have been identified as a close contact to a positive case and will need to quarantine, and share the dates of that quarantine.
Individuals claiming exemption should note which exemption they are claiming under the CDPH guidance (page 2). Schools can determine their own documentation requirements.
The sibling should quarantine if the close contact tests positive OR develops symptoms. Otherwise, contacts of contacts are not required to quarantine.
Sometimes an inconclusive result means the sample was insufficient to test and get an accurate result. These staff should be retested, but if they are asymptomatic and have not been exposed, they can continue to work in the meantime.
Events not explicitly permitted in the schools guidance would need to adhere to the gatherings guidance for the general public.
The schools guidance says (p. 14): "Indoor physical conditioning and training is allowed only in counties where gyms and fitness centers are allowed to operate indoors."
Per the CDC, if a person has a new exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and meets all of the following criteria:
then that person does not require quarantine or repeat testing for SARS-CoV-2 in the context of this new exposure.
If they do not meet this criteria, then they must quarantine again.
It is Public Health’s understanding that schools that have fully reopened for in-person instruction may temporarily ’pause’ to implement distance learning and resume in-person instruction at any time, regardless of the county’s tier status.
The youth sport guidance states: "Avoid equipment sharing, and if unavoidable, clean and disinfect shared equipment between use by different people to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread."