Staying home when you are sick is one of our best ways to fight COVID-19. Keeping sick children and children who are exposed to COVID-19 away from others helps stop the spread of the virus to other children, staff, and the surrounding community. Parents and guardians can use this guide to understand when their child can attend school, youth programs, and child care during COVID-19.

FOR SCHOOL, CHILD CARE , AND YOUTH PROGRAMMING

Answer these screening questions each time you are going to send your child to school, child care, or another youth program. If you answer “yes” to any question, your child should stay home.

Overview

Your child must not go to school, child care, or youth programs if they:

  •  Test positive for COVID-19.

  •  Show symptoms of COVID-19.

  •  May have been exposed to COVID-19.

  •  Are waiting to get tested, or waiting for COVID-19 test results.

 

If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, they must stay at home in isolation and away from others as much as possible for at least 10 days (counting from the day their symptoms first started or the day they were tested), and until their symptoms get better and they have not had a fever for 24 hours (without taking medicine to lower the fever). Even if they feel better, they must stay home for the full 10 days. These steps help to keep children and staff in schools, child care, and youth programs safe. Note: Children may still need to stay home for other illnesses that have symptoms that are similar to COVID-19, such as strep throat, stomach illness, or pink eye. Contact your child care provider or school for information on when your child can go back to school in these situations.

Note: Children may still need to stay home for other illnesses that have symptoms that are similar to COVID-19, such as strep throat, stomach illness, or pink eye. Contact your child care provider or school for information on when your child can go back to school in these situations.

Screening Questions:

1. Does your child have one or more of these symptoms?

☐ Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

☐ Difficulty or trouble breathing 

☐ New cough or a cough that gets worse

☐ New loss of taste or smell If a child has one or more of these symptoms, they must stay home and should stay away from others as much as possible, including family members.

 

Parents or caregivers should notify the school, child care, or youth program and consider calling the child’s doctor or other health care provider. If no symptoms, go to the next question.

 

2. Does your child have at least two of these symptoms?

☐ Sore throat

☐ Nausea

☐ Vomiting

☐ Diarrhea

☐ Chills

☐ Muscle pain

☐ Excessive fatigue (extreme tiredness)

☐ New or severe headache

☐ New nasal congestion or runny nose

 

If a child has at least two of these symptoms, they must stay home and should stay away from others as much as possible, including family members.

 

Parents or caregivers should notify the school, child care, or youth program and consider calling the child’s doctor or other health care provider. If no symptoms, go to the next question.

 

3. Has your child been diagnosed with COVID-19 since they last went to their school, child care, or youth program?

☐ No: the child can go to their school, child care, or youth program.

☐ Yes: the child must stay at home in isolation and away from others as much as possible for at least 10 days (counting from the day their symptoms first started or the day they were tested), and until their symptoms get better and they have not had a fever for 24 hours (without taking medicine to lower the fever).

 

Even if they feel better, they must stay home for the full 10 days. If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 but has no symptoms, they can return 10 days after the date of their test.

 

4. Has your child had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or has any health department or doctor or other health care provider contacted you and said your child should stay home (quarantine)?

 

☐ No: the child can go to their school, child care, or youth program.

☐ Yes: the child must not go to their school, child care, or youth program. The child can return 14 days after the last time they had close contact with someone with COVID-19, as long as the child has not developed symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19.

 

Close contact means being 6 feet or less for at least 15 minutes from a person who has COVID-19.

 

Even if your child has tested negative, they cannot go back until it has been 14 since they had close contact.

 

5. Is your child or any other household member who is symptomatic (has symptoms consistent with COVID19) currently waiting for COVID-19 test results?

☐ No: the child can go to their school, child care, or youth program.

☐ Yes: the child must stay at home until they get their test results. Brothers, sisters, and other children living in the house must also stay at home until test results are known.

 

If the test result is negative, children can return to school or child care. If the test result is positive, children remain at home and begin a 14 day quarantine period starting on the last day they has close contact with the positive case.

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