Cold, influenza and COVID-19 symptoms can be similar. Regardless, keeping the child home that is showing symptoms is a good way to reduce the spread of colds and flu within schools.
As for others in your household, if your child is showing symptoms, it is important to evaluate your child’s symptoms and possible exposures to COVID-19 when deciding whether other children in your household should stay home. Marin Public Health has developed the following decision trees to guide parents:
- COVID-19 Safety Decision Tree for Schools - 2021-22 School Year (Vaccinated) (UNvaccinated)
- Decision Tree for COVID-19 Symptoms (in all settings)
- Decision Tree for Exposures to COVID-19 in Child Care, Youth Activities, and Households/Communities (not TK-12 schools)
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the following things should occur:
- Information is reported to school administration.
- The person either stays home or will be sent home to isolate per Public Health Guidance.
- Families and household members of the student/staff are quarantined and should pursue testing through their health care provider, local community clinic, or Marin Public Health.
- Student families and Staff of the affected cohort are notified by either a phone call or letter.
- The respective student/staff member’s classroom is closed for 14 days from the last known exposure. However, the rest of the school remains OPEN.
Test or 10
If a student has any symptoms of COVID-19 (cough • shortness of breath / difficulty breathing • loss of taste or smell, fever [100.4°F/38°C or higher] or chills • sore throat • diarrhea • body ache • fatigue • headache • congestion / runny nose • nausea or vomiting), they must be tested for COVID-19 or evaluated by healthcare provider. If not, they must stay at home and isolate for at least 10 days.
- Students may return to school after they test negative for COVID-19 with copy of a negative test;
- or, after school receives clearance from a healthcare provider;
- and, their symptoms are improving;
- and, they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Prior to receiving test results or healthcare provider clearance, asymptomatic siblings & household contacts may attend school regardless of vaccination status.
- Important: A school nurse may require a healthcare provider evaluation if they suspect COVID-19.
Notify the school immediately if:
- Your student is being evaluated for COVID-19. They may return to school if they provide proof of a negative test or health provider clearance.
- A household member is being evaluated for COVID-19. The household member must isolate. If a household member is identified as a close contact to a known COVID-19 case, they must quarantine as indicated.
- If the household member tests positive for COVID-19:
- Unvaccinated siblings & household contacts must stay home.
- Asymptomatic, vaccinated siblings & household contacts may attend school.
- All exposed persons should monitor for symptoms for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19 5 days after last contact with positive case. If any symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 or be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
- Your student has had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 outside a supervised school setting.
- Your child must stay at home and quarantine for 10 days after their last contact with the person who has COVID-19. Quarantine may be discontinued after 7 days IF an exposed person tests negative on Day 5 or later and remains asymptomatic.
Modified Quarantine for Students Exposed in Supervised School Setting (if both infected and exposed persons were wearing masks) and Students Returning from Out of State Travel:
- Vaccinated and unvaccinated students and staff may attend school for in-person instruction if they stay asymptomatic, wear a mask (indoors & outdoors), monitor for symptoms for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19 5 days after last contact with positive case (or return from out-of-state travel). If any symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 or be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
- Quarantine may be discontinued after 7 days with a negative test completed on Day 5 or later if they remain asymptomatic.
- During modified quarantine students cannot participate in any extracurricular, social or community activities (incl. childcare).
Any student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been exposed to COVID-19 must follow the instructions provided above and review our Isolation and Quarantine page as needed. Parents / guardians must notify the school immediately if their child or household member tests positive for COVID-19 or if a household member may have been exposed to COVID-19. This information will be kept confidential.
In outdoor settings, unvaccinated children and youth do not need to wear a mask, even if they cannot maintain physical distancing. However, per CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact (including high-risk contact sports) with other people who are not fully vaccinated.
In indoor youth settings (including K-12 Schools, childcare and other youth settings), everyone must wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. This is especially important for children age 2 through 11 who are currently in eligible for vaccines and are therefore "unvaccinated." See the State of California's guidance on face coverings for more information.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is closely monitoring anticipated updates from the CDC regarding K-12 and other youth settings and will update recommendations at that time.
Fever free for 24 hours and with improving symptoms.
**This guidance is for the general population, for school staff and students Follow the guidance of your doctor which may be specific to your individual health needs. In general, if you have symptoms, stay at home until you are fever free for at least 24 hours (without the aid of fever reducing medication) and 10 days after your symptoms have resolved.**
People may be sick infected with the virus for 1 to 14 days before developing symptoms. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- dry cough
- shortness of breath
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. However, if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Testing starts with your medical provider. Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should immediately call their medical provider and seek testing.
Your medical provider will want to test for possible conditions such as flu, strep, or pneumonia. If your doctor believes you are a candidate for testing, they will refer you to either Marin Public Health or a suitable test center to conduct the testing.
Marin County Public Health also recommends testing for some groups, even if they do not have symptoms, including:
- All persons who were notified that they were exposed to someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19; and
- All persons who were notified by Marin Public Health as being high risk based on outbreak investigations; and
- All essential public and private sector workers (cities and town workers included); and
- Certain occupations with higher risk of exposures, including some healthcare workers and first responders. Testing for these individuals is arranged through their employer.
Also, make sure to review our Isolation and Quarantine page for safety information on what to do while you wait for your test results.
Learn more about COVID-19 testing in Marin County by visiting our Testing Information webpage.
For more information about the moratorium, including application for funds and how to receive protection, please visit https://www.marincounty.org/renterlandlord. You may also call the Housing and Federal Grants Division at 415-473-7309 and visit the County of Marin's Emergency Rental Assistance Program website for more information and updates on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
It depends on what visitation policy the facility you are trying to visit has in place. It is best to contact the facility directly to understand what their current policy is. Per the State of California’s Guidance for Limiting the Transmission of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities, facilities may conduct limited indoor visitation, recognizing that visitation can benefit a patient’s mental, physical and psychosocial well-being and quality of life. However, visitation policies are specific to each facility, accounting for available space and the ability to maintain physical distancing from other patients, hours, etc. All facilities are required to allow outdoor visitation in some form (e.g., visits on facility patio or other outdoor areas, or visit through window).
Many facilities require that guests be screened, regardless of vaccination status, for fever and COVID-19 symptoms and wear appropriate PPE (face covering and optional face shield).
If you test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms, you may discontinue isolation if the following conditions are met:
- at minimum, the last 24 hours have passed without fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication) AND
- improvement in respiratory symptoms (like cough, shortness of breath) AND
- at least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared
If you have no symptoms but are COVID-19 positive, you may discontinue isolation once 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive test, if you remain symptom-free.
Please read Marin County’s At Home Quarantine & Isolation Safety guidance document for important information and practical tips.
Source: Marin HHS
As defined by the CDC, a Person Under Investigation (PUI) is any person currently under investigation for having the virus that causes COVID-19. A Person Under Investigation should be directed to COVID testing and quarantine under the guidance of their health care professional or Marin Public Health.
Source: CDC, Marin HHS
Many providers, such as CVS and Walgreens, provide testing for free or a small fee.
For more information or locations, visit our Testing page for more information.
- See if you’re eligible for Medi-Cal.
- See if you’re eligible for Covered California.
- See if you are eligible for care at a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center.