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.
Marin County has adopted a universal masking policy for local schools. This means everyone -- students, staff, parents and visitors -- must wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, unless there is a medical or behavioral contraindication or exemption. Universal masking indoors in K-12 schools is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics and by the CDC in their Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 schools. Staff and students should follow CDC and CDPH face covering guidance.
This is especially important for children age 2 through 4 who are currently in eligible for vaccines, and children ages 5 and older who have not yet completed their vaccination series, and are therefore considered "unvaccinated."
See our Schools page for more information.