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)
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.**
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.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build protection against the virus following vaccination. The CDC defines an individual as fully vaccinated if they have met the following:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. If you are NOT fully vaccinated then yes, you still need to quarantine. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
If you ARE fully vaccinated the CDC recommends the following:
If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
- However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
It currently takes 2-3 business days to get the results from a COVID-19 test, with some medical providers faster. Depending on your testing location, a Marin County Public Health Nurse or your doctor will call you with your test results.
While you are waiting on your results, you must self-quarantine:
- Do not leave your home: Except for a medical emergency, you should not leave your home. A household member or friend should handle any outside activities that are allowed under the shelter-in-place order, such as grocery shopping.
- Quarantine yourself to a small space in your home: If possible, designate a room and bathroom that only you will use until you know your test results. The smaller the area, the easier it will be to disinfect it properly.
For detailed guidance see Post-Test Isolation Guidance.
If you test positive, a Marin County Public Health representative will contact you to conduct a contact tracing investigation. This investigation identifies any close contacts who are at high risk of exposure and will need to isolate from others and be tested for COVID-19.
Learn more about COVID-19 testing in Marin County by visiting our Testing Information webpage.
If you feel sick, even after a negative test result, you should take precautions, including isolating yourself in order to protect others.
CDC expects that widespread U.S. transmission of COVID-19. You should continue to practice all the protective measures recommended to keep yourself and others free from illness. See “Prevent Getting Sick” on the CDC website.
ISOLATION separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick:
- COVID-19 positive people must isolate
QUARANTINE separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms:
- Close contacts of COVID-19 positive people must quarantine unless they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.
- Although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant people and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people.
- Having certain underlying medical conditions, and other factors, including age, can further increase a pregnant or recently pregnant (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy) person’s risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness.
- Pregnant people with COVID-19 are also at increased risk for preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks) and might be at increased risk for other poor pregnancy outcomes.
- Pregnant and recently pregnant people and those who live with or visit them need to take steps to protect themselves from getting sick with COVID-19.
If you would like to speak to someone about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, please contact MotherToBaby. MotherToBaby experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday–Friday 8am–5pm (local time). To reach MotherToBaby:
- Call 1-866-626-6847
- Chat live or send an email MotherToBaby
Marin Public Health's team of "contact investigators" play a crucial role in the COVID-19 response. This practice is commonly referred to as contact tracing.
When a person tests positive for COVID-19, the team calls the person to gather a list of close contacts who are at high risk of exposure. Everyone on that list is then contacted to arrange for testing and quarantine in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. While these close contacts are awaiting test results, they are commonly referred to as a Person Under Investigation (PUI).
In addition to gathering a list of close contacts, the contact investigation team evaluates symptoms and provides education regarding quarantine and/or isolation for COVID-19 infected persons, PUIs and any members of their households.
The video below from Marin's Public Health Officer provides additional information about how contact tracing works and why it is important.