Keep Child with SYMPTOMS of Infection at Home*:

Any of the following**:

  • Fever (100.4°F or higher)
  • New or worsened cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • New-onset severe headache

For children with chronic medical conditions (such as allergies, asthma, or migraine), symptoms should represent a change from their usual health status.

* If you think your child has a medical emergency or life-threatening condition, always call 911 immediately.

** Children without any of the symptoms listed above who have non-specific symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, fatigue, or body aches should be kept at home if their caregiver suspects their child may have an infection.

When to Return?

Positive Test or Not Tested

10 days after the symptom onset and 24+ hours without fever and improved symptoms

Pending Results Until results are known
Negative Test 24+ hours without a fever and improved symptoms
Alternative diagnosis 24+ hours without a fever and improved symptoms

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) does not currently recommend schools conduct symptom screening for all students in grades K-12 on a routine or daily basis.

Parents, caregivers, or guardians should be strongly encouraged to monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day through home-based symptom screening.

Students who are sick should not attend school in person.

Symptom screening has the potential to exclude certain students repeatedly, such as those with chronic medical conditions (such as allergies or asthma), from school even though they do not have COVID-19 or any contagious illness. Excluding students from school for longer than what is typically called for in existing school policies—without considering the student’s usual health and without assessing the likelihood the student was exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19—risks repeated, long-term and unnecessary student absence and possible unintended harm.

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