Covid Guidelines Reminders

Jan. 6, 2023.  Here’s a family refresher on the latest MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education / Dept. of Public Health (DPH)  isolation and exposure guidance on COVID-19 for return to school and other public activities 

If a student tests positive:  Children and staff who test positive must isolate for at least 5 days. If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours, they may return to programming after Day 5 and should wear a high-quality mask through Day 10:

  • If the individual is able to mask, they must do so through Day 10.

    • If the individual has a negative test on Day 5 or later, they are not required to mask up.

    • If the individual is unable to mask, they may return to programming with a negative test on Day 5 or later.

This handy guide from DPH is helpful in counting the days:

  • Day 0, first day of symptoms OR day the positive test was taken, whichever is earlier

  • Days 1-4, continue to isolate

  • Day 5, last day of isolation if asymptomatic or symptoms are improving

  • Day 6, leave isolation (if you are able to wear a mask at all times when around other people, including in your household, through day 10). You may remove your mask prior to day 10, if you have had two negative tests taken 48 hours apart (after day #6).

Students who have symptoms:  Symptomatic individuals can remain in their school or program if they have mild symptoms, are tested immediately at home or onsite, and that test is negative. Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible, until symptoms are fully resolved. For symptomatic individuals, DPH recommends a second test within 48 hours if the initial test is negative.

  • If the symptomatic individual cannot be tested immediately, they should be sent home and allowed to return to their program or school if symptoms remain mild and they test negative, or they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms are resolving, or if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis. A negative test is strongly recommended for return.  

Remember:  It’s not too late…To Vaccinate (for both Covid & Flu)

Notes:  because the DPH guidance for the general public (adults) has a few differences from DESE guidance, both sets of guidelines are linked below for your consideration and review.....