For Staff

Most common symptoms of COVID-19 and testing requirements

The single most important thing to do if any of the following symptoms are present is to STAY HOME. Our collective health relies, in part, on individual attention and responsibility. Note that some symptoms of COVID-19 are the same as the flu or a bad cold; please do not assume it is another condition. When in doubt, stay home. 

Please STAY HOME if you have any of the symptoms listed.

Below is the full list of symptoms for which caregivers should monitor their children, and staff should monitor themselves:23

Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills

Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

New loss of taste or smell

Sore throat

Headache when in combination with other symptoms

Muscle aches or body aches

Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms

Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms


If staff or students have any of these symptoms, they must get a test for active COVID-19 infection prior to returning to school.


Please contact the school nurse in your building if you have any symptoms.



Documentation of a test needs to be provided to the building nurse upon return to work.





Self-isolation for COVID-19 positive cases is a minimum of 10 days

Most people who test positive and have a relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days. Day one is the first day symptoms started or the day your positive test was collected. People who test positive can resume public activities after 10 days and once they have:

  1. gone for 3 days without a fever (and without taking fever-reducing medications like Tylenol); and
  2. experienced improvement in other symptoms (for example, their cough has gotten much better); and
  3. received clearance from public health authority contact tracers (the local board of health or Community Tracing Collaborative).

Repeat testing prior to return is not recommended. Return to school should be based on time and symptom resolution.

Close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case should be tested. For general guidance, DPH defines close contact as:

•Being within less than 6 feet of COVID-19 case for at least 15 minutes collectively. Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case while the case was symptomatic or within the 48 hours before symptom onset, OR

•Having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

If someone in the school setting tests positive

*If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, their close contacts will be defined as only those who have been within 6 feet of distance of the individual for at least 15 minutes cummulative, while the person was infectious. The infectious period begins 2 days prior to symptom onset. If someone is asymptomatic, the infectious period is considered to begin 2 days prior to the collection of a positive test.

Policy of when a close contact may return to school

*All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. The virus can take up to 14 days to cause illness, which is the reason for the quarantine to be this length of time.