and important information when students should stay home
Oregon Department of Education / Oregon Health Authority
This guide is for caregivers, parents, and families as students return to in-person learning. If your student is exposed to COVID-19 in school or tests positive for COVID-19, this guide outlines the recommended steps for caregivers, parents, and families to isolate or quarantine.
We suggest that you read through these instructions and then decide on the best course of action for you and your student.
When should students stay home from school?
- If they are sick, even if they do not have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19
- If they are showing symptoms of COVID-19
- If they test positive for COVID-19, even if they show no symptoms
- If they have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19
- If a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19
What does close contact mean?
Close contact refers to when a person has come within about 6 feet of anyone who has COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, cumulatively, within a 24-hour period.
What do isolation and quarantine mean?
Isolation and quarantine are actions that help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe.
Isolation means that someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 stays home and stays away from other people in their home as much as possible. If your student, or anyone else in your home, tests positive for COVID-19, we ask that they follow isolation guidelines, including any specific instructions from the local public health department.
Generally, isolation will involve:
- Staying at home for 10 days after symptoms appeared, AND remaining home until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications, and other symptoms have improved. During this time, individuals isolating will need to stay away from other people in the home as much as possible. They may stay alone in a bedroom or in another part of the home and use their own bathroom, as much as possible. It also helps to reduce the spread by staying out of areas of the house where people gather, such as the living room or kitchen.
- Having one person to care for the individual with COVID-19, if possible. This caretaker should keep 6 feet of distance from other people in the house as much as possible, wear a face covering, and wash their hands often.
- Having other members of the same household stay home for 14 days, as they are considered close contacts. This is called quarantine.
Quarantine means keeping someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others outside their home. A person can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms. Quarantine reduces the risk of accidentally spreading the virus to other people. If members of the same household have not directly been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, and they are not showing symptoms, they do not need to quarantine.
If your student, or anyone else in your home, has come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, we ask that they follow quarantine guidelines, including 6any specific instructions from the local public health department.
Generally, quarantine will involve:
- Staying home for the 14 days following a close contact with someone who has COVID-19, monitoring health and watching for symptoms.
- Staying away from others, especially those with high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. This means not participating in any activities outside the home.
- Having one person to care for them, if possible. The caregiver should keep their distance from other people in the house as much as possible and use a face covering, stay 6 feet apart as much as possible, and wash their hands often.
It may be difficult to isolate or quarantine in the manner described here, so we encourage all households to follow this guidance as best they can. If you need support to follow these guidelines, please call 2-1-1 or visit 211info.org
If my student has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and is going to quarantine, how long should they do so?
We ask they quarantine at home for 14 days after they were last exposed. In some cases, the local public health department may provide other recommendations for quarantine. A quarantine period happens as follows:
- Day 0: Date of exposure, and quarantine period begins
- Day 1: First day of quarantine period
- Days 2-14: Continue quarantine
- Day 15 or later: Return to school
If individuals develop symptoms of COVID-19 during quarantine, we ask that they begin isolating within the home for 10 days, starting from the day they first showed symptoms.
If you are looking for information about getting tested for COVID-19, visit:
COVID-19 Testing In Oregon (govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-19-testing)
If my student tests positive for COVID-19 and is going to isolate, how long should they do so?
If they have symptoms of COVID-19, we ask they isolate at home for 10 days after symptoms started AND they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication), with other symptoms improving. If they do not have symptoms, we ask they isolate at home for 10 days, starting after the date of their positive test. A negative test is not needed to return to school. An isolation period happens as follows:
- Day 0: Symptoms start, and isolation period begins
- Day 1: First day of isolation period
- Days 2-10: Continue isolation
- Day 11 or later: Return to school if they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and other symptoms have improved.
What is an example of how quarantine and isolation might go?
- Day 0: You are notified that your student is exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
- Day 1: Your student begins the quarantine period, staying home for 14 days and not leaving the house.
- Days 2 through 4: Your student is quarantining at home and remains healthy.
- Day 5: Your student gets symptoms of COVID-19.
- Day 6: Since your student has symptoms, they now switch to isolation and stay away from other people in the house for 10 days from today.
- Day 14: Your student is feeling better but continues to isolate at home, staying away from others in the house.
- Day 15: The 10-day isolation continues until the end of day 15.
- Day 16 or later: Your student no longer needs to isolate at home and can return to school.