COVID-19 Protocols FAQ

Mask Requirements

  1. What are the current mask requirements for HCPS?
    Masks are optional for school sponsored activities, except in some circumstances in health suites. Masks are optional on school buses.

Health, Quarantine, and Isolation

  1. What if I feel ill or sick?

    Stay home and consult your healthcare provider

  2. What if I have COVID-19-like symptoms?
    The Maryland Department of Health has issued updated guidance related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, found here. COVID-19 testing is recommended. If test is negative, may return when symptoms have improved, no fever for 24 hours without medication. Speak to personal health care providers for personal health care needs and decision-making.

  3. What happens if a student becomes ill during the school day?
    HCPS may provide rapid antigen diagnostic testing for symptomatic students and staff, only if the symptoms develop during the school day.

  4. What if I am positive for COVID-19?

    Regardless of symptoms, stay home for 5 days from the start of symptoms or from the date of the positive test if no symptoms. After day 5, you may choose to return to school if symptoms have improved and no fever for at least 24 hours without medication. Upon return, it is recommended to wear a mask for 5 additional days (except while eating, drinking, sleeping or outside). If unable to wear a mask, consider return after a negative test at day 5 or later, or consider remaining at home for days 6 -10.

  5. Will schools perform contact tracing?
    No. According to the guidelines outlined in the Guidance to Support Safe In-Person Operations for PreK-12 Schools and Child Care Programs, “universal contact tracing is no longer recommended in schools and child care programs.”

  6. What if I have had close contact with a person known or suspected to be positive for COVID-19, and I have no symptoms?
    Continue to work in or attend school and extracurricular activities regardless of vaccination status. For those who can, it is recommended to wear a mask indoors for 10 days from the last day of exposure. A test at 3-5 days after exposure is recommended, especially for those who cannot mask (ex. children under 2 years of age).

  7. Will parents/guardians be notified of an outbreak at their child's school?
    Your school will inform you of a classroom or school-wide outbreak designated by the HCHD. HCPS will NOT notify you of an individual case of COVID-19 in your child’s classroom or school.


  1. Are free COVID-19 tests available?
    Families can order free at-home rapid antigen tests through Free tests are delivered via USPS.

  2. Does HCPS currently require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

  3. How do I get my student vaccinated?
    COVID-19 vaccines are available at many physician’s offices, pharmacies and at the Harford County Health Department.


This FAQ was last updated on August 11, 2022 at 12:00 p.m.

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