Isolation and quarantine for schools

Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

for K-12 schools


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Quarantine, Isolation, and Vaccination Calculator

Use our COVID calculator to know when you are considered fully vaccinated, when and how long you need to quarantine, reinfection timeframes and more. Note: the isolation and quarantine portion of the calculator is still programmed at 10 days, not 5. 

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Isolation: When a person who is sick is asked to stay home and limit interractions with others, even those they live with. This includes anyone who tests positive and has symptoms, anyone who tests positive but has no symptoms, and those who have symptoms but have not been tested. 

Quarantine: When a person who is not sick is told to stay home because they have been exposed to someone who is sick.


The isolation and quarantine guidance on this page applies only to K-12 schools. To see guidance for other groups, click here



Students, teachers and staff who test positive for COVID-19 and/or display COVID-19 symptoms should isolate regardless of vaccination status and follow these instructions:

  • If positive with no symptoms, monitor for symptoms from day of exposure through day 10 of isolation.
  • Isolate at home for 5 days (day "0" is the day symptoms began or if you have no symptoms day "0" would be the day the test was taken)
  • If symptoms have improved or no symptoms develop, you may return to school while wearing a well-fitted mask, for days 6-10
  • Stay home for 10 days if unwilling or unable to wear a mask.
  • If you have a fever, stay home until you are fever free for a period of 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
  • Notify your close contacts. Someone with COVID-19 can spread the virus beginning 48 hours (two days) before symptoms start or 48 hours (two days) before testing positive.
  • Fill out this form to allow our nurses to provide you with better service.

School I&Q guidance from MMDHD1/10/22
School I&Q guidance from MDHHS- English 1/10/22
School I&Q guidance from MDHHS - Spanish 1/10/22
Isolation explained
How to talk to your close contacts
What to do if you are sick
If you are caring for someone with COVID-19

We know isolating at home can be difficult. If you need assistance with food, shelter, childcare, etc., we can help.


Close contacts of a COVID-19 case do not need to quarantine at home if they:

  • Had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days and/or are up-to-date on all recommended COVID-10 vaccines for which they are eligible.
  • Close contacts should still monitor their symptoms and "Mask to Stay" for 10 days from the date of last exposure.

Close contacts of a COVID-19 case who do not meet the criteria above need to quarantine or may test to stay and/or mask to stay. Exposed individuals may:

  • Home quarantine for days 1-5, if feasible test on day 5, AND "Mask to Stay" for days 6-10 or "Test to Stay" for days 1-5 AND "Mask to Stay" for days 1-10 or Home quarantine for days 1-10 if unable/unwilling to mask.
  • Students, teachers, and staff should monitor themselves for symptoms throughout the quarantine period (days 1 through 10). Day "0" is the day of last close contact with any COVID-19 positive student, teacher, or staff. If symptoms develop, get tested. Testing locations can be found at or by calling 211. If you test positive for COVID-19 you should follow home isolation guidelines (see above). If you have symptoms but test negative, you xxxxxxxxxxx.
  • During days 0-10 following exposure:
    • Watch for symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms.
    • If symptoms develop, get tested immediately and isolate until you receive the results. If the test is positive, then follow the isolation guidance above.
    • If symptoms do not develop, get tested at least 5 days after your last exposure.
    • If possible, stay away from others in the home, especially people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
    • Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes or other high-risk settings.
  • Always follow guidance from your local health department.
  • Contacts of a contact do not need to quarantine but should monitor themselves for symptoms.

Test to Stay: test every other day for 6 days following the exposure and consistent and correct use of well-fitted mask.

Mask to Stay: is the consistent and correct use of a well-fitted mask when around others in school and public settings.

School I&Q guidance from MMDHD 1/10/22
School I&Q guidance from MDHHS- English 1/10/22
School I&Q guidance from MDHHS - Spanish 1/10/22
Quarantine explained
Close contacts explained
What to do if you are sick
Steps to take while waiting for COVID-19 test results


Protect yourself and your community by stopping the spread of COVID-19. Download the app and get notifications if you may have been exposed to the virus.

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