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Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Quarantines

How is an individual defined as a close contact?

On school premises, a ‘close contact’ is defined as an individual who has been within 6 feet of a person who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Per the CDC, an exception can be made for students in K-12 classroom settings if both students remained 3 feet apart and were wearing well-fitting face masks. Other definitions of ‘close contact’ include those who reside with or are providing care for an individual with COVID-19.

How long will my child be expected to isolate if they are diagnosed with COVID-19?

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for a period of 5 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of their positive test if asymptomatic.  If symptoms are resolving after 5 days, the student may return to school wearing a mask. Note: If your child has a fever, they must stay home until the fever resolves. Families will need to provide the school nurse with a copy of test results that indicate the student’s name, date of birth, and test date. 

How long will my child be expected to quarantine if they are deemed a close contact?

Numerous factors are taken into consideration to determine the length of quarantine, including but not limited to, whether the student is experiencing symptoms, has been vaccinated for COVID-19, and whether there is capacity for complete separation within the household. Upon receiving a phone call that your child is a close contact, parents/guardians should expect to address a series of questions from our school nurses to determine the most appropriate course of action. Generally speaking, the quarantine recommendations are as follows:

For those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms: Seek a COVID-19 test immediately and share results with the school nurses. If positive, you must stay home for a period of 5 days. On Day 6, if symptoms are resolving, you may return to school wearing a mask. Note: If you have a fever, you must continue to stay home until your fever resolves. 

For those who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated*: Provide the school nurse with vaccine information. The student may return to school wearing a mask. A COVID-19 test is recommended 5 days after the exposure.

For those who are asymptomatic and unvaccinated: The student must stay home for 5 days. On Day 6, the student may return to school wearing a mask for 5-10 days. Testing is recommended on day 5. Note: Test results are only acceptable if the test was administered a minimum of 5 days after the last known exposure. Test results must show the student’s name, date of birth, and test date.

*To be considered fully vaccinated requires that you have either (1) been boosted (2) have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months or (3) completed the primary series of the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

CDC Chart for Reference:

cdc chart for isolation

What should I do if a member of my household, other than my child enrolled in NHSSD, tests positive?

Parents/guardians should report this to the school nurse immediately because your child is now considered a close contact. Please anticipate questions from the nurse about your household situation, including your ability to isolate within the home and vaccination status.

What are the logistical recommendations for isolation after a positive diagnosis?

As much as possible, the individual who tests positive should stay in a specific room and away from other members of the household. Those who test positive should only leave the home to receive medical care. See this CDC webpage for additional guidance for living with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Where can I get my child tested?

The Bucks County Health Department offers free COVID-19 testing at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit Monday through Friday from 8:30AM-5:45PM. Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian who will be asked to administer the nasal swab. Visit this site to make an appointment.

What schoolwork is expected of students while they are isolated or quarantined?

Students may receive optional remote assignments via Canvas, Seesaw, or to be picked up in the vestibule of their respective building. At the secondary level, students will be expected to make up any missed assignments and/or examinations upon their return. 

Questions? Please contact our school nurses:

Elizabeth A. Simon, R.N., M.Ed.                     
Certified School Nurse, N.C.S.N.

Alane Hemberger, R.N., M.Ed.
Certified School Nurse, N.C.S.N.