Q: What type of mask should be worn by students and staff during in-person schooling?
Masks are a physical barrier to help keep respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.
The following two types can be used in all school settings (in addition to maintaining social distancing whenever possible):
- Medical masks (also called surgical or procedure masks): These are pleated rectangular coverings with elastic ear loops. A medical mask filters about 60% to 80% of particles and mostly blocks large-particle droplets, splashes, or sprays that may contain germs. These masks are disposable.
- Cloth or fabric masks: The CDC recommends we cover our faces with a cloth in public. The effectiveness of homemade masks varies depending on the fabric used, the style, and the fit. These masks are washable.
PLEASE NOTE that N-95 respirators, masks with an exhaust valve, and gaiters are NOT to be used by staff and students in schools.
Q: Who is responsible for contact tracing for students, faculty, and staff?
Effective contact tracing in the school environment is a collaborative effort between the school and the UCDOH. The health department will need the assistance of schools to provide staff and student rosters, schedules, and other information to identify exposed individuals, arrange for testing, etc.
Q: Will contact tracers release the name of the positive individual to their contacts?
No. Contact tracers will tell potentially infected persons that they were exposed and they will not disclose the identity of the person to whom they were exposed. In some situations, the positive case has already reached out to their contacts and notified them of their positive status.
Q: How long will contacts of positive COVID-19 cases be required to quarantine?
Individuals who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 5 days from the date they were last exposed, if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19. A vaccinated student or staff member is not required to quarantine as a contact of a positive case. Individuals on quarantine will no longer be required to have a Department of Health release letter to return to school/work.
Q: If a contact is tested during the 5 day quarantine period and is found to be negative, does the quarantine end early?
A negative test does not release an individual from quarantine.
Q: What qualifies as an exposure to COVID-19?
An exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of a person displaying symptoms of, or testing positive for, COVID-19, for 15 minutes or longer. Close contacts will be required to quarantine, unless they are fully vaccinated and exhibit no symptoms.
Q: If a child tests positive and has a sibling in the school, should the school keep the sibling out of school?
Yes, unless the siblings reside in separate households, the sibling may be placed on quarantine which would mean that the sibling should not attend school during the required period for quarantine. If the sibling is fully vaccinated and does not have any symptoms, they may attend school.
Q: Does the student have to quarantine if the parent had contact and is quarantining, but does not have symptoms?
If a member of the household is quarantining because of either a known exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual, other members of the household can leave the home if that person can quarantine properly from the household members.
An isolated or quarantined person should:
- Separate themselves from other members of the household Use a separate bedroom and bathroom
- Do not share linens, towels, eating utensils, cups and plates
- Limit time in common household areas, such as kitchens
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please remain home and seek testing. You will be allowed to return to school with a negative test IF symptoms have improved, or 5 days have past from the onset of symptoms without testing (you may return on day 6).