• STUDENT COVID-19 ISOLATION & QUARANTINE GUIDANCE

     

  • Updated 2/8/22

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

    Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

  • In collaboration with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and review of the Mass DPH COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for the General Public, we are updating BPS isolation protocols for students who test positive for COVID-19 and quarantine protocols for students who are close contacts to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

    This new isolation and quarantine guidance pertains only to students.


  • Isolation Protocol Categories 

  • Students who test positive & are ABLE TO MASK 

    Duration: Self-isolation for COVID-19 positive cases is a minimum of 7 days after the start of symptoms or the first positive test, if asymptomatic and able to mask. Return on Day 8.

    Return to school: After 7 days, and once they have: 

    • Isolated for at least the first 7 days
    • Symptom improvement or never had symptoms, may resume most usual activities (except those that do not allow mask-wearing) on day 8*
    • Wear a mask around others for 10 days (including in the household)

    Notes:

    • This only applies to individuals whose symptoms have substantially improved, including being without fever for 24 hours, AND those who can strictly adhere to wearing a well-fitting mask for 10 days after their first positive test date or the start of symptoms.
      1. If both of these criteria aren’t met, continue to isolate for the remaining 10 days after the first positive test or start of symptoms
    • Return to school should be based on time and symptom resolution.
    • Testing on or after Day 5 with a rapid antigen test is recommended.
      • If the test result is negative, continue to isolate and return to school on day 8 
      • If the test result is positive, continue to isolate and return to school on day 11

    Days to Isolate for Students Who Test Positive & Are ABLE to Mask

    • Day 0, first day of symptoms OR day the positive test was taken, whichever is earlier
    • Days 1-7, continue to isolate
    • Day 7, last day of Isolation if asymptomatic or symptoms are improving
    • Day 8, leave isolation but must continue to wear a mask at all times when around other people (including in your household) through day 10

  • Students who test positive & are UNABLE TO WEAR A MASK**

    Duration: Self-isolation for COVID-19 positive cases is a minimum of 10 days after the start of symptoms or the first positive test, if asymptomatic. Return on day 11.

    Return to school: After 10 days, once they have: 

    • Isolated for 10 days from the date of positive test or start of symptoms
    • Symptom improvement or never had symptoms

    Notes:

    • Return to school should be based on time and symptom resolution.

    **The individual is unable to consistently wear a mask due to young age or a medical or behavioral condition.

    Days to Isolate for Students Who Test Positive & Are UNABLE to Mask

    • Day 0, first day of symptoms OR day the positive test was taken, whichever is first
    • Days 1-10, continue to isolate
    • Day 11, exit isolation and return to school


  • Quarantine Protocol Categories - If the student is exposed to someone with COVID-19 outside of school****

  • Protocol for Students Who Are Fully Vaccinated** and ABLE to Mask*** (who are a close contact)

    • No quarantine requirement
    • Wear a mask around others for 10 days (including in the household)
    • Monitor for symptoms
    • Testing on or after Day 5 with a rapid antigen test is recommended.
      • If the test result is negative, continue monitoring for symptoms
      • If the test result is positive, follow isolation requirements in protocol "Students Who Test Positive & are ABLE to Mask"
    • Isolate and take a rapid antigen or PCR test anytime symptoms develop

    Notes:

    • If you are symptomatic at any point during 10 days after your exposure, including at the very beginning, you must immediately isolate until you test negative by either a rapid antigen or PCR test. If you test positive, follow isolation requirements. If you test negative, continue to follow quarantine requirements.

     

  • Protocol for Students Who Are Unvaccinated and ABLE to Mask (who are a close contact)

    • Quarantine for 5 days after the exposure
    • Wear a mask during quarantine and for an additional 5 days when around others (including in the household)
    • Monitor for symptoms
    • Testing on or after Day 5 with a rapid antigen test is recommended.
      • If the test result is negative, continue to quarantine and return to school on day 6
      • If the test result is positive, follow isolation requirements in protocol "Students Who Test Positive and are ABLE to Wear a Mask"
    • Isolate and take a rapid antigen or PCR test anytime symptoms develop

    Notes:

    • If you are symptomatic at any point during 10 days after your exposure, including at the very beginning, you must immediately isolate until you test negative by either a rapid antigen or PCR test. If you test positive, follow isolation requirements. If you test negative, continue to follow quarantine requirements.

    Days to Quarantine:

    • Day 0, day of Exposure
    • Days 1- 4, continue to quarantine
    • Day 5, continue to quarantine and get tested if you haven't had symptoms
    • Day 6, you can leave quarantine but must continue to wear a mask at all times when around other people (including in your household) through day 10
    • Day 10, last day of quarantine

  • ** Fully vaccinated is defined as two-weeks following the completion of the Pfizer or Moderna series or two-weeks following a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

    *** Whether the individual is unable to consistently wear a mask due to young age or medical or behavioral condition

  • Protocol for Students Who Are Fully Vaccinated OR Unvaccinated and UNABLE to Mask (who are a close contact)

    • Quarantine for 10 days after the exposure
    • Monitor for symptoms
    • Testing on or after Day 5 with a rapid antigen test is recommended.
      • If the test result is negative, continue to quarantine and return to school on day 11
      • If the test result is positive, follow isolation requirements in the first 2 protocols (listed above: "Students Able to Mask Who Test Positive" & "Students Unable to Mask Who Test Positive")  
    • Isolate and take a rapid antigen or PCR test anytime symptoms develop

    Notes:

    • If you are symptomatic at any point during 10 days after your exposure, including at the very beginning, you must immediately isolate until you test negative by either a rapid antigen or PCR test. If you test positive, follow isolation requirements. If you test negative, continue to follow quarantine requirements.