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COVID-19 guidelines and protocols for healthy, safe students and families.
Frequently Asked Questions
Effective as of 9-1-2022
What if my student isn't feeling well? (click to show/hide...)
The Salem School District requires that parents assess students prior to coming to school each day in an effort to help prevent COVID-19 from entering the school system. Parents should keep symptomatic students at home, regardless of their vaccination status, and contact your school nurse. After a discussion with the school nurse, your student may be cleared to attend school, or may be required to isolate at home. See isolation guidelines below.
Symptomatic at School
Students displaying symptoms during the school day will be referred to the school nurse. If it is determined the symptoms are common to COVID-19 parents will be contacted and students will be dismissed from school.
When can my symptomatic student return to school? (click to show/hide...)
Option 1: Following a negative COVID-19 test result
Students required to isolate due to symptoms can return to school following a negative rapid or PCR COVID-19 test result, they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without medication), and their symptoms have improved. See description below for submitting a negative result from a home testing kit. Contact your school nurse to provide test results and identify your student's return date.
Option 2: Following 5 days of isolation
If you do not wish to have your student tested for COVID-19, your student must isolate for 5 days unless they receive an alternative medical diagnosis by a doctor. In order to return to school after this period, parents will need to contact the school on day 5 to confirm the student has been fever-free without medications for 24 hours and the original symptoms, if any, have improved. Upon returning to school, students will be required to wear a mask full time for an additional 5 calendar days. Please contact your school prior to returning for more information.
Option 3: Following 10 Days of Isolation
Students unable or unwilling to wear a well-fitting mask full time at school for the 5 day period can return to school after 10 days.
Option 4: Following a doctor's note indicating an alternative diagnosis
Students required to isolate due to symptoms can return to school if their physician provides an alternative diagnosis to explain the symptoms, they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without medication), and their symptoms have improved. Contact your school nurse to provide a doctor's note and determine your student's return date.
What happens if my student tests positive for COVID-19? (click to show/hide...)
Keep Your Student Home; Contact Your School
If your student tests positive for COVID-19, please keep them at home and contact your school nurse or principal immediately.
In order to assist in identifying any other potential students or staff that may have been exposed to the virus, please provide the following information to your principal:
Date your student's symptoms started (if any)
Dates your student last attended school or school activities
Date of positive test result
These details will also help determine when your student will be able to return to school.
Returning to School
Students testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate for a period of 5 days. In order to return to school after this period, parents will need to contact the school on day 5 to confirm the student has been fever-free without medications for 24 hours and the original symptoms, if any, have improved. Upon returning to school, students will be required to wear a mask full time for an additional 5 calendar days. Students unable or unwilling to wear a well-fitting mask full time at school for the 5 day period can return to school after 10 days. Contact your school nurse to identify your student's return date.
Day one of isolation starts the day after the onset of symptoms. If the student is asymptomatic—no symptoms—day one of isolation is the day after the positive test. Your school nurse will be able to help you determine the exact dates of isolation and return to school.
What if my student is identified as a "close contact"? (click to show/hide...)
Close Contacts (Exposure within households)
Unvaccinated students who have been exposed to a member of their household with COVID-19 are considered close contacts.
Fully-Vaccinated Students and Students within 90 Days of Testing Positive for COVID-19
Students who are fully vaccinated or within 90 days of testing positive for COVID-19 do not have to quarantine due to exposure to household contacts but should avoid unnecessary contact with the infected individual and monitor for symptoms.
Unvaccinated students identified as close contacts must quarantine for a period of 5 days after the last day of exposure to the infected person. If unable to isolate from the infected household member, close contact quarantine periods can be up to 10 days. In order to return to school after this period, parents will need to contact the school to confirm the student has been fever-free without medications for 24 hours and the original symptoms, if any, have improved. Upon returning to school, students will be required to wear a mask full time for an additional 5 calendar days. Please contact your school prior to returning for more information.Students unable or unwilling to wear a well-fitting mask full time at school for the 5 day period can return to school 10 days after the last day of exposure.
Household members testing positive for COVID-19 are considered infectious for a period of 5 days based on the following:
Those with symptoms: 5 days from the start of their symptoms.
Those without symptoms: 5 days from their positive test date.
Your school nurse will contact you and provide the exact dates of isolation and return to school.
Can My Student Return with a Negative Test Result?
Obtaining a negative COVID-19 test cannot release your student from the quarantine period due to the extended incubation period.
What if My Student Develops Symptoms?
If your student, regardless of vaccination status, is experiencing symptoms, refer to the section above title “What if my student isn’t feeling well?”
How do I submit negative test results? (click to show/hide...)
Students with symptoms can return to school with a negative COVID-19 test provided they have been fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms have improved. Test results from a pharmacy or doctor’s office are preferred, but home tests are also acceptable.
Email your school nurse with the following:
Email a photo of the test result showing the student’s name and test date.
Continue to Attend School
Siblings of symptomatic students who have not tested positive for COVID-19 can continue to attend school as long as they do not display any symptoms.
When to Quarantine?
Siblings in the home of a student testing positive for COVID-19 should remain at home and quarantine unless fully vaccinated or within 90 days of testing positive themselves. If unable to isolate from the infected student, and not vaccinated, siblings are considered “close contacts” and are required to quarantine (see section What if my student is identified as a "close contact"?).
Siblings cannot test out of quarantine. Your school nurse can help assess if quarantine is required and the specific dates.
What if I get different information from my doctor? (click to show/hide...)
New information is being discovered on a regular basis and CDC and NH DHHS guidance can change as a result. Salem School District nurses and officials participate in a weekly meeting with state health officials and are continually updating our protocols based on these discussions.
In general, we are committed to following these guidelines. However, we reserve the right to set our own standards and protocols for keeping our students and staff safe and our schools open. Please discuss any discrepancies or questions about timelines with your school nurse.
Are there any exceptions to the quarantine protocols?(click to show/hide...)
The following people do NOT need to quarantine after a exposure to a person with COVID-19 (close contact):
A person who is 14 days beyond the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., 14 days after full vaccination).
A person who was exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19 outside their household.
A person who is within 90 days of a prior positive COVID-19 test date. This requires an infection diagnosed by PCR or antigen testing.
Regardless of prior infection or vaccination status, any person with new or unexplained symptoms of COVID-19 still needs to isolate and be evaluated for COVID-19 testing.
What kind of face coverings are acceptable in school? (click to show/hide...)
All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) should:
Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material:
Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the student to remain hands-free
At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, open-chin, triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings.
Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn.
Face coverings may have an integrated transparent plastic panel to aid in viewing the wearer’s mouth. These face coverings should:
Be a fabric face covering featuring a solid plastic panel containing no openings that is attached to the fabric on all sides using tight knit stitching
Meet all face covering requirements listed above
What is the difference between isolation and quarantine? (click to show/hide...)
The purpose of isolation is to separate sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
The purpose of quarantine is to separate and restrict the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
What does full-time mask wearing mean? (click to show/hide...)
Students returning from a 5-day isolation or quarantine period will need to wear their masks at all times including when seated at desks and traveling in hallways for an additional 5 calendar days.
Students will be required to meet with school officials upon return to review mask-wearing requirements for each building. Masks can be removed in the following circumstances:
When outside and not engaged in close contact with other students or staff.
When eating lunch.
When granted official mask breaks.
What is considered “fully vaccinated”? (click to show/hide...)
Anyone who is 14 days beyond their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is considered to be fully vaccinated. Booster shots are not required.