Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Salem Public Schools: COVID-19 Protocols

Salem School District COVID-19 Protocols

Guidelines and protocols for keeping students and staff safe and keeping school open.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my student isn't feeling well? (click to show/hide...)

Home Assessement
The Salem School District requires that parents assess students prior to coming to school each day in an effort to help prevent the Coronavirus from entering the school system. Parents should keep symptomatic students at home 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.

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.

Find a list of symptoms and next steps here...

 

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 COVID-19 test result, they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without medication), and their symptoms have improved. Contact your school nurse to identify your student's return date.

Option 2: Following 10 days of isolation
Students required to isolate due to symptoms and choose not to get a COVID-19 test can return to school after 10 days from the onset of symptoms, they have been fever-free for 24 hours (without medication), and their symptoms have improved. Contact your school nurse to identify your student's return date.

Option 3: 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 note and determine your student's return date.

Find an explanation of isolation and quarantine requirements here...
Find a list of symptoms and next steps here...

 

What happens if my student tests positive for COVID-19? (click to show/hide...)

Keep Your Student Home; Contact Your School Principal
If your student tests positive for COVID-19, please keep them at home and contact your school principal as soon as possible. The principal will ask a number of questions that will be essential in beginning a contact tracing process. 

Helpful Information
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 10 days. In order to return to school after this period, the student must be fever-free without medications for 24 hours and the original symptoms, if any, must have improved. 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.

Find an explanation of isolation and quarantine requirements here...
Find a list of symptoms and next steps here...

 

Updated 3-1-2021
What if my student is identified as a "close contact"? (click to show/hide...)

Close Contacts (Exposure Outside of Salem Schools)
Anyone who has been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more is considered a close contact. Students and staff identified as close contacts from an exposure outside of Salem schools are required to begin a 14-day quarantine period.

Close Contacts (Exposure Within Salem Schools)
Due to strict protocols provided within the Salem schools, the quarantine period for students and staff identified as close contacts from an exposure within the Salem schools  is 10 days. When a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and has been in the schools, the school principal will initiate a contact tracing investigation to identify and notify any "close contacts" of the individual. Close contacts may also receive notifications from state officials.

Returning to School
Students identified as close contacts must quarantine for a period of either 10 or 14 days after the last day of exposure to the infected person. 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 of the virus which can be anywhere from 2-14 days.

Find an explanation of isolation and quarantine requirements here...
Find a list of symptoms and next steps here...

 

Updated 2-18-2021
What if my student travels to another area? (click to show/hide...)

Public Transportation While Traveling
Any travel by way of public transportation—travel by airplane, bus, or train—will result in a 14-day quarantine period, regardless of destination

Returning to School
Students must quarantine for a period of 14 days after the last day they were physically in on public transportation. Your school nurse will be able to help you determine the exact dates of quarantine and return to school.

Can My Student Return with a Negative Test Result?
This quarantine period may be shortened if students do not have symptoms and they receive a negative COVID-19 test result. The test must be taken on or after the seventh day of quarantine and must be a PCR-based test.

Find an explanation of isolation and quarantine requirements here...

 

What about siblings? (click to show/hide...)

Continue to Attend School
Siblings of students on who have not tested positive for COVID-19 can continue to attend school as long as they do not display any symptoms.

This includes siblings of symptomatic students, close contacts, and students that traveled outside New England—as long as they themselves did not travel.

When to Quarantine?
Siblings in the home of a student testing positive for COVID-19 should remain at home and quarantine. If unable to isolate from the infected student, siblings are considered “close contacts” and are required to quarantine for an additional 14 days after the student who tested positive is cleared from isolation. Siblings cannot test out of quarantine. Your school nurse can help assess if quarantine is required and the specific dates.

Find an explanation of isolation and quarantine requirements here...
Find a list of symptoms and next steps here...

 

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine? (click to show/hide...)

Isolation
The purpose of isolation is to separate sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

Quarantine
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.

Find an explanation of isolation and quarantine requirements here...
Find a list of symptoms and next steps here...

 

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 an unprotected exposure to a person with COVID-19 (close contact) or after high-risk travel (see above):

  • 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 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.

 

 

Protocols After Having COVID-19 or Vaccination

Previous COVID-19 Infection
What if my student has new or unexplained symptoms?(click to show/hide...)

Regardless of whether someone has been previously infected with COVID-19 or has already been vaccinated, any person with new or unexplained symptoms of COVID-19 still needs to isolate and be evaluated for COVID-19 testing before returning to school.

Find an explanation of isolation and quarantine requirements here...
Find a list of symptoms and next steps here...

 

Previous COVID-19 Infection
What if my student is identified as a close contact or travels?(click to show/hide...)

Staff or students do not need quarantine after exposure to someone with COVID-19 or following high-risk travel if they have previously tested positive within the past 90 days or are 14 days beyond the completion of a vaccination process.