COVID-19 » COVID-19 Guidance, FAQs, and Resources

COVID-19 Guidance, FAQs, and Resources

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AUSD COVID Guidance For Second Half of School Year 2023–24

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its Covid Guidance for schools in January 2024. AUSD remains aligned with the CDPH, these guidelines are now in effect. 

  • 5-Day Isolation Guidance has been removed for for schools—guidance is now based on symptom level. See DETAILS below.
  • Recommendation is for students to STAY HOME if symptomatic.
  • Mask for 10 days if POSITIVE but without symptoms.
  • Guidance on testing after exposure is now limited to when symptoms arise.

For symptomatic confirmed cases, the infectious period begins on the day of symptom onset until 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND symptoms are mild and improving.

For asymptomatic (no symptoms) confirmed cases, there is no infectious period for the purpose of isolation or exclusion. If symptoms develop, the criteria above will apply.

For Students Who Test Positive

  1. Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms, until you have not had a fever for 24 hours without using fever reducing medication AND other COVID-19 symptoms are mild and improving. 

    If you TEST POSITIVE BUT DO NOT have symptoms, you should follow the recommendations below to reduce exposure to others.
  2. Recommended Masking when you are around other people indoors for the 10 days, if you test positive but have no symptoms. If symptoms develop, follow the recommendation above. You may remove your mask sooner than 10 days if you have two sequential negative tests at least one day apart. Day 0 is symptom onset date or positive test date. 
For Exposed Individuals
Test only if symptoms arise.
If your student tests positive for COVID, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms, please notify the school office and follow this guidance: 
Stay home for at least 5 days after the start of symptoms (Day 0) or after the date of the first positive test.
  • Isolation can end after Day 5 if:
    • symptoms are not present, or are mild and improving: AND
    • the student has been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
  • If fever is present, isolation should be continued until 24 hours after fever resolves.
  • If symptoms, other than fever, are not improving, continue to isolate until symptoms are improving or until after Day 10.
  • If the confirmed case has severe symptoms, or is at high risk of serious disease, or has questions concerning care, contact a healthcare provider.
  • Infected persons should wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings.
  • After ending isolation, if symptoms recur or worsen, get tested again, and, if positive, restart isolation at Day 0.
For questions contact AUSD District Nurse.
What will the masking protocols be at the start of this school year?
Masking will be strongly recommended inside, but not required.
Will there be any exceptions?
For large indoor gatherings (i.e. assemblies, performances, dances, etc.), masks will be required.
What will the testing protocols be for students?
We will not be doing pool testing this year. At home rapid tests will be provided for students prior to the start of the school year and as needed.
Will there be exceptions?
Preschool will still receive weekly testing.
Sports teams, bands, and choirs will receive weekly rapid antigen testing on site.
What if a child has symptoms at school?
They should be sent home with an at-home antigen test. (Sites may choose to rapid test on site but not as the main practice.)
What will the testing options be for staff?
The guidance has moved away from PCR testing to rapid antigen testing for accuracy and speed of results, thus being more protective. Rapid antigen at home tests will be made readily available to staff. If you are wanting to continue testing weekly, rapid tests will be available to you.
Is regular testing required for unvaccinated students?
No, there are no additional requirements for unvaccinated students.
Will there be at-home testing kits available?
Yes, sites will offer at home testing kits prior to the school year beginning.
What is the protocol after testing positive?
Stay home for a minimum of 5 days. Isolation can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present or are improving and a diagnostic test (antigen preferred) is negative. If unable to test or choose not to test, isolate through day 10. If fever is present, isolation should continue until fever has resolved for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications).
What is the guidance for individuals who have had closed contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID?
  • Take a COVID test 3–5 days after being exposed (If you have had COVID within the last 90 days, test only if symptoms begin.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days, especially in indoor settings.
  • Monitor yourself closely for any symptoms of illness for 10 days. If you develop symptoms of illness, stay home and away from others until you can take a test for COVID-19.
  • If your first test is negative, wait 24 to 48 hours and take another test since some people with COVID-19 don’t test positive right away.
  • If your COVID-19 test is positive, follow the isolation guidance for those who test positive.
What if a student has symptoms but goes home and tests negative? They should share their negative test via email. If they have a negative test, their symptoms are improving, and they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, then they can return to school. If their symptoms are a result of allergies, and therefore not improving, we need a doctor’s note documenting that the student has allergies.
Close Contacts Exposure letters will continue to be sent. (A close contact is someone sharing the same indoor airspace, such as a classroom, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) with someone infected with COVID-19.) Someone infected with COVID-19 is contagious two days before their first symptoms began. If the person with COVID-19 does not have symptoms, they are considered contagious two days prior to taking their COVID-19 test. A person is not considered contagious after they finish isolation (see section above on this page).
Communication will be sent to the entire school community when there are a high number of cases.
COVID-19 Symptoms: This year, families will be required to screen their children for COVID symptoms daily using this symptoms list established by the Centers for Disease Control. A child with symptoms must stay home and should be tested for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. At-home test kits are available at all of our schools.
Flowcharts: These "what to do next" flowcharts from the Alameda County Office of Education are translatable in several languages and can be a quick help.
Travel Guidance:
Food Resources for Students and Families:
Additional Resources: