COVID-19 FAQs and Resources
As the pandemic situation evolves, we know that families have many questions. Below is some basic information. Please feel free to contact your teacher, principal, or district staff with additional questions. We will continue to update this resource as information becomes available.
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FAQs for 2022–23 School Year
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.
Resources For Parents
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.
Food Resources for Students and Families:
Please visit Albany School Food Project