Basic Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for Families, Students and Staff


The most recent SCPH isolation and quarantine guidance for schools can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

Below are some general guidance in response to frequently asked questions. 

Tested Positive for COVID?   

If you tested positive for COVID-19 you must stay home and isolate for at least 5 days from the date tested positive. You may end isolation and return to school when symptoms resolve AND an antigen/rapid test collected on Day 5 is negative. With a negative test and symptoms resolved, the earliest you can return is Day 6. If you test positive on Day 5 or you do not test, you may return on Day 11. Present your negative test to your school office or supervisor on the day you return.    

Were You Identified as a Close Contact or Were Exposed to Someone Who Has COVID?   

Any unvaccinated close contacts should stay home and quarantine for at least 5 days after their last contact with a positive person. You must test on Day 5 and can return to work/school on Day 6 if the test is negative.  Present your negative test to your school office or supervisor upon returning. CDPH is still revising their school guidance, so please note quarantine guidance may change. If you test positive, isolate per above. If you do not test, you can return 10 days after the last person who tested positive exits isolation. Note – for student close contact exposure in school, modified quarantine applies if the student/family consents to COVID testing.

Were You Identified as an Unvaccinated Household Close Contact?

Any unvaccinated household contacts must quarantine from the date the last person in the house tested positive. Household members should COVID-19 test on Day 5. If the positive case tests negative, as well as all other household members, and individuals are symptom-free, they may return on Day 6. If the positive case tests positive again on Day 5, then all household close contacts must stay home another 5 days and test again before returning to school.  Present your negative test to your school office or supervisor upon returning. If any individual in the household tests positive, refer back to the guidance for testing positive for COVID. 

Were You Exposed to COVID and Are Fully Vaccinated? 

If you are fully vaccinated and remain asymptomatic, you are not required to quarantine and may go to school/work. You test on Day 3-5 from the day you were exposed. If you live with someone who is positive you may still return to school/work, however you should test right away, and again on Day 5 since your household member’s positive test. Fully vaccinated individuals are advised to receive a booster dose if eligible. 

General Illness Requirements

  • If you have any symptoms, stay home except to get tested or seek medical care.  You can return to school if you test negative and symptoms resolve. If you do not test, stay home for 10 days from the day you first had a symptom. 
  • All SCUSD staff, students and household members may access free COVID-19 testing at Serna Center from 12-3:30 pm or at Albert Einstein Middle School from 3-6:30 pm.  To minimize exposure on our school campuses, School Site Care Room Testing and Surveillance Testing is for students and staff only. Other community members may access free testing at testing sites found here
  • You can find guidance about taking care of yourself and others while isolating here.  
  • Wear a good fitting mask whenever you are around others outside your household and always when at school or work, ensuring that your nose and mouth are covered. 

We appreciate your vigilance to help keep our schools as safe as possible during this difficult time.