Return Health Opening Closing Schools Criteria

Opening & Closing Criteria


In-Person Reopening Criteria

Schools and school districts may reopen for in-person instruction at any time if they are located in a local health jurisdiction (LHJ) that has not been on the county monitoring list within the prior 14 days. Additional criteria will also be reviewed with SCPH, including

  • Local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population
  • Testing capacity
  • Rate of test positivity
  • Communicable disease follow-up capacity
  • Local preparedness to support a health care surge
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Ability to Implement and Adhere to Public Health Measures

Closing Criteria

While individuals who are considered ‘close contacts” will be required to quarantine – it should be noted that once a space is disinfected the space may be safely utilized.

Classroom Closure

In some school situations, it may be difficult to determine whether individuals have met the criterion of having “close contact” and an entire cohort, class, or other group may need to be considered exposed, particularly if people have spent time together indoors. If any individual within a classroom community tests positive for COVID-19, the classroom(s) will be closed and all individuals within the classroom community will be required to quarantine. Instruction will move to distance learning during this time. Contacts of a “close contact” are not required to quarantine and may continue to engage in their typical duties. The school may remain open. Once the physical space is disinfected, the space may be utilized.

The class may typically resume after the 14-day quarantine and the following have occurred

  • Disinfection of the classroom/areas used (site is safe to inhabit one the space is disinfected)
  • Public health investigation
  • Consultation with the local public health department

School Closure

Individual school closure is recommended based on the number of cases, the percentage of the teacher/ students/staff that are positive for COVID-19, and following consultation with the SCPH. Individual school closure may be appropriate in the following situations:

  • When there are multiple cases in multiple cohorts at a school OR
  • When at least 5% of the total number of teachers/student/staff are cases within a 14-day period, depending on the size and physical layout of the school

School may typically reopen after 14 day quarantine and the following have occurred

  • Cleaning and disinfection (site is safe to inhabit one the space is disinfected)
  • Public health investigation
  • Consultation with the local public health department

District Closure

In consultation with SCPH, district-wide school closures will be considered if 25% or more of schools in the district have closed due to COVID-19 within 14 days. For example, 19 schools are closed within the same two-week span due to COVID-19. SCPH may also determine school and/or district-wide closure is warranted for other reasons, including results from public health investigation or other local epidemiological data. SCUSD will work closely with SCPH to determine when it is safe to reopen the district.