Return: When students and staff are safe to return to school

Screening Students and Staff for Symptoms > Return

Schools need to determine that students and staff who are returning to school following experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or who have had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection meet approved criteria before returning to in-person school activities.
The school nurse's role is to partner and support school district administration in creating guidance in cooperation with public health and clearly communicating the guidance to families and staff.

Key Considerations:

  • Development of guidance including time-base strategy criteria (isolation or quarantine requirements) for individuals returning to school (e.g. symptoms associated with COVID-19, exposure to COVID-19, and returning after confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection).
  • Development of guidance including symptom based criteria for individuals returning to school (e.g. symptoms associated with COVID-19, with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection).
  • Consider COVID-19 testing requirements for individuals returning to school based on local and state testing availability and school system and public health requirements (e.g. symptoms associated with COVID-19).
  • Consider return to school criteria for individuals who are severely immunocompromised or experienced severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, ordinances, and other sources of authority, including district and school policies and procedures, and applicable standards of practice.

NASN Resources

Activating the Planning for the Next Normal at School Playbook

CDC Resources 

Ending Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19: Interim Guidance

Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

Other Resources

COVID-19 Interim Guidance: Return to Sports | American Academy of Pediatrics 

Youth Sports and COVID-19: Understanding the Risks | by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Continuing Learning: Playbook for Healthy School Communities | Kaiser Permanente