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Symptoms, Exposures, and Positive Cases


AUSD is committed to following orders and guidelines issued by public health authorities, including the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD). These orders and guidelines can be confusing  and have changed frequently during the pandemic in response to ever-changing public health conditions. The orders and guidance, however, are based on sound epidemiological and public health principles.  

symptomatic students

My child is showing some potential symptoms - what should I do?   

First, consider whether your child’s symptoms are  new or different than your child's usual health. ACPHD asks that you use your own understanding of your child's health to make determination.  If the symptoms are unusual for your child, do not  send them to school. Instead, contact your healthcare provider and ask to get the child tested.


Those symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, severe headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, vomiting, or diarrhea.


For more information, please review:

Can students come to school if they have symptoms of COVID-19?

If your child has any of these symptoms at home, please keep them home from school and fill out the new Symptom Report Form on your school’s website. It takes less than five minutes to fill out the form. Once you submit it, you’ll receive an email with instructions about your child’s isolation dates, local testing sites, and other important information.


If a child develops these symptoms at school, the teacher will call the office. A staff member will take the student from the classroom to an isolated place, where they will be supervised until picked up. Students  must be picked up by a parent/guardian or designated emergency contact.


A Health Office Assistant (HOA), School Site COVID-19 Liaison, or other staff member will follow up with the family to make sure they understand next steps, including: 


  • Isolate for ten days or
  • Provide a note with an alternative health diagnosis from a healthcare provider or 
  • Provide a negative COVID-19 test result (must be a PCR, rapid molecular test, or supervised rapid antigen test)

While AUSD provides COVID-19 testing for students and staff who are asymptomatic, symptomatic students need to test with outside providers such as:



Once one of those conditions is met, students can return to school if: 

  • Student is feeling better
  • Student is fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication


What happens if my child tests positive for COVID-19? 

Please contact the attendance clerk at your school right away. Your student will need to isolate for 10 days.  School  or district staff will work with you to determine when your child can return to school, how to care for your child, and who your child's "close contacts" may have been at school.  The Alameda County Public Health Department may also contact you to identify close contacts outside of school.

You also should consult with your healthcare provider.

For more information, please review ACPHD’s “If My Child Has a Positive Test for COVID-19” fact sheet.


How can we reduce the risk that my child will spread the virus to other members of our household? 

The strategies for reducing the transmission of COVID-19 within your household include:

  • Wearing a mask
  • Maintaining social distancing

  • Washing your hands frequently

  • Avoiding sharing items

  • Optimizing ventilation, including by keeping doors and windows open

  • Cleaning surfaces frequently

For more information, please review ACPHD’s “Home isolation and Quarantine Instructions for People with COVID-19 and Their Household or Close Contacts” fact sheets.


My child tested positive by AUSD, but our healthcare provider retested them and they are negative.  Can they come back to school? 

No.  ACPHD has advised AUSD that subsequent testing does not override the need for positive cases to “isolate” for 10 days as determined by the initial testing. This is because the viral load in your child may have dropped below detection levels by the time they are tested, but your child may still be infectious. As such, the district needs to respond to the initial positive result. This direction may change in the future depending on community spread, but ultimately we cannot make these decisions. Instead the district and our schools must follow county direction.


ACPHD information on re-testing

exposures to positive cases

Someone in my child’s class tested positive for COVID...what happens now?  

If a member of a class or cohort tests positive for COVID, vaccinated  staff and students can continue to attend school.


Unvaccinated elementary grade students who were in that cohort and wore masks consistently  have the option to participate in what CDPH  calls a "modified quarantine." Under that protocol, students and staff need to:

  • Continue to mask (as is required under the July 12 state public health order)
  • Test negative five days (or longer) after the exposure to be released from the quarantine. Technicians with National Labs or staff with rapid tests will come to your student's campus to do this testing. As long as students continue to test negative and remain without symptoms they can continue to attend class.
  • Avoid all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and activities within the community setting through 5 days from exposure. (In other words, your student should only be staying at home and going to school - no other activities.

Due to the current volume of cases and higher vaccination rates among 12 to 17 year olds, secondary classrooms in which there is a positive case are not being put into modified quarantine. Instead, we encourage all secondary students to get tested once a week at our centralized testing locations. Please see the Student and Staff COVID-19 Testing page for the current schedule.


What is a “close contact”? 

Public health agencies define close contact as having been within 6 feet (even masked) for more than 15 minutes (cumulatively) within a 24 hour period. ·     


What communications will we get if someone tests positive in my child's class?

Elementary principals will send an email to the impacted families within several hours. Those families may either be the whole class or those whose children were determined to be in close contact with the positive case. The notification will include information about the testing schedule and quarantine parameters.


What communication will we get if someone in a different class tests positive?

During the omicron surge, principals will send schoolwide notifications once a week with information on positive cases and testing availability.


 If one of my children has been ordered to quarantine, can my other children continue to attend school?  

Yes. Vaccinated siblings and family members do not need to quarantine, as long as others in the household were also not in “close contact” with the person who tested positive (within 6 feet - even masked - for more than 15 minutes within a 24 hour period).  If the student that is quarantined begins to develop symptoms,  they would then start their own isolation period, and you should contact the healthcare provider. At that point, the rest of the household would need to begin a 10-day quarantine.


For more information, please review ACPHD’s “Home isolation and Quarantine Instructions for People with COVID-19 and Their Household or Close Contacts” fact sheets. The CDC’s “Households Living in Close Quarters” fact sheet is also helpful.


Does our whole family need to quarantine? 

Not necessarily. Family members generally only need to quarantine if they develop symptoms or if they are directed to quarantine by your healthcare provider.


How do we quarantine our child from their siblings within the same household?    

We know this is difficult, especially for younger children. We recommend taking a look at ACPHD’s “Home isolation and Quarantine Instructions for People with COVID-19 and Their Household or Close Contacts” fact sheets. The CDC’s “Households Living in Close Quarters” fact sheet is also helpful.


Quarantine flow charts

New COVID Protocols (January 2022)

new protocols

COVID-19 Case dashboard

AUSD maintains a COVID-19 Case Dashboard on its website. The dashboard is divided into months and is updated each time we learn that a student or staff member tests positive. You can find the dashboard here.  A link is also available on our home page.