This guidance is no longer in effect and is for historical purposes only.
Related Materials: 2021-2022 K-12 Schools Reopening Framework and Guidance | 2021-2022 K-12 Schools Guidance Q&A | Safe Schools for All Hub | More Languages
California's determination to use every available tool to keep schools safe during this pandemic is allowing us to keep classrooms open and in-school transmission low. Since the start of the pandemic, the state has adapted to new challenges presented and responded with strategies harnessing available tools.
The shorter incubation period and increased transmissibility of variants currently circulating in California suggest an additional approach to contact tracing may be warranted. The framework outlined below allows for a quicker and broader response to cases identified in school settings, accomplishable through prompt notification, testing, and isolation protocols. This strategy also allows for schools to provide safe in-person instruction without undertaking intense (and often protracted) contact tracing processes to identify individual students within a specified radius of someone infected.
All of this is possible in California's schools because the multi-layered approach to COVID-19 mitigation has effectively curbed in-school transmission to-date. These other layers – such as receiving COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, wearing high-quality well-fitting masks, staying home and testing if symptomatic, and improving indoor air quality – remain crucial to school-based mitigation efforts.
Stricter guidance may be issued by local public health officials or other authorities. In workplaces, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or in some workplaces the CalOSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard, and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements.
Recommendations for students exposed to someone with COVID-19 in a K-12 school: