This guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity
of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The California Department of Public Health
(CDPH) will update this guidance as needed and as additional information becomes
This document is intended to be statewide guidance to help both school and public health
officials inform their decision making. Decisions by school officials and local public health
officials should be determined by the specific circumstances in local jurisdictions.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel virus that has been spreading
worldwide. Community-acquired cases have now been confirmed in California. We are
gaining more understanding of COVID-19’s epidemiology, clinical course,
immunogenicity, and other factors as time progresses, and the situation is changing daily.
CDPH is in the process of monitoring COVID-19, conducting testing with local and federal
partners, and providing guidance and resources to prevent, detect and respond to the
occurrence of COVID-19 cases in California.
At this time, community transmission of COVID-19 has occurred in California.
Educational institutions should prepare for possible impacts of COVID-19 and take
precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as other infectious diseases,
including influenza and gastroenteritis.
The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported
illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death. Older
people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung
disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.
Below CDPH outlines four (4) scenarios that should be considered by each campus
in order to protect students, faculty, and staff.
Pursuant to prior guidance released, campus administrators have or should immediately
take steps to slow the spread of respiratory infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
CDPH has recommended implementing the following steps:
If the local public health department has confirmed two or more community transmission
cases, but no individuals (staff or students) at campus have tested positive for COVID19, in addition to the items outlined in Phase I, CDPH recommends campus
administrators implement the following steps:
If one student, faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, and exposed others
on campus CDPH recommends that campus administrators implement the following
If more than five students, faculty, or staff on a campus test positive for COVID-19, the
campus administrator should consult with local public health officials for guidance on
closing the campus.
Please note that there have been reports of students and others being stigmatized. We
urge institutions to ensure students’ and staffs’ privacy to help prevent discrimination.