Reopening Plan

Close Contact Of Student or Staff Tests Positive for COVID-19

6. CLOSE CONTACT OF STUDENT OR STAFF TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

For general guidance, DPH defines close contacts in the school setting as being within 6 feet of a COVID-19 case (someone who has tested positive) for at least 15 minutes while the person was infectious.  The infectious period begins 2 days prior to symptom onset.  If someone is asymptomatic, the infectious period is considered to begin 2 days prior to the collection of their positive test.  In the event that a Close Contact of a Student or a Staff Member at Shore tests positive for Covid-19, the following procedures must be followed:  

  • Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that all close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be tested.
  • The student or staff member who was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should be tested at one of Massachusetts’s test sites. Sites may require pre-screening, a referral, and/or an appointment. An individual who does not wish to be tested should instead quarantine for 14 days and until asymptomatic. Because tests performed to early can be falsely negative, ideally the test should be performed no sooner than 4-5 days after the last contact with the person who tested positive.
  • Close contacts should isolate at home prior to testing and while awaiting test results. Ability to mask is critical, so if the close contact cannot mask or is in K-1 and not masking they should not return for 14 days.
  • All close contacts should be tested but also must quarantine at home for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result as the virus can take up to 14 days to cause illness. 
  • IF POSITIVE TEST: 
    • The student or staff member should:
      •  remain at home (except to get medical care), 
      • monitor their symptoms, 
      • notify the school and notify personal close contacts, 
      • assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and 
      • answer the call from local Board of Health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative.
      • Shore will inform DESE by calling DESE Rapid Response Help Center.
      • Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least24 hours have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.  Repeat testing prior to return is not recommended.  Return to school should be based on time and symptom resolution. FOLLOW STEPS UNDER: “Protocol: Student / staff tests positive for COVID-19.”