K-12 Schools and Childcare Facilities
Things to Know:
- Stay Home When Sick: If you are feeling ill or have a fever, cold symptoms, bronchitis, or have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, or a new rash, stay at home until your fever is gone for 24 hours and your other symptoms are improving.
- MCDPH and ADHS are fully aligned with the CDC’s COVID-19 guidance for K-12 Schools and Childcare Facilities
- If you have COVID-19, follow CDC’s Isolation guidance: The CDC posts guidance to help individuals better understand timeframes for what to do if sick (isolation). Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19.
- If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19: follow recommendations to wear a well-fitting mask and get tested. Quarantine (staying at home if exposed) is no longer recommended for most people.
- Webinars: See information for school officials on our update webinars for Community Partners.
Monitoring for Illness - Stay Home When Sick
To maintain a healthy school environment, children, teachers and staff who exhibit symptoms of any infectious disease should be excluded from school, per school policy.
Schools should encourage all students/parents, staff, and teachers to self-monitor for symptoms of illness at home prior to leaving for school. Childcare facilities should also instruct staff and families of children attending their facility to conduct symptom monitoring or implement procedures for on-site screening prior to check-in.
Test for COVID-19 and consider testing for other infectious diseases like flu if appropriate.
Stay home if you have any of these symptoms:
- Fever (greater than or equal to 100.4 F or 38 C)
- Subjective chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- New rash
*Children should not be sent home if fatigue is their sole symptom.
For children or staff who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, see the information about home isolation.
K-12 Schools and Childcare Guidance
MCDPH is in complete alignment with CDC Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs.
Updates to K-12 Schools and Childcare guidance include:
- Updated COVID-19 testing language in coordination with updates to COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know
- Replaces COVID-19 Community Levels with COVID-19 hospital admission levels to guide prevention decisions. See the following for details on the reasons for this change.
- MMWR: COVID-19 Surveillance After Expiration of the Public Health Emergency Declaration ― United States, May 11, 2023
- MMWR: Correlations and Timeliness of COVID-19 Surveillance Data Sources and Indicators ― United States, October 1, 2020–March 22, 2023
To maintain a healthy school environment, children, teachers, and staff who exhibit symptoms of any infectious disease should be excluded from school, per school policy.
Reporting Communicable Disease Cases and Exposures to Public Health
Maricopa County K-12 school nurses or administrators and childcare providers may use our online reporting form below to report confirmed cases and outbreak concerns, specifically:
- Single or multiple cases of confirmed COVID-19 in students/children, teachers, and staff
- An outbreak concern*
*MCDPH defines school outbreaks of COVID-19 as follows:
- ≥3 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among students/children or staff with onsets within a 14-day period, who are epidemiologically-linked, do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting during standard case investigation or contact tracing
Other Communicable Disease Reporting (non-COVID) school/childcare reportable conditions PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF , please continue to report to public health by completing a Communicable Disease Reporting Form PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF PDF and faxing the completed forms to 602-372-8935.
To complete this form, please be prepared to report:
- School or childcare point of contact information
- Email address required; please include your childcare facility-associated or school-associated email address
- Basic school or facility information
- Information about case(s):
- Contact information
- Test date for PCR or antigen laboratory results
- Symptom onset date
- Grade / homeroom / classroom
- Date of last attendance
After successful submission of the form, the point-of-contact will automatically receive guidance material via email from Public Health that will aid with managing facility or campus-related exposures, contact tracing, and notifying parents and staff.
For questions regarding use of the online reporting form, please email us at email@example.com.
Public Health Guidance
Notice of Exposure/Outbreak Template Letters
If close contacts were identified following a COVID-19 exposure at school or an outbreak has occurred, schools may use the following letter templates to send to parents and staff. Schools and childcare facilities are encouraged to report outbreak concerns to MCDPH by completing the COVID-19 Online School and Childcare Report Form.
- School & Childcare Child or Staff Exposure: English | Spanish (Word - Rev. 8/30/22)
- School Outbreak Notification Letter: English | Spanish (Word - Rev. 8/30/22)
Quarantine and Isolation Guidance
School Staff & Administration
If you are reporting cases of COVID-19 in your school or are seeking official guidance, please first see our Reporting Cases and Exposures section. Be sure to view our webinars for the most updated guidance and answers to questions being asked by our school community. If further clarification on any topic is needed, please contact us.
- You can speak to someone directly by calling our CARES Team at 602-506-6767 Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm.
- You also can submit your questions through our Contact Us web form.