*UPDATED* COVID Testing and Quarantine FAQ’s

Below are the updated Quarantine Guidelines per the CDC as of December 27, 2021 which can be found here. For more information about Quarantine and Isolation guidelines go here. For additional information about testing and quarantine go here


If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate*)

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If your child is too young to wear a mask, then your chid will need to quarantine at home for 10 days

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine**)

If you:

Have been boosted
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.

If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.

If you:

Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
Are unvaccinated

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Just like adults, children can have asymptomatic COVID infection or severe symptoms.
  • According to the CDC, the following are symptoms of COVID infection in children.
    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Myalgia
    • Cough
    • Nasal congestion or rhinorrhea
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Abdominal pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Poor appetite or poor feeding
  • Unfortunately all of the symptoms listed above can also apply to other common pediatric illnesses. If there is a high rate of COVID-19 in a community then testing is the only way to determine if your child has COVID-19.
  • Fatigue, Headache, and loss of smell were the most common symptoms reported in a study of 258,790 children published in the Lancet Journal.


How do I get my child tested for COVID-19?

  • Visit a COVID-19 Testing Site
  • Schedule a Visit with your doctor
    • During the visit the doctor will identify when the child should be tested and what test the child should receive. 
    • A PCR test results will be available in 1-4 days (Result time depends on the lab used and what day of the week the test is ordered. Check with your doctor for a more accurate estimate at the time of the test) and is the most accurate test available.
    • A Rapid Antigen test result will be available no later than the end of the day of the test. The Rapid Antigen test is appropriate to use in the first 5 days of symptoms, or days 5-7 after exposure to COVID in an asymptomatic person. 


What do I do if my child tests positive for COVID?

  • First, don’t panic. While COVID-19 is a scary disease, the vast majority of children who get COVID are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic
  • Your child needs to Isolate at home per the directions above
  • When in isolation, the CDC recommends you do the following:
    • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
    • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
    • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
    • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
    • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
    • Wear a mask when around other people if able.
  • Notify your child’s school and any person who was in close contact with your child for 2 days prior to the start of symptoms that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and need to quarantine. 


My child tested positive for COVID, when can they return to school?

  • Children can return to school and are no longer contagious after:
    • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
    • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​)
  • Per the updated guidelines published on 12/27/21, children can return to school after 5 days if they are asymptomatic and able to wear a mask for 5 additional days when at school or around other people.
  • Please note that these recommendations do not apply to people with severe COVID-19 or with weakened immune systems (immunocompromised).
  • Unless your child is immune compromised, it is NOT necessary to get a negative test to prove that the child is no longer contagious. This is a waste of resources and often creates lots of confusion because the PCR test can remain positive for up to 6 weeks after infection. 

*People who are confirmed to have COVID-19 should Isolate. These people should separate themselves from all non-infected people. If possible, the isolated person should stay in their own room and have their own bathroom. When caring for children this is often not possible, but parents should do their best to limit the exposure of uninfected persons in the home to the infected person.

**People who have been exposed to COVID-19 but are not yet confirmed to have COVID-19 should Quarantine. The quarantined individual should stay home and avoid contact with people outside of the home to prevent possible spread of COVID-19. If possible, the quarantined person should also stay away from people inside the home, especially if they are at high risk for complications with COVID.