• Close Contact, Exposure, Reporting FAQs

    Close Contact

    What is a close contact

    close contact is defined by the CDC as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, starting from two days before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated. This means the close contact has possibly been exposed to the virus and should quarantine to monitor for symptoms. 

    How will I know if my child is a close contact? How will I know if I have been exposed as a staff member? 

    Anyone determined to be a close contact will receive a personal phone call from their school administration and separate email notification with further instructions. If you are not directly contacted about you/your child being a close contact, then you/your child have not been identified as a close contact and will not need to quarantine. 

    If I/my child is sent home as a close contact, do other members of our family need to quarantine? 

    No. Anyone who has been near someone who is identified as a close contact is considered a “contact of a contact.” This person has not been exposed and may continue activities as normal. If the close contact individual begins experiencing symptoms or becomes lab-confirmed, the contact of a contact should begin quarantine and get tested. 

    How will I know if there is a COVID-positive case on campus? 

    When lab-confirmed cases are reported to the district, all staff and parents at the affected school will receive an emailed notification once contract tracing is complete. Due to state and federal privacy requirements, the name or details that may identify the individual cannot be released. The district also manages a site-by-site COVID tracking tool to provide our community with a summary of active case counts in our schools. This dashboard is updated each school day by 5 pm and represents the most accurate tracking of the COVID impact in EMS ISD. 

    Direct Exposure

    What do I do if my student has COVID-19 symptoms or has been diagnosed through a lab-confirmed positive test result?

    Keep your student home and contact your campus nurse. If your student has symptoms, begin a 10-day isolation from the time of your test or the onset of symptoms. If your student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 through a lab-confirmed positive test result, begin a 10-day isolation from the time of the test or the onset of symptoms, whichever is earlier. 

    What do I do if my student has had direct exposure to someone with COVID-19?

    This is considered a "close contact." Keep your student home and contact your campus nurse. If your student has had direct exposure through close contact to someone with COVID-19, begin a 14-day quarantine from the last-known contact with the lab-confirmed individual and monitor for symptoms.

    What do I do if someone in our household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

    The individual experiencing symptoms should get tested for COVID-19 and the remaining members of the household should quarantine until the test results are returned. Keep your student home and notify your campus to report your child's absence and close contact with a symptomatic individual.

     What do I do if I need to report a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case during non-school hours?

    Visit Let's Talk on the district website and complete the COVID-19 After-Hours Reporting Form. Someone from the campus or district will follow up with additional instructions.

    Indirect Exposure

    What do I do if a member of our household has been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

    This is considered a "contact of a contact." If a member of your household has been exposed to COVID-19 but is not experiencing symptoms and the student was not in close contact with the positive COVID-19 individual, then your student may continue attending school on campus. Continue to monitor for symptoms and follow CDC guidelines by:

    • Maintaining good hygiene
    • Practicing social distancing
    • Wearing a mask
    • Washing hands frequently
    Returning to School
    What do I do if my child is ready to return to school?


    Your student can return to school when all three of the following criteria have been met:

    • At least one day (24 hours) has passed since with no fever without the use of fever reducing medications and
    • Ten (10) days have passed since the symptoms first appeared and
    • Symptoms are improved

    You also may submit a medical professional's note indicating an alternative diagnosis or obtain an acute infection test that comes back negative for COVID-19 to gain clearance to return to school. Students must check-in with the school nurse before being allowed to return to classes.