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School nurses should use clinical judgment and discretion to determine if a student is well enough to remain in school, be tested, or be sent home.  If a student or staff member is not well enough to learn or participate, regardless of whether they are tested for COVID-19, they should be sent home from school. Recommended public health guidance for schools can be seen at this CDC link.  

A student who is being sent home due to illness may be required to wear a mask while awaiting pick-up. The decision to require masking should be made by the school nurse based on clinical decision-making.

A student may return to school if their symptoms have improved, and they meet school criteria for their illness. COVID-19 testing should not be required for students or staff to return to school.

Schools should recommend that students and staff keep up to date on COVID-19 and other vaccinations. School nurses should follow best practices for infection control and encourage frequent and thorough hand washing using soap and water to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. When done correctly, hand washing will help students, school staff, and visitors avoid spreading and receiving germs.

If a student or staff member has tested positive, and you need assistance: 

  • You can contact your Local Health Office (preferred) with your contact information.
  • Please do not include any child or staff names, dates of birth, or other patient identifying information in your email.
  • You can contact the Health Department's Infectious Disease Epidemiology team at 802-863-7240 Option 2 (Mon - Fri 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) or by email at  [email protected]

Resource Description 
CDC Operational Guidance for Schools and Early Care Programs Public health guidance specific to schools and early care programs.
Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 page   General community guidance on preventing COVID-19, vaccines, testing and symptoms, and treatment.  
School COVID-19 Reporting Tool  Find out information on what tests need to be reported, where to report them, and what is included in the reports. 
COVID-19 guidance for child care and out-of-school programs  Vermont Department of Health page on handling COVID-19 in childcare and out of school programs. 
AOE Message to Superintendents about Medically Vulnerable Students Information on accommodations for medically vulnerable students.  
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