Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, get vaccinated as soon as you can and wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.

Customizable Contact Tracing Notification Letters

Customizable Contact Tracing Notification Letters

School administrators can use the sample letters below to notify parents/guardians about school cases/outbreaks and close contact exposures. They can also use these letters to offer guidance on isolation for parents/guardians of students with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection. Customize the letters as needed to include information specific to your school. Highlighted content indicates information that may be tailored based on a school’s needs. Letters are also available in Microsoft Word format.

COVID-19 Case Notification: Sample Notification Letter to Parents/Guardians of Students (General Notification)

[Date/Time]

Dear Parent/Guardian:

[Insert School Name] considers the health and well-being of our students and staff a priority. With that in mind, we are sending this letter home for your awareness. We have been alerted that an individual at [Insert School Name] has been diagnosed with COVID-19. We are following CDC recommendations to ensure that the person diagnosed with COVID-19 follows instructions for isolation and remains away from others until they can safely return to the school setting. We will also continue to clean and disinfect all areas of the school.

Any student who has been identified as a close contact of the individual diagnosed with COVID-19 has been notified of their close contact status prior to the distribution of this letter.  If you did not receive that notification, your student is NOT a close contact of the individual diagnosed with COVID-19. Therefore, they are not required to quarantine at home or to be tested. However, we do recommend that you continue to monitor your child each day for symptoms. If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms, please:

  1. Contact their healthcare provider immediately.
  2. Follow testing and isolation instructions described here [Insert link to the school’s isolation guidance or this CDC Overview of COVID-19 Isolation for K-12 Schools].
  3. Notify the school immediately, if they test positive for COVID-19.

We also encourage you to visit [insert hyperlink to local public health department or other appropriate sites] for additional information for ways to keep our school community safe. CDC also provides additional information about COVID-19 and Schools and Child Care Programs.

We will continue to provide regular updates as needed and will provide prompt notification of any COVID-19 or other health-related concerns that require your attention. We encourage you to contact us with questions and concerns. Please call us at [NUMBER], email us at [EMAIL], or visit our website [INSERT LINK HERE] for updates.

We are committed to facilitating an optimal learning experience and ensuring the safety of our students and staff. COVID-19 vaccination among all eligible students as well as teachers, staff, and household members is the leading public health strategy to help end the pandemic and support schools to continue full operations. Please visit CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens page for more information on how to get your child vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

Sincerely,

[NAME, TITLE, and CONTACT INFORMATION]

COVID-19 Contact Notification: Sample Notification Letter to Parents/Guardians of Students Determined to Be Close Contacts

[Date]

Dear Parent/Guardian:

[Insert School Name] considers the health and well-being of our students and staff a priority. We have been alerted that an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 was in close proximity to your child on [mm/dd]. We are following CDC recommendations to ensure that the person diagnosed with COVID-19 follows instructions for isolation and remains away from others until they can safely return to the school setting. We will also continue to clean and disinfect all areas of the school.

In collaboration with school and public health officials, we have determined that your child is considered a close contact of the person diagnosed with COVID-19; as a result, your child will need to quarantine at home for a full 14 days from the last date of known exposure, unless they are fully vaccinated or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and recovered. Please make note of the following important dates:

  • Your child was in close contact with a person with COVID-19 on [Insert date of exposure. If exposed on more than one day, list all dates of known exposure.].
  • Since your child was identified as having close contact with a person with COVID-19, they will need to quarantine at home for a full 14 days from the last date of known exposure, unless they are fully vaccinated or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and recovered. If your child does not develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, your child may return to school on [Insert date for day 15, using the date of the last exposure as day 0].
  • We recommend that your student be tested immediately unless they are fully vaccinated or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and recovered. If they test negative, they should be tested again 5-7 days after their exposure and continue to quarantine for the remainder of the 14-day quarantine period. Your child should be tested on or after [insert date for day 5, using the date of the last exposure as day 0].
  • If your child has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and you are willing to provide proof of vaccination to the school, please contact [insert name of appropriate school contact] at [insert email and phone number]. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine. However, they should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure and wear a mask indoors in public or until they receive a negative test result. They should also monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days, and get tested and isolate immediately if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and you are willing to provide proof of the previous positive viral test to the school, please contact [insert name of appropriate school contact] at [insert email and phone number]. People who have tested positive in the last 90 days, completed 10 days of isolation, and subsequently recovered do not need to get tested or quarantine. They should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after the exposure and isolate immediately if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. They should consult with a healthcare provider for testing recommendations if new symptoms develop.

During quarantine, if your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive, please ensure they isolate immediately and notify the school right away.  If your child has not yet been tested, we recommend they do so right away. When you notify us, we can take additional steps to keep our school community safe.  We may need to identify potential close contacts your student has had with others in order to prevent any additional spread of the virus.

We encourage you to visit [insert hyperlink to local public health department or other appropriate links] for additional information for ways to keep your family and our school community safe. In addition, CDC’s website also provides information about COVID-19, including an overview of quarantine as it relates to the K-12 school setting at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/k-12-contact-tracing/about-quarantine.html.

We will be happy to welcome your child back to in-person learning on the date specified above, or if you can provide proof of vaccination or positive test result within the past 90 days. In the meantime, [insert name of teacher or school administrator] will reach out to you with additional information on how your child can continue learning and receiving instruction during this time away from in-person school.

We will continue to provide you with regular updates as needed and will continue to provide prompt notification of any COVID-19 or other health-related concerns. We encourage you to contact us with questions and concerns. Please call us at [NUMBER], email us at [EMAIL], or visit our website [INSERT DETAILS HERE] for updates.

Please be assured that we are committed to facilitating an optimal learning experience and ensuring the safety of our students and staff.

Sincerely,

[NAME, TITLE, and CONTACT INFORMATION]

Isolation Guidance Letter to Parents/Guardians of Students with COVID-19

[Date]

Dear Parent/Guardian:

[Insert School Name] considers the health and well-being of our students and staff a priority. With that in mind, we are sending this letter home to provide you and your student who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19 with information on how to isolate; how to continue classwork during isolation, if possible; and when to safely return to school.

Because your child is either experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19 (regardless of symptoms), we recommend they follow the CDC guidance by:

  • Staying home from school and other settings, including all extra-curricular activities, for 10 days starting the day after their symptoms started, or if they do not have symptoms, 10 days starting the day after the date of their positive test, using the date the test was collected. People can spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, for a full 10 days from when they get infected, even if they don’t have symptoms or are feeling better. More specific information on the duration of isolation is provided in this overview of isolation.
  • It is important for a student or staff member in isolation to remain at home, separated from other people as much as possible, even if they do not have symptoms. They should not attend in-person school or other extra-curricular or social activities while they are in isolation. They should not participate in activities like sporting events, play dates, parties, social and family gatherings, music or theater performances, and other events where they may come into contact with other people. To prevent other people from possibly getting COVID-19, make every effort to limit contact between the person in isolation and other people, including other household members, during the isolation period. Even if the person in isolation is wearing a mask, contact with other people should be limited.
  • If your child is young and needs regular assistance from an adult, designate one person in the household to be the primary caregiver during this time, and ensure the caregiver wears a mask as well.
  • Monitoring their symptoms. If they develop an emergency warning sign, seek emergency medical care immediately. Emergency warning signs include trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; the inability to wake up or stay awake; and pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds (depending on skin tone).
  • Avoiding contact with other members of the household and pets by staying in a separate room and using a separate bathroom if possible.
  • Avoiding sharing personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Wearing a mask when around other people, including others within their household.

If the student requires a caregiver, please consult CDC’s advice on caring for someone sick to protect the caregiver and others.

A person diagnosed with COVID-19 can be around others when

  • at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms began, or since the date of their initial positive test (use the date the test was collected) if they did not develop symptoms

and

  • if they had a fever, at least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of their fever without the use of fever-reducing medications

and

  • other symptoms have improved.*

*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​.

These recommendations do not apply to people with severe COVID-19 or with weakened immune systems (immunocompromised). Consult with a healthcare provider for their recommendations.

In addition, we encourage you to visit [insert hyperlink to local public health department or other appropriate links] for additional information about COVID-19 in our community. CDC’s website also provides information about COVID-19, including an overview of isolation as it relates to the K-12 school setting at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/k-12-contact-tracing/about-isolation.html.

We are happy to welcome your student back to in-person learning at the end of the isolation period. In the meantime, a teacher or school administrator will reach out to you with additional information on how your student can continue learning and instruction during the isolation period.

We encourage you to contact us with questions and concerns. Please call us at [NUMBER], email us at [EMAIL], or visit our website [INSERT DETAILS HERE] for updates.

Please be assured that we are committed to facilitating an optimal learning experience for our students and are here to support you during this time.

Sincerely,

[NAME, TITLE, and CONTACT INFORMATION AT SCHOOL]