Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
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.
UPDATE
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. 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 and guardians about school-associated COVID-19 cases, outbreaks, and close contact exposures. They can also use these letters to offer guidance on isolation for parents and guardians of students with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case. Customize the letters as needed to include information specific to your school. Consult with your legal counsel and state, tribal, local, or territorial health department to ensure that these letters comply with state and local laws, regulations, and policies. 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 and Guardians of Students (General Notification)

[Date/Time]

Dear Parent or 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 or has symptoms consistent with COVID-19. We are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to help ensure that the person diagnosed with or suspected to have 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 or suspected to have 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 appropriate, 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 and Guardians of Students Determined to Be Close Contacts

[Date]

Dear Parent or 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 or suspected to have COVID-19 was in close proximity to your child on [mm/dd]. We are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to help ensure that the person diagnosed with or suspected to have 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 or suspected to have COVID-19. The information you provide during contact tracing activities will be kept confidential in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local privacy laws and regulations.

If your child [SELECT OPTION PER SCHOOL POLICY: Is not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including all eligible boosters / has not received their primary vaccine series], they should quarantine at home for at least 5 days after their last close contact with a person who has COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0).

Please make note of the following important dates:

  • The date of your child’s last known close contact with the person diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 was [Insert date of exposure. If exposed on more than one day, list all dates of known exposure].
  • We recommend that your child be tested at least 5 days after the date of last known close contact with someone with COVID-19. This means your child should be tested on or after [insert date for day 5, using the date of the last exposure as day 0].
    • If they test negative, they may return to school on [Insert date for day 6, using the date of the last exposure as day 0].
    • If they test positive, they should isolate for at least 5 days from the date their symptoms began or from the date the positive viral test was collected if they do not have symptoms. They should follow our school’s isolation guidelines for returning to school.
  • Everyone who is a close contact should correctly and consistently wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of their last close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • You should watch your child for symptoms until 10 days after their last close contact with someone with COVID-19, or until [insert date for day 10, using the date of the last exposure as day 0]. If symptoms develop, your child should isolate immediately and get tested, and you should notify the school right away. When you notify us, we can take additional steps to keep our school community safe. We may need to identify, in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies relating to privacy and confidentiality, potential close contacts your student has had with others in order to prevent any additional spread of the virus.
  • CDC continues to recommend indoor masking in K-12 schools for all people ages 2 years and older, including students, teachers, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

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 and subsequently recovered and remain without COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine or get tested after close contact. They should correctly and consistently wear a well-fitting mask around others and watch for COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days from the date of their last close contact with someone with COVID-19.

  • 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. 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 and Guardians of Students with COVID-19

[Date]

Dear Parent or 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 child who has either been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected to have 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance:

  • Stay home from school and other settings, including all extracurricular activities, and isolate for at least 5 full days. To calculate your child’s 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your child’s first day of symptoms or the date the positive viral test was collected (for people with no COVID-19 symptoms). Day 1 is the first full day after your child’s symptoms developed or the first full day after the date they were tested for people with no symptoms of COVID-19.
  • It is important for your child to remain in isolation and separated from other people as much as possible, even if they do not have symptoms. They should not attend in-person school or other extracurricular 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 might come into contact with other people. To prevent other people from possibly getting COVID-19, make every effort to limit contact between your child and other people, including other household members, during the isolation period. Even if your child is properly wearing a well-fitting mask, contact with other people should be limited.
  • If your child has or had symptoms, you can end their isolation after 5 full days if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND their other symptoms have improved (loss of taste and smell can persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).
    • If your child still has a fever or their other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, keep your child in isolation until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. Contact your healthcare provider if you have questions.
  • If your child never had symptoms, you can end their isolation 5 full days after the positive viral test was collected.
  • Your child should continue to correctly and consistently wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of their 5-day isolation period. If they are unable to wear a mask when around others, they should continue to isolate for a full 10 days.
  • Avoid coming into contact with people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings, until after at least 10 days.
  • CDC continues to recommend indoor masking in K-12 schools for all people ages 2 years and older, including students, teachers, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If your child is young and needs regular assistance from an adult, consider designating one person in the household to be the primary caregiver during this time, and ensure the caregiver correctly and consistently wears a mask as well.
  • Monitor your child’s 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).
  • Your child should avoid contact with other members of the household and pets by staying in a separate room and using a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Your child should avoid sharing personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Your child should properly wear a well-fitting mask when around other people, including others within their household. If your child requires a caregiver, please consult CDC’s advice on caring for someone sick to protect the caregiver and others.

People who are severely ill with COVID-19 (including those who were hospitalized or required intensive care or ventilation support) and people with compromised immune systems might need to isolate at home longer. 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 in the K-12 school setting.

We are happy to welcome your student back to in-person learning at the end of the isolation period. In the meantime, [insert name of 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]