COVID Information

COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance


Effective May 25, 2022, children in child care, K-12, out-of-school time (OST) and recreational camp settings should follow the below protocols.Staff in child care and school settings should adhere to protocols previously issued by EEC or DESE, depending on the setting.2

  • rapid antigen test, such as a self-test, is preferred to a PCR test in most situations for the purposes of exiting isolation or quarantine.
  • To count days for quarantine and isolation, Day 0 is the date of exposure for close contacts, and for positive cases is the first day of symptoms OR the day the day positive test was taken, whichever is earlier.  
  • Masking is never required in these settings while the individual is eating, drinking, sleeping, or outside.
  • These settings are not required to conduct contact tracing as a standard practice, but must continue to work with their Local Board of Health in the case of outbreaks.
  • While masks are not required in these settings, any individual who wishes to continue to mask, including those who face higher risk from COVID-19, should be supported in that choice.

Isolation and quarantine guidance and protocols

Guidance for Children in Child Care, K-12, OST, and Recreational Camp Settings:

  • Quarantine for asymptomatic exposed children, regardless of where the exposure occurred, is no longer required for these settings. Children who are identified as close contacts may continue to attend programming as long as they remain asymptomatic. Those who can mask should do so until Day 10. A test on Days 2 and 5 is recommended, but not required.
  • Children who test positive must isolate for at least 5 days. If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever free for 24 hours, they may return to programming after Day 5, provided:
    • If the child is able to mask, they must do so through Day 10.
    • If the child is unable to mask, they must have a negative test on Day 5 or later in order to return to programming prior to day 11.
  • Symptomatic children can remain in their school or program if they are tested immediately onsite, and that test is negative. Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible, until symptoms are fully resolved.
    • If the symptomatic child cannot be tested immediately, they should be sent home and allowed to return to their program or school if they test negative, or they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms have resolved, or if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis. A negative test is strongly recommended for return if the latter two conditions are met.  

Note: At this time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved or authorized any at-home rapid antigen test for use in children under 2 years of age. However, at-home rapid antigen tests may be used off-label in children under 2 years of age for purposes of post-exposure, isolation, and symptomatic testing. It is recommended that parents or guardians deciding to test children under 2 years of age administer the at-home rapid antigen test themselves.

COVID-19 symptoms

COVID-19 Symptoms for Child Care, K-12, OST, and Recreational Camps
  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Headache, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies), when in combination with other symptoms


1 Residential programs should continue to follow EOHHS’s congregate care guidance.

2 Staff in recreational camp settings should follow general population guidance.  

  • Health
Daniel MacLeod



Superintendents, Charter School Leaders, Assistant Superintendents,

Collaborative Leaders, Leaders of Approved Special Education Schools


Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner, Department of Elementary and Secondary



May 24, 2022


Update on K-12 COVID-19 Testing Program for Spring, Summer and Fall 2022

I am writing to provide you with an update on the statewide K-12 COVID-19 testing program for the remainder of the school year, summer and fall of 2022. For the remainder of the 2021-22 school year, the statewide K-12 COVID testing program will remain in place as it currently exists. However, while schools will continue to have the option of distributing self-tests to interested students and staff and to continue pooled testing, participation in one of those testing programs will no longer be required to discontinue contact tracing and test and stay. The end of the 2021-22 school year will mark the end of the state-run, state-coordinated K-12 testing program, although districts and schools will have access to state-provided self-tests to conduct symptomatic testing themselves during summer school. The following sections provide key information on the upcoming phases of implementation.


Spring 2022

Self-tests may now also be made available for the school community more widely, in accordance with the state’s self-test guidance. Districts and schools can choose to make self-tests available to students and school community members prior to in-person, school-sponsored events (e.g., prom or graduation).


Summer 2022

For school-based summer programs (e.g., summer school, acceleration academies, extended school year, etc.), we will continue to provide self-tests for symptomatic testing. Staffing, software, and all other services currently provided through CIC Health will no longer be available through the state-run program. Districts and schools will need to provide staffing for in-school symptomatic testing for school-based summer programs.


To order self-tests for school-based summer programs, participating districts and schools must update the total number of required summer tests in the CIC supply hub by Wednesday, June 1, 2022. CIC will distribute a one-time allocation of self-tests for summer use during the week of June 6. Districts and schools are encouraged to estimate the total amount of


tests they will need for symptomatic testing the entire summer. Districts and schools not already participating in the self-test program through CIC should email to request self-tests for school-based summer program use.


Fall 2022

The state will no longer supply self-tests or other COVID testing services to schools and districts beginning in the fall. For school year 2022-23, DESE and DPH strongly recommend that schools and districts interested in implementing their own testing program limit that program to symptomatic rapid testing only. Schools and districts may purchase self-tests through the statewide contract.


High-level Overview of Changes


Spring 2022

Summer 2022

Fall 2022

Surveillance (both pooled and self-tests) & Test and Stay


Current program continues

No state program support

No state program support

Symptomatic testing

Current program continues

Schools will have access to state- provided self-tests for school-based summer programs

Schools can purchase self-tests through statewide contact

CIC Health Support (including managing

consent forms)

Current program continues

CIC Health services no longer available

CIC Health services no longer available


Vaccine Clinics

As a reminder, vaccines continue to be the best way to protect individuals against the effects of COVID-19. Please encourage students and staff to get vaccinated. We strongly encourage districts and schools to host mobile vaccination clinics to continue to provide access to vaccines and boosters for staff and students. Schools can request vaccination clinics through this online form.



I am grateful for your diligence and resourcefulness over the last two years, including using our testing program as one of many important mitigation strategies to maintain in-person learning for our students.




Covid Testing Update (5-24-2022)

DESE Protocol as of 3/3/2022

First page of the PDF file: 3322DESEupdatedprotocols


Consent For All COVID Testing

Only use this link if you are providing consent for the first time.

 (Families & Staff)

ESSER III Implementation Plan

Back to School Health & Safety Plan