Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How should I be preparing my child at home prior to school starting?

    1. Parents can start modeling positive behaviors regarding mask-wearing.
    2. If children have not been wearing masks, parents need to start mask-wearing training
    3. Give your child options when it comes to masks. Let them choose different colors, themes, etc. in hopes that choices will help with compliance.
    4. Parents need to express the importance of handwashing, hand sanitizing, cough etiquette (coughing and sneezing with mask on and into the elbow), social distancing, and not sharing materials. Teachers and staff will do this while students are in the building, but it will be helpful if they are hearing it from their parents before coming into school.
  2. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    1. Fever of 100 degrees or higher, cough of more than one day not attributable to other causes; sudden unexplained shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; chills; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea; and/or loss of appetite.
  3. What if a child is sent home with symptoms of COVID-19?

    1. If a child displays a fever OR two symptoms of COVID-19, parents will be contacted to come and pick child up within an hour of the call.
    2. The nurse will escort the child to the car and two forms will be given to the parent/guardian picking student up. One of the forms will be a letter regarding COVID-19 testing locations and what to do once you get test results.
    3. The second form will be a return to school or work plan that will need to be filled out by your child’s physician before returning to school.
    4. Siblings will be sent home as well.
  4. What if a family member tests positive for COVID-19?

    1. Individuals who live in the same household as the infected person are considered close contacts. Household contacts need to self-quarantine (stay home) and monitor for symptoms while the infected person is home AND for 14 days after the infected person has been released from isolation (because exposure is considered ongoing within the house). If the household member is able to have complete separation from the infected person in their house with COVID-19 (this means no contact, no time together in the same room, no sharing of any spaces, such as the same bathroom or bedroom), then they should follow the timeframe for non-household contact.

  5. What if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

    1. f a student tests positive for COVID-19, the parents should contact the school and let the school nurse know as soon as possible that there is a positive result. Name of student will not be exposed.

    2.  The school will send out a notification about the positive case.

    3. Those considered close contacts will be contacted by the health department or school nurse and will be told to quarantine for 14 days.

  6. What if a teacher tests positive for COVID-19?

    1. The school will send out a notification about the positive case.

    2. Those considered close contacts will be contacted by the health department or the school nurse and will be told to quarantine for 14 days.

  7. What are the rules regarding facemasks?

    1. On August 27, 2020, in consideration of the recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), and the Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD), the School Board adopted an emergency Policy on Masks and Acceptable Face Coverings for all students, staff, visitors and vendors, and children and staff in ACPS child care programs.

    2. Masks will be worn at all times in the building and on school grounds including the playground during recess, on the school bus, and at the bus stops.  

    3. Students should be sent to school with a mask on and with a backup mask in a Ziploc baggie.

    4. Students must have facemasks that cover their nose and mouth

    5. A PowerPoint presentation about facemask training techniques will be posted on the Murray Elementary school page.

  8. What if a child is sent home with symptoms of COVID-19 and the family does not have a primary care physician or the child is not taken to the doctors?

    1. The child will not be permitted back to school for 10 days. After the 10 days, the student should be symptom free and fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.

    2. UVA General Peds have agreed to see children that are showing signs of COVID-19 and do not have an established pediatrician.

    3. Testing locations are available throughout the county. The school nurse or the health department can assist in finding a testing location.

  9. What if a family member is waiting on a test result?

    1. All family in the household should be quarantined at home until test results are back.

  10. What does “close contact” mean

    1. a person who is considered exposed to a contagious illness; for COVID-19 this is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes, is a household contact, or has been directly exposed to a cough, sneeze or saliva of a person with COVID-19

  11. Isolation vs. Quarantine

    1. Isolation- when a person who is ill with a contagious illness is asked to stay away from other; the isolation period for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 is 10 days from the onset of symptoms

    2. Quarantine- when a person who is not ill is asked to stay home because of a likely exposure to an infectious illness; the quarantine period for COVID-19 is 14 days

  12. When can my child return to school?

    1. If diagnosed with COVID-19 and has symptoms:

      1. At least 10 days have passed from the onset of symptoms; AND

      2. The individual has been fever-free for 24 continuous hours without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND

      3. Respiratory symptoms have improved.

    2. If diagnosed with COVID-19 and is asymptomatic

      1. Student should stay home until at least 10 days have passed since the positive diagnostic test result.

      2. If considered a close contact

      3. Student may return after the 14 day quarantine if student remains asymptomatic throughout the 14 day quarantine

  13. What if symptoms develop while the student or staff member are quarantined?

    1. If a student or staff in quarantine develops symptoms, they should obtain a COVID-19 test at the provider of their choice or the health department can help facilitate testing.

      1. If the test is negative, the individual must continue to quarantine until the 14-day quarantine

      2.  If the test is positive, the health district investigation team will provide instructions regarding isolation and seeking medical care if necessary.

  14. Please see example of a quarantine timeline in the table below

Scenario of exposure to COVID-19 Positive Person

Mandatory quarantine period

Example: If Exposure 9/1

Quarantine Ends:

No further close contact

14 days from last exposure


Ill person is household member but can isolate

14 days from when ill person begins isolation

9/15 if ill person isolates on 9/1

Quarantine started but additional close contact

Begin day 1 of quarantine again

Date of new contact + 14

(> 9/15)

Quarantine started but another member of

household becomes ill

Restart quarantine 14 days after last exposure to newly sick family member

Date of first day of symptoms of newly sick person + 14 (> 9/15)

Cannot isolate from ill person in household

14 days after ill person considered not contagious or 10 days > 1st day of symptoms plus fever-free for 24 hours and improvement of symptoms (or person tests negative on two tests spaced 24 hours apart)


Minimum: 9/25

Household contact/family member has close contact with ill person

Exposed person quarantines, but household does not.

If quarantined person develops symptoms, all family members quarantined pending testing results or diagnosis; i.e. we are not quarantining contacts of contacts



14 days from onset of symptoms as above