Covid-19 Safety Measures & Quarantine Guidance

Regarding COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, joint guidance from MDH and MSDE recommended that public school systems work with their local health department on following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs.  Montgomery County DHHS serves as our local health authority and operates our school-based health services. MCPS works closely with DHHS on population health strategy and to ensure a comprehensive, community-based approach to the well-being of our public school students, their families, and our staff members.

Everyday prevention strategies are the foundation of our health and safety approach. Practiced consistently, these common-sense measures promote health and prevent the spread of illness.

Tips to keep our community safe

  1. Masks are not mandatory in most situations. The exceptions are:
    • Individuals who have been recently diagnosed with COVID who are returning to work and school after 5 days, per CDC guidelines, they should wear a mask until day 10.
    • In outbreak situations, temporarily, for those exposed to multiple cases in their classroom.
  2. Outbreak situations
    • Cohort: Three or more COVID-19 cases among students/teachers/staff in a specified group/class with onsets (or, if asymptomatic, collection dates) within a 10-day period, and who are epidemiologically linked in the school setting, but not household contacts. 
    • School-wide: Five or more cohorts with cases from separate households that meet the classroom/cohort outbreak definition that occurs within 10 days; OR 5% or more unrelated students/teachers/staff have confirmed COVID-19 within a 10-day period [minimum of 10 unrelated students/teachers/staff].
  3. Check your child for common COVID-19 symptoms every school day prior to sending them off to school. MCPS guidance is if a child is showing any possible COVID-19 symptoms, parents and/or guardians must keep the child at home and contact their medical provider.

    Common COVID Symptoms are:
    • Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
    • New onset of loss of taste or smell
    • New onset of severe headache
    • Diarrhea or vomiting
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
  4. COVID Testing – Over the Counter (OTC) test kits will continue to be provided by MDH to public and non-public schools upon request for the 2023-2024 school year. Schools can distribute these test kits to students and families at their discretion for diagnostic testing and/or screening testing. It is recommended that schools refer to CDC guidance in Considerations for SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Testing and Self-Testing at Home.
  5. Get Vaccinated – Certain immunizations are required for school attendance, as determined by the state health department, and are monitored by school-based staff. MCPS strongly recommends eligible students remain up to date on all CDC recommended immunizations that protect against infectious disease, including the COVID-19.  

For more information, visit the MCPS COVID-19 Dashboard: