Last modified: October 18, 2021
Can Districts/schools require a COVID-19 vaccination?
NO. Vaccination for COVID-19 is not required for students or staff to attend K-12 public school or participate in extracurricular activities.
If I am fully vaccinated and was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, do I isolate and/or quarantine?
NO. Students and school staff who are fully vaccinated can continue in-person learning and participate in extracurricular activities, even if they are exposed to COVID-19.
If I am fully vaccinated and was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and I now have symptoms, do I isolate and/or quarantine?
YES. You should immediately isolate and get tested for COVID-19. Even if the symptoms are mild, it is important to be tested.
Fully vaccinated – means you are considered fully immune, or protected from the virus, 2 weeks after your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Exposure – means anyone who was within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes, to be exposed.
How do I know if I am considered fully immune, or protected from the virus?
You are considered fully immune, or protected from the virus, 2 weeks after your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Two-dose vaccines: 2 weeks after the 2nd shot (you need both shots to be fully protected).
- One-dose vaccines: 2 weeks after shot (you only need one shot to be fully protected).
This means you don’t have to quarantine if it has been 2 weeks since your final shot, even if you are exposed to someone who tests positive.
Do we need to wait 90-days after testing positive for COVID-19 to get vaccinated?
NO. You do NOT need to wait 90-days after testing positive to get vaccinated. You can get vaccinated as soon as you are no longer in isolation and your symptoms are improved.
If I test positive for COVID-19, even if I am fully vaccinated, do I need to isolate?
YES. You, anyone, should isolate yourself at home right away if you test positive for COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.
This means to stay home except to get medical care. You should not go to school, work, church, group gatherings, or extracurricular activities.
What if I am fully vaccinated and get symptoms of COVID-19 after an exposure?
Isolate right away and call a healthcare provider. Your doctor will decide if you need to be tested or if your health condition may be something else.
Can parents choose to have their child wear a mask at school if they want?
YES. In areas where there is no mask requirement, the decision to wear a mask at school remains optional.
Utah law outlines the process for health departments to establish mask requirements if needed. Utah law prohibits a “local education agency, an LEA governing board, the state board, the state superintendent, or a school from requiring face masks to attend or participate in in-person instruction, LEA-sponsored athletics, LEA-sponsored extracurricular activities, or in any other place on the campus of a school or school facility.” A health department could issue an order requiring masks in schools; however, the Legislature has set forth a process that must be followed which requires approval from the state or county elected officials as well as a 30-day limit on the order. The law also allows the Legislature or elected county officials to overturn an order at any time.
Exposure and Quarantine Questions
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, how long do we isolate?
- You should isolate until you have been:
- Fever-free for 24 hours, and
- Your respiratory symptoms have improved for 24 hours, and
- It has been at least 10 days since you first got sick.
- If you did not have symptoms, you should isolate for 10 days from the day you were tested.
If I am not fully vaccinated, and came into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do?
- Anyone who is not fully vaccinated and came into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should quarantine.
- Those not fully vaccinated should quarantine for 10 days from the last time they were in close contact with you during isolation.
Close contact – means you were closer than 6 feet or 2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) to a person who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or longer in a 24-hour period while they were infectious.
Are there quarantine recommendations after a school exposure?
YES. If you are exposed to someone at school who tests positive for COVID-19, you can continue to come to school if:
- You are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (2 weeks after your final dose), or
- You and the person who tested positive were both wearing masks, or
- You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, or
- You were wearing a N95 or KN95 mask, even if the person who tested positive was not wearing a mask.
What if I do not meet the criteria above?
For anyone who does not meet the criteria above, the standard protocol after an exposure is to quarantine. Quarantine at home if you are exposed to COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated.
You should not go to school, work, church, group gatherings, or extracurricular activities. Isolate and get tested if you get symptoms of COVID-19 after you were exposed, even if you are fully vaccinated or recently had COVID-19.
Under the standard quarantine protocol, when can I end quarantine?
This guidance does not apply to household contacts
- On day 10 without testing. You can end quarantine 10 days after the last time you had close contact with the person who tested positive if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19.
- On day 7 with a negative test result. You must wait at least 7 days after your exposure to be tested. You can end quarantine if your test is negative and you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Are there “other” quarantine options for schools to consider?
YES. It may be difficult for some students and families to quarantine at home for 10 days. It may also be hard to know who in a classroom was exposed. In order to support in person education while still trying to keep children and families healthy, options regarding K-12 school exposures have been developed. Local health departments and local education agencies (LEAs) may choose to offer other options to help students or staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 and may not be able to quarantine at home, while still protecting the other students and staff in the school.
Local health departments and LEAs will decide which quarantine options are recommended in their area. Recommendations may be different across the state.
Some local health departments and LEAs may have more than one option for students and staff who are exposed to COVID-19:
- Quarantine at home for 10 days.
- Quarantine at home for 7 days and then get tested. If you test negative and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can return to school.
- Wear a mask at school for 10 days.
- Wear a mask at school for 7 days and then get tested. If you test negative on day 7 you don’t have to wear a mask anymore.
If I am quarantined and start to get symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do?
No matter which option is chosen, if you get symptoms of COVID-19 after being exposed to someone who tested positive, isolate right away, call a healthcare provider, and get tested, even if your symptoms are mild or you have been vaccinated.
What if I was exposed to someone at home who has COVID-19?
If you are not fully vaccinated and live with someone who has COVID-19, you should quarantine at home for 10 days, even if you don’t have symptoms or test negative. You are at a much higher risk of getting infected with the virus. It can be very hard to stay isolated from people who have COVID-19 and live in your home. This means you may need to quarantine longer than 10 days if you can’t stay away from the person who is sick. Every time you come into close contact with the person who tested positive while they are infectious, your 10-day quarantine starts over because you were exposed to the virus.
If you are fully vaccinated and live with someone who has COVID-19, you can continue in-person learning and participate in extracurricular activities, even if you are exposed to COVID-19.
How will I be notified if my child was exposed to someone at school?
The school nurse will verify the positive results. The entire class/activity or sports team will receive a letter from the Utah County Health Department that explains your quarantine options. This letter will come to the email address that parents/guardians provided the school.
What if my child rides the school bus, will they be notified of an exposure at school?
Not necessarily. Notification will not usually occur. If exposures on the bus meet certain criteria, the notification will be handled on a case by case basis working with the Health Department and school nurse.
What if I have COVID-19 symptoms, should I get tested for COVID-19?
Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. You should not attend school or participate in extracurricular activities if you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you get symptoms of COVID-19, isolate right away, call a healthcare provider, and get tested for COVID-19, even if your symptoms are mild. Symptoms of COVID-19 may look like other common illnesses, like strep throat, colds, flu, or allergies.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
If you are fully vaccinated and get symptoms of COVID-19, isolate right away and call a healthcare provider. Your doctor will decide if you need to be tested or if your health condition may be something else. Being vaccinated will not make you test positive for COVID-19. This means if you test positive after you are vaccinated, you have COVID-19 and can spread the virus to others. This is rare, but can happen.
Anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 should get tested?
YES. Get tested if you came into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Stay home or follow your school’s quarantine options while you wait for your COVID-19 test results. You must finish your quarantine option even if your test results are negative and you don’t feel sick. From UCHD Epidemiology Department: The current guidance is for vaccinated individuals to test 3-5 days after a known exposure and for unvaccinated individuals to test 5-7 days after exposure.
Do I need to get tested if I’ve had COVID-19 within the last 90 days and am exposed to COVID-19 again?
NO. Unless you get new symptoms, then you should isolate and call a healthcare provider. You may need to get tested for COVID-19.
Test to Stay Questions
What is Test to Stay?
The goals of Test to Stay are to allow students and staff to participate in in-person learning as safely as possible while lessening the burden of quarantine on students and their families, teachers, and school administrators. For additional information on Test to Stay:
Is Test to Stay required by law?
YES. Utah Senate Bill 107 requires schools to do a Test to Stay event when:
- Schools with 1,500 or more students have 2% of their students test positive for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days.
- Schools with fewer than 1,500 students have 30 students test positive for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days.
When a school meets the Test to Stay thresholds, the LEAs in consultation with the local health department will work together to offer testing for all students. LEAs may request assistance from the UDOH for testing supplies, mobile testing units, and other support.
Are school employees required to participate in Test to Stay?
NO. School employees are not required to participate, but can do so if they choose.
Who determines when and how to implement a Test to Stay?
Schools will determine when and how to offer COVID-19 testing to students. When a school meets the thresholds outlined in Senate Bill 107, the LEA in consultation with the local health department will determine when and how to offer COVID-19 testing for all students.
What happens when a student tests as part of Test to Stay?
- Students must isolate themselves at home if they test positive, even if they had symptoms before the test or are fully vaccinated. They may return to in-person learning after they are done with their isolation period.
- May continue in-person learning if they test negative and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Students who did not participate should quarantine at home for 10 days. They may return to in-person learning after 10 days.
Is there a time when a student isn’t required to Test to Stay?
YES. Students who tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days do NOT have to participate in Test to Stay. Students who are fully vaccinated do NOT have to participate in Test to Stay.
Do schools have to get parental permission prior to testing?
YES. Before a COVID-19 test is administered to a student, the school must get written permission from the student’s parent or legal guardian.
Other COVID Related Questions
Is there State legislation that will impact the 2021-2022 school year?
YES House Bill 1007
- Does not allow a local education agency, an LEA governing board, the state board, the state superintendent, or a school to require face masks to attend or participate in in-person instruction, LEA-sponsored athletics, LEA-sponsored extracurricular activities, or to be in any other place on the campus of a school or school facility.
House Bill 308
- A governmental entity can’t require a person to get a COVID-19 vaccine that was authorized for use under Emergency Use Authorization as a condition of employment, or to participate or attend an activity of the governmental entity.
- This restriction would not apply to a COVID-19 vaccine that receives full authorization from the FDA.
Senate Bill 195
- The Governor and Utah Department of Health must provide 24-hour notice to the Legislature before declaring a Public Health Emergency or issuing an Order of Constraint. An example of an Order of Constraint includes requiring masks to be worn by all students in schools.
- A local health department must provide 24-hour notice to their county elected officials before declaring a Public Health Emergency or issuing an Order of Constraint.
- The Legislature or elected county officials may overturn a Public Health Emergency or Order of Constraint at any time.
- There is a 30-day maximum time limit on an initial Public Health Emergency or Order of Constraint. The Legislature or elected county officials must be provided 10 days notice if the DOH or LHD requests an extension of a Public Health Emergency or Order of Constraint.
- All new Public Health Emergencies and Orders of Constraint must follow the requirements of Senate Bill 195.
Senate Bill 107
- All schools in Utah are required to have at least 4 days of in-person instruction per week.
- Test to Stay is required in K-12 schools. Testing events should be done in coordination with the local health department and are required to take place when a certain number of students test positive for COVID-19 in a 14-day window. Schools can request assistance from the Utah Department of Health for Test to Stay events.