Early Return Requirements

  • Student or Staff Positive Test

    Isolation is required for all positive cases of COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status.  

    The recommended isolation period is 10 days from onset of symptoms or positive test.  SCDHEC has made provisions to allow for positive individuals to return early if they meet identified criteria.

    Positive viral test result (PCR or antigen) criteria for return (must meet ALL criteria for return):

    • Isolate for at least 5 days since symptoms started or positive test date if asymptomatic; AND
    • At least 24 hours since the person had a fever without fever reducing medications; AND
    • All symptoms of COVID-19 are significantly improving
    • Masks must be worn days 6-10
    • Parents/Staff must complete the Positive Student/Staff Early Return Jotform online for approval of early return date.  This form will fulfill the parent note documentation requirement.  

    Close Contacts

    If students or staff are maximally vaccinated**, they are not required to quarantine as long as they do not develop symptoms.  They MUST wear a mask for 10 days from the last date of exposure.  DHEC recommends vaccinated close contacts get tested on Day 5 even if they do not have symptoms. 

     Students or staff that have been identified as close contacts to a positive individual must be excluded from school until completing the recommended quarantine period:  

    1. Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms were reported during daily symptom monitoring

    OR

    1. Quarantine can end after Day 5 if a viral test is negative AND if no symptoms were reported during daily symptom monitoring
      • The viral test must be collected no sooner than Day 4, and quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than completion of Day 5. 
      • Masks must be worn days 6-10
      • Parents/Staff must complete the Quarantine Student/Staff Early Return Jotform online for approval of early return date.  Submission of a negative test result is required.

    Household Contacts

    If the child or staff member lives in the same household as a known case and cannot completely separate in their own space in the home: 

    *The close contacts quarantine period begins after the positive household member’s isolation period ends. The isolation period must be a minimum of 5 days and symptoms must be resolved.  

    If students or staff are maximally vaccinated or fully vaccinated, they are not required to quarantine as long as they do not develop symptoms.  They MUST wear a mask for 10 days from the last date of exposure.  DHEC recommends vaccinated close contacts get tested on Day 5 after initial exposure and again 5 days after the end of isolation for the person diagnosed with COVID-19 even if they do not have symptoms.