Steps to Take After Reporting a Case

Per the CDPH Reopening Framework, when there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case among students or staff the below actions must take place after the case has been reported to the Local Public Health Department. Click here for reporting directions.

Please note that after a case is reported to the County of San Diego, the Epidemiology Branch will follow up with the school as needed. If a follow up is needed, the Epidemiology Branch may provide the school with tailored recommendations or additional instructions. The below list is the minimum required steps all schools must follow per the CDPH Reopening Framework regardless of a follow-up from the Epidemiology Branch.

1.     Isolate case and exclude from school for at least 10 days from symptom onset or test date:

2.     Identify contacts (†), quarantine & exclude exposed contacts (likely entire cohort (††)) for 14 days after the last date the case was present at school while infectious:

  • If needed, see the ‘COVID-19 Epidemiology Consultation’ directions from the COVID-19 Communication for Schools with County San Diego Epidemiology Branch
  • Home Quarantine Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • (†) A contact is defined as a person who is <6 feet from a case for >15 minutes. In some school situations, it may be difficult to determine whether individuals have met this criterion and an entire cohort, classroom, or other group may need to be considered exposed, particularly if people have spent time together indoors.
  • (††) A cohort is a stable group with fixed membership that stays together for all courses and activities (e.g., lunch, recess, etc.) and avoids contact with other persons or cohorts.

3.     Recommend testing of contacts, prioritize symptomatic contacts (but will NOT shorten 14- day quarantine):

  • Staff testing
    • School personnel should contact their school or school district for information on receiving a test. Learn more about the school staff only testing sites here.
    • All school personnel-only sites will be available without an appointment to maximize availability.
    • School employees may also be tested at any of the county’s public testing sites although they will not receive priority over other users.
  • Student testing
    • It is always recommended that parents first contact their child’s pediatrician for testing advice.
    • Children ages 6 months and up can be tested at all county coordinated sites.
    • Call 2-1-1 to find and schedule a test.
    • Many youth and their caregivers can receive testing through the COVID-19 Collaborative for Children in partnership with Rady Children's Hospital. Contact your Rady pediatrician or e-mail for more information.
    • Youth and caregivers covered by Kaiser Permanente should consult with their pediatrician or physician provider directly, or through

4.     Disinfection and cleaning of classroom and primary spaces where case spent significant time:

5.     School remains open depending on the number of cases:   

  • CDPH Reopening Framework describes the scenarios for when a school would remain open or would close and will help you understand who to contact and help with the decision-making regarding excluding cohorts (close contacts) from campus:
    • “Individual school closure is recommended based on the number of cases, the percentage of the teacher/students/staff that are positive for COVID-19, and following consultation with the Local Health Officer.  Individual school closure may be appropriate when there are multiple cases in multiple cohorts at a school or when at least 5 percent of the total number of teachers/student/staff are cases within a 14-day period, depending on the size and physical layout of the school. The Local Health Officer may also determine school closure is warranted for other reasons, including results from public health investigation or other local epidemiological data”.
  • The San Diego County Epi School Team remains available for consultation regarding school and district closures, see the ‘COVID-19 Epidemiology Consultation’ directions from the COVID-19 Communication for Schools with County San Diego Epidemiology Branch

6.     Notify the School Community of a Known Case: