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Return to School Protocols

Return to School Protocols

Confused about what to do when your child is showing signs of illness? You are not alone! Here is a quick summary of the current Durham Public Schools protocols.

  • If your child has any of the following symptoms, they need to stay home! Symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. The siblings of sick students should also be kept home. 
  • You have three options for sick children to return to school, whether they were kept home or were sent home from school:
    • a negative COVID (PCR) test result AND fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication AND symptoms must be improving, or
    • a doctor's note with an alternate diagnosis stating they are cleared to return to school AND be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication AND symptoms must be improving, or
    • if you are unable to provide one of the above, then the student will not be allowed to return for 5 days as we must assume the student could have COVID-19.
  • Siblings who do not have symptoms can return as soon as the sick child receives a negative COVID test result or an alternative diagnosis. 
  • When your child is absent for any reason, let us know! Send the teacher a message through Class Dojo or other preferred method of contact letting them know why your student missed school. 
  • To electronically send any testing results, alternative diagnosis, or other medical information, please send to:


Guidance from the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit for students who are fully vaccinated who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Person has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and is in one of the following groups:

• They are 18 years of age and have received their primary series AND booster, if eligible.

• They are between the ages of 5-17 and have completed a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.

Boosters are not required to meet this exception for this age group.

Person does not need to be excluded from school if they have had no symptoms after being a close contact to someone with COVID-19.

The person must continue to wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure to minimize the risk of infecting others and should get tested on day 5, if possible.

If you have been notified that your child was a close contact with someone with COVID-19 and they are fully vaccinated, you may complete the Vaccination Attestation form and submit a copy of the COVID-19 vaccination card to our COVID Nurse, Mrs. Worlu, at

Questions? Please let us know!
(919) 560-2695