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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Families

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(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Vaccinations)
(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Testing)
(CLICK HERE for COVID-19 risk mitigation)
 (CLICK HERE for Quarantine Academic Support)

What do I do if my child has COVID-19 symptoms?
Anyone who is ill should quarantine/isolate at home and get tested. Notify the school if your test is positive. Students who have symptoms but do not test for COVID-19 may be treated as a suspected case and required to isolate for up to 5 days. (For the CDC's list of COVID-19 symptoms, visit

What if my child has a positive COVID-19 test result?

Students who receive a positive COVID-19 test result should isolate at home and notify the school.  Students with a positive test result without symptoms, or asymptomatic, must isolate for a minimum of 5 days from the date the test is taken.  Those who have symptoms with a positive test result must isolate for a minimum of 5 days from the onset of symptoms.  A child with symptoms and a positive test result can return to school when a family member can ensure they can answer YES to all three questions:
1.  Has it been at least 5 days since the child first had symptoms?
2.  Has it been at least 24 hours since the child has had a fever (without fever reducing medicine)?
3.  Has it been at least 24 hours since the child’s symptoms have improved?

What are COVID-19 symptoms?  
(For the CDC's list of COVID-19 symptoms, visit
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
•    Congestion or runny nose
•    Cough
•    Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
•    Fatigue
•    Muscle or body aches
•    Headache
•    New loss of taste or smell
•    Sore throat
•    Nausea or vomiting
•    Diarrhea
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

What do I do if I know my child has been exposed to someone with COVID-19?
The CDC recommends those with a known exposure wear a mask when around others, get tested at least 5 days after the exposure, and immediately isolate if symptoms appear.  

Where can I get my child tested for COVID-19?
There are many places to get tested which include pharmacies, health departments, urgent care centers.  The RCPS website is updated often with COVID testing information. Visit   

Can I use a home test to see if my child has COVID-19?
Home tests are not accepted as reliable by the CDC and Department of Public Health at this time. Therefore, a home test result will not be accepted for school purposes.  

Where do I get more information about COVID-19 vaccine sites?
Vaccines are now available for everyone ages 5 and up. There are many places to get a COVID-19 vaccine, including pharmacies, Wal-Mart, health departments, some physician offices including pediatricians, and vaccine events that are held throughout the community.  RCPS partners with Kids’-Doc-On-Wheels and the GNR Health Department to provide vaccine events at convenient school system locations.  The RCPS website is updated often with vaccine information. Visit

If my child has COVID-19, does he/she need a negative test to return to school?
The CDC does not recommend a test-based strategy to return to school or work since many people may test positive for months after their initial illness.  The recommendation is to isolate for 5 days from the onset of symptoms or for those who are asymptomatic but had a positive test, 5 days from the date the test was taken.  More information on this topic can be found at  

How will my child keep up with assignments and schoolwork during quarantine / isolation?
CLICK HERE for more information on QUEST (Quarantine Education for Students) and live, 24/7 online tutoring help at Please communicate directly with your school and teachers for assignments during quarantine. Students and teachers will continue to use the itsLearning platform for applicable grade levels. RCPS plans to acquire additional resources to help students who are quarantined for an extended time and will communicate with families as soon as they are available.

How can I learn more about the mitigation measures in my school to reduce the spread of illness?
RCPS takes a multi-layered approach to reducing the spread of COVID-19.  Some of them include optional mask wearing while indoors, frequent handwashing, hand sanitizer is available, upgraded ionization ventilation systems, enhanced cleaning protocols, and COVID-19 testing and vaccine opportunities.  For more in-depth mitigation measures, please review our Return to Campus Guidebook at