Staying Home When Sick – Communicable Disease Guidelines & Information
Symptoms requiring exclusion of a child from school or childcare setting until either diagnosed and cleared by a licensed health care provider, or recovery from illness.

Make sure to send children to school if they:

  • Are generally healthy and well.
  • Can participate in usual day-to-day activities. Children can even go to school if they:
  • Have a cold, which may include a runny or stuffy nose and cough.
  • Have eye redness without drainage, fever, eye pain, eyelid redness or vision changes.
  • Have a mild stomachache.
  • Have a rash that is consistent with a previously diagnosed skin condition, e.g., eczema or psoriasis.
  • Have head lice. Though they are annoying and should be treated, lice are not a reason to exclude a child from school.
  • Haven’t had a fever in 24 hours and they have not taken fever-reducing medicine during that time. Please see the back of this handout for details on when children should stay home.

Note that in many situations, a health-care provider’s note is not needed to return to school.

View or Download Guidelines

Health Guidance for Going to School
Guía de salud para asistir a la escuela
  • Fever

    A fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher in the last 24 hours.

  • Diarrhea

    3 loose or watery stools in a day or uncontrollable bowel movements.

  • Vomiting

    At least one episode that is unexplained. Stay home until 48 hours after last episode.

  • Rashes

    If the rash is new and undiagnosed by a health-care provider, is increasing in size, is draining and cannot be completely covered, or if I develop a fever.

  • Concerning Eye Symptoms

    A new and unexplained eye redness with drainage, fever, eye pain, eyelid redness or vision changes.

  • Difficulty Breathing or Shortness of Breath

    A new or persistent cough that interferes with their ability to participate in school activities, difficulty breathing or trouble catching of breath.

  • Concerning Cough

    Persistent cough that is not yet diagnosed and cleared by a license healthcare provider OR any acute (non-chronic) cough illness OR cough that is frequently severe enough to interfere with active participation in usual school activities. Stay home until 72 hours after cough resolves. If pertussis (“whooping cough”) is diagnosed by a licensed healthcare provider, student must be excluded from school until completion of a 5-day course of prescribed antibiotic or until cleared for return by the local public health authority. If COVID-19 is diagnosed, exclude until cleared for return by the local public health authority.

  • Stiff Neck

    Headache with a stiff neck and fever OR headache with recent head injury not yet seen and cleared by licensed health provider. Recent head injury: consider ODE concussion guidance.

  • Jaundice

    Yellowing of eyes or skin. May return after diagnosis by licensed health care provider and clearance given.

  • Behavior Change

    Unexplained uncharacteristic irritability, lethargy, decreased alertness, or increased confusion OR any unexplained behavior change accompanied by recent head injury not yet assessed and cleared by a licensed healthcare provider. In case of head injury, consider ODE concussion guidance.

  • Major Health Event

    May include an illness lasting more than two weeks; a surgical procedure with potential to affect vital signs or active participation in school activities; or a new or changed health condition for which school staff is not adequately informed, trained, or licensed to provide care. Student should not be at school until health and safety are addressed. School staff should follow appropriate process to address reasonable accommodations and school health service provision in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.



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