COVID Information for the 2021-2022 School Year

School Mask Requirement Extended:

January 10th, Commissioner Riley announced that he is extending the mask requirement in schools through Monday, February 28. The Department will continue to work with medical experts and state health officials to evaluate the mask requirement beyond February 28. The 80 percent threshold policy (download) remains in effect, and documents related to that, including the attestation form, are posted on DESE’s COVID-19 Guidance page.

Updated Flowchart and New FAQ:

Following the release on Thursday, December 30 of updated DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios, DESE released updated flowcharts on Wednesday, January 5 and a new FAQ (download) on Thursday, January 6 that addresses the updated protocols, affirms that people returning from quarantine and isolation can remove their masks to eat meals, and states that “fully vaccinated” in DESE guidance is still defined as two weeks following the completion of the Pfizer or Moderna series or two weeks following a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

COVID-19 symptoms

 Below is the full list of symptoms for which caregivers should monitor their children, and staff should monitor themselves and refer to the COVID protocol flowchart to see what testing and quarantine is required, please click here for the flowchart.

 Unvaccinated individuals and any close contacts presenting these symptoms should follow testing and quarantine response protocols in the above link.

 Vaccinated individuals who are not close contacts should follow the testing and quarantine response protocols if they are experiencing symptoms in bold. These individuals may also seek clinical guidance to assess the need for PCR testing if they have other symptoms on this list.

 COVID-19 symptoms list:

            * Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills

            * Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

            * New loss of taste or smell

            * Muscle aches or body aches

            * Cough (not due to other known causes, such as a chronic cough)

            * Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms

            * Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms

            * Headache when in combination with other symptoms

            * Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms

            * Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms