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When to stay home

In this pandemic year, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has issued much more stringent guidelines about school exclusion. The following information should guide you as you determine whether your student should stay home or attend school:

Symptoms to stay home for:


Students with at least one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms are assumed to have COVID-19 and should be excluded from school and school-related activities and isolate at home. Fever is considered a primary symptom in middle and high school students. 

Student Primary Symptoms (at least one)

New cough • Difficulty breathing • Loss of taste/smell • Fever (≥100 degrees Fahrenheit) or chills 

Student Secondary Symptoms (at least two)

Extreme fatigue • Congestion/runny nose • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea • Sore throat • Headache • Muscle or body aches 


What does my student need to return to school?


If I choose not to test my student -OR- my student tests positive for Covid-19:

Students who exhibit at least ONE primary symptom or at least TWO secondary symptoms and are not tested or test positive for COVID-19 should remain out of school and all school-related activities for 10 days after their symptoms began and 24 hours after their fever (if present) has resolved without the aid of medication and their initial symptoms have improved.

If my student has a negative Covid-19 test (PCR type test only!):

Your student must meet the following criteria. If he or she:

  • Is tested for COVID-19 using a PCR test, and
  • The test result is negative, and
  • The student has no known exposure to Covid-19,

They may return to school 24 hours after their symptoms improve. As per the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, negative rapid antigen tests will not be accepted for school re-entry. If a physician indicates the symptoms are due to a non-infectious diagnosis (e.g., allergies, asthma), the child can be readmitted to school prior to their symptoms resolving. If a child has only one secondary symptom, the individual should be excluded for 24 hours after their symptom improves.


**If student has at least ONE primary symptom or at least TWO secondary symptoms, please provide:

  • a written or email copy of any covid-19 test results (Results must indicate type of test to be valid)       –OR–
  • doctor’s note with a non-infectious diagnosis.


What about other illnesses?


In addition to Covid-like symptoms, Students should remain home for certain other illnesses. To prevent the spread of disease and to protect your student, please keep your student home and/or make an appointment with your health care provider for the following symptoms:

  • eyes with inflammation, redness, and watery or purulent drainage
  • undiagnosed and/or untreated skin rash
  • any other communicable disease


What if a doctor diagnoses your child with the flu? Current recommendations from the JOCO Health Department, KDHE, & USD 232 are exclusion from school for diagnosed influenza for 5 days following the onset of symptoms (from the day when symptoms began, not the day the doctor gave the diagnosis.) 

To aid county wide influenza tracking, please give details about your student’s illness. If your student has flu-like symptoms or has been diagnosed with flu, please be prepared to provide:

  • Date symptoms started (and date of diagnosis if different)
  • Date of flu shot
  • Type of flu (Influenza A, Influenza B, Influenza AB or type unknown)

Johnson County Health & Environment Exclusion Recommendations