In accordance with guidance from the CDC, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, and California Department of Public Health, San Diego Unified will update these policies regularly.

Check back daily for new updates. Updated March 11, 2020 13:00

Current Understanding of Virus

  • Symptoms most commonly include: fever with cough or shortness of breath; Some people have fewer or no symptoms at all. Headache, sore throat, and runny nose also occur with this virus.

  • Children may also present with no fever, mild diarrhea and vomiting. They have fewer symptoms and problems.

  • Spread is most likely from droplets (cough and sneezing)

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers this a serious public health threat, but with health risk from this virus to be low at this time.

  • It is not yet known whether people carrying the virus, but have no symptoms, can spread the virus to others.

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days, or as long as 14 days, after exposure.

  • Most people with this infection will recover on their own. There is no specific treatment for novel coronavirus infection yet.

  • For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care.

What are Schools Doing?

The Nursing and Student Services Department continues to follow CDC guidance, as well the guidance from public health departments at the State and County levels to keep our student and staff populations safe and healthy.

School District Plans if Coronavirus Begins Spreading Locally

School district health team and administration already work collaboratively with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Department (our public health department). School district will follow all directives to reduce exposure in school. It is the public health department that decides on: quarantines, school closures, and exclusion policy, not the School District.

Current District Policy

1. All children and staff members with respiratory symptoms or fever (>100 F / >37.8 C) should remain home (from school and other activities) until they had no fever for 24 hours, without fever medication and respiratory symptoms are gone. If respiratory symptoms are not completely gone but they are improving and one week has passed since onset of illness, the student can return to school.

2. Students and staff members who present at school with fever and/or symptoms of a respiratory infection should be sent home.

  • Students who typically have coughs from underlying, known diseases (like asthma, allergies) may remain if there is no new symptom.

  • Until the person leaves school, you may place a surgical mask on that student or staff member if available and if tolerated.

  • If possible, keep that person isolated (students must still be visible and supervised by a staff member); otherwise try to keep a 3 to 6 foot distance between that student (or staff member) and others.

  • Persons excluded from school or work for fever may return to school when; (a) they have been free of fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications). In addition, (b) all respiratory symptoms must be fully resolved OR seven days have passed since the onset of symptoms and the individual’s symptoms have been improving (whichever is earlier).

  • Persons excluded from school or work for respiratory symptoms and who have not developed a fever may return to school when (a) all respiratory symptoms are fully resolved or (b) seven days have passed since the onset of symptoms and the individual’s symptoms have been improving (whichever is earlier).

3. Exclude students and staff members who have a travel history over the course of the last 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as Level 3 Travel Health Notice. This list can be found at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

  • As of date of this version, these countries are: China, Iran, Italy, South Korea (Japan is Level 2, travelers from Japan are not included in this restriction at this time). Check CDC website for most up to date information.

  • Exclude these people from school for 14 days, beginning the day they departed that country.

  • Schools are advised to find methods to provide educational support for students who are at home for these weeks, so that they do not fall behind. These students or staff members should stay at home and limit contact with anyone outside the home.

4. Healthy members of a household who did not travel, but where someone else from that household returned from CDC Level 3 country (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices) are not required to stay away from school as long as all members of that household are healthy (i.e., no new respiratory symptoms and no fever).

5. Students and staff members who have visited one of these countries within the past two weeks should be advised to call their doctors for instructions if they have fever or symptoms of respiratory infection.

6. Students should not be excluded from school or any school activities based on race or country of origin.

7. A student or staff member who has been in close contact with a person with a laboratory-confirmed case of 2019 novel coronavirus over past two weeks will be excluded from school until cleared by the local public health department.

8. If any student or staff member at school is suspected to have the virus (i.e., becomes a County Health Department “patient under investigation”; or “PUI”) for COVID-19, the school district will work with public health authorities who will collaborate with that student’s or staff member’s own physician to guide further restrictions and public notifications.

9. As a reminder, all student and staff health information is confidential and cannot be shared with other students or with school site staff. Confidential health information can be shared only with School District health team leaders and with the County Public Health Department.

10. When confirmed COVID-19 cases are reported to school officials (confirmed cases of students, school employees or their household contacts), the school site should assign one person to notify the Student Services office.

11. Any disease notification letters sent from school to the general school community and to schools’ parent community will always be cleared first with the District’s health leaders, and be done in consultation with the Public Health Department.

Basic Prevention of Virus Spread

  • Make sure all family members are up-to-date with their flu shots.

  • Promote basic hygiene:

    • Any coughing or sneezing should be directed into one's sleeve (inside elbow), rather than into hands or the air.

    • Wash hands after using and handling used tissues, after blowing nose, before/after eating, and after toilet use.

    • Wash for 20 seconds with soap, rub between fingers and under nails; and then rinse and dry. Use alcohol (60%+) hand gel if sinks are not readily available.

    • Avoid rubbing your own eyes, nose and mouth.

    • Schools should encourage hand washing (by students and staff) through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and the provision of adequate supplies

    • Do not share utensils, cups etc.

    • Stay home when sick.

    • Avoid contact with those who are sick.

  • Wearing of masks in public is not recommended for Americans by the CDC nor by our local public health department. It will be discouraged in schools. Handwashing is considered the best protection from infectious diseases.


Many students may travel with their families during the Spring Break. The following website should be checked before traveling: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices