Communicable Disease News and Safety:

COVID Response and Other Communicable Health Concerns

September 2023 Update

Welcome to the start of another school year. It’s such an exciting time for everyone!

Unfortunately, back to school means lots of things: new adventures, new friendships, new subjects to learn…and new germs. While Illness is a normal part of childhood, we all need to work together to keep our school community as healthy and safe as possible.

We are seeing an uptick in Covid-19 cases with the new variants that are currently circulating.  Flu season will be here before we know it!  School Districts are STILL required to follow Communicable Disease Guidelines, which are designed to keep our school communities as safe and healthy as possible.


2.       Please refer to the Symptom Based Exclusion Chart on this site. It covers many common symptoms of illness and the minimal time-frames that must be met prior to returning to school or work when you have symptoms of illness. Direct Link to chart:

  • If you are unsure if you should send your child to school, Contact the Your School Office or the District Nurse BEFORE sending them.  District Nurse:

  • We are still asking people that have symptoms of Covid, to test.

  • Please know, that staying home the appropriate time frame if your child has symptoms, even if they test negative is still important. MANY people test negative the first 3 days of illness and then test positive, having gone into school and inadvertently exposing others.

  • If your child is staying home due to illness, please notify the school office, letting them know what specific symptoms your child is experiencing and when they began.  This information helps us to make informed decisions for the school community at-large and respond to potential outbreaks of ANY illness.


  • Notify the School Office.  We still track the number of staff and students at each site who are positive for Covid and work with our local health department if the need arises.

  • Your child’s return to school is primarily based on symptoms.  There is no longer a designated 5-day time frame to isolate.  They can return when:

    • Fever free for 24 hours without taking any fever reducing medications AND any other symptoms they have are improving/resolving.  (They have turned the corner and are feeling much better) *Please also check the symptom chart as there are minimal time frames for certain symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, which require you to stay home for 48 hours from the last episode or if they have a cough, it should be controlled. Also note, that some symptoms specify that they need to be improving for 24 hours.

  • We are strongly encouraging students that tested positive to mask at school for 10 days from when their symptoms began when they return.  We have high-risk students and staff at each of our sites and we need to be mindful of protecting them.


    • Please test them if you are able.  We do have a limited number of test kits available.

    • As long as they are negative and/or don’t develop any symptoms, they may attend school.  If the exposure was a close family contact, please consider having your child mask at school.

The same safety strategies that we exercised during the peak of the pandemic are still excellent ways to help reduce the spread of illness in our schools and we increase our efforts in the following areas during periods of high rates of illness:

  • Increasing handwashing and handwashing routines in the classroom.

  • Having hand-sanitizer easily accessible and available for students and staff

  • Establishing routines to clean or wipe down frequently touched surfaces

  • Distancing students whenever possible

  • Encouraging mask wearing when illnesses are circulating at a moderate or high level at the school site.

  • Sending sick or symptomatic students to the office/nurse to be isolated and sent home per the illness guidelines.



In addition to the Covid specific policies above, the Ashland School District has general policies regarding communicable diseases, links below.

Communicable Disease Policy: Students

Communicable Disease Policy: Staff

Communicable Disease Policy: General