COVID FAQs for Parents

COVID FAQs for Parents, Spanish

1.  When should I keep my child home from school?  You should keep your child home for any illness including cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, fever of 100.4 or above, sore throat, runny nose  or congestion, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. You should keep your child home if someone who the child lives with (or has had close contact with) has tested positive for COVID-19 or has major symptoms of COVID-19.
Click here (Espanol) for guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health regarding when to keep your child home from school. 

2.  What should I do if my child is ill and needs to miss school?  Call your school’s attendance line and complete the illness and COVID-19 Exposure form located on your school's website main page. Watch your email for more information regarding your child's return to school.                             

3.  What can I expect if my child does not pass the daily health screening or becomes ill during the school day?  If your student demonstrates any of the symptoms listed above they will be sent to a designated isolation room in the school. You will be expected to pick up your student as quickly as possible. You will be given instructions on when your students can return to school.
Click here for guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health regarding the protocol for if a student becomes ill during the school day.                                                                                                                                                  

4.  When can my child return to school after an illness? If major symptoms last less than 24 hours, the symptom will need to stay resolved for an additional 24 hours before returning to school. For example,  your child wakes up with a cough on Monday morning and coughs until noon. He/She may attend school 24 hours after the cough stopped which would be noon on Tuesday. Your child must be able to wear a mask safely.  For a fever of 100.4 or above, your child will need to be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before returning to school. If your child had only minor symptoms including sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches. headache, fatigue, nausea or diarrhea and those symptoms lasted less than 48 hours, they may return to school if they can wear a mask safely.  Exception: Vomiting and diarrhea-if symptoms last less than 48 hours, your child can return to school 24 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea. If major symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, fever, or loss of taste or smell last beyond 24 hours, please keep your child home and follow up with your school's nurse consultant. Symptoms lasting beyond this point will require a negative COVID-19 test. In addition, the symptoms must have stayed resolved for 24 hours and your student must be able to safely wear a mask before returning to school. 

Click here for Colorado Department of Public Health guidance on returning to school. 

Click here for LPS Illness policy: How Sick is too Sick?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

5.  What if my child receives another diagnosis, ie..strep throat, influenza, etc.?  ​​Current research has demonstrated that COVID-19 and other diagnoses, like influenza and strep throat can occur at the same time and therefore be co-infections. In our current Level of community transmission, if a child has another diagnosis (i.e. strep, flu, etc.) they will also need a negative COVID-19 PCR test or to isolate at home for 10 days following symptom onset before returning to school.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

6.  What kind of COVID test should my child get?   A COVID-19 PCR test is the most reliable test. The only rapid test we can accept is a Molecular rapid test. Per state guidelines, we can NOT accept a rapid antigen or antibody test. Because of the differences in rapid tests, you will need to provide a copy of the rapid test results to the school's health office.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

7.  What should I do if my child tests positive for COVID 19?  If your child then has a positive COVID-19 test, please call your school’s attendance line and fill out the illness and COVID-19 Exposure form on the school's website. Your school nurse consultant may contact you. Your student will need to be in home isolation for 10 days following symptom onset AND 24 hours fever free without use of fever reducing medications.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

8.  What if I choose not to get a COVID test for my child?  If your child has major symptoms lasting beyond 24 hours or minor symptoms lasting beyond 48 hours and you choose not to take your child for a COVID test, your child will need to stay at home in isolation for 10 days post symptom onset.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

9.  What should I do if my child has been around someone outside of school who has tested positive for COVID-19?  Anyone who has been in direct contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19  will need to quarantine for 10 days (14 days if a mask cannot be worn) from the last time they had contact with the infected individual. Please call your school’s attendance line and fill out the Illness and COVID-19 Exposure form on the school’s website. Direct contact is defined as: a) Being less than 6 feet apart for 15 minutes or more during a 24 hour period, while wearing a mask or, b) Being less than 12 feet apart for 15 minutes or more during a 24 hour period, without a mask.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

10.  What does quarantine mean?  QUARANTINE after an exposure means keeping a safe distance from others just in case symptoms begin at any point. It also means monitoring your health for symptoms.

11.  What are the instructions for quarantine? 

  • Do not go to school and do not attend childcare, including extracurricular activities
  • Avoid public places
  • Avoid traveling by airplan, ship, long distance bus or train
  • Avoid using public transportation or ridesharing services


12.  What can excuse my child from quarantine?  A positive COVID-19 PCR test within the 90 days PRIOR to quarantine.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

13.  Can my child be released from quarantine with a negative COVID test?  No, although current guidelines allow for different quarantine periods, Littleton Public Schools, in collaboration with Tri County Health Department, is implementing the 10 day quarantine. We are monitoring case numbers and outbreaks across the district to evaluate if the other quarantine guidelines could be implemented in the future. The 10 day quarantine period applies to all staff and students as long as they monitor symptoms during the quarantine period and masks are worn upon return to school following the quarantine.

Click here (Espanol) for more information from TriCounty Health Department                                                                                                                                       

14.  What if my child has a friend of a friend who tested positive for COVID-19? Contacts of contacts do not need to quarantine. In this situation, your child will not need to quarantine unless that person they were around begins to develop symptoms within 48 hours of the last time your child was with them. 
Example: My husband was around a coworker who tested positive. My husband now needs to quarantine for 14 days but my children and I do not unless my husband begins to develop symptoms. 

15.  How will a decision be made to quarantine a cohort? Littleton Public Schools is working closely with the Tri County Health Department to determine when quarantine of a cohort of students is needed. Quarantine is recommended if a student or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 or is a probable case of COVID-19 and was present at school during the 48 hours prior to symptom onset. 

16.  How will a decision be made to close a school? 
There are several situations which might lead to closure of a school. These include: 
- Five or more classroom/cohort outbreaks have occurred within a 14-day period
- 5% or more unrelated students/teachers/staff have confirmed COVID-19 within a 14-day period
- Additional time is needed to clean the school before students/teachers/staff return.
- Additional time is needed to gather student/teachers/staff illness data and confer with public health.
- A school cannot operate because a large number of students/teachers/staff are absent. 

Additional resources: 
Cases and Outbreaks, CDPHE Guidance
Free COVID 19 Testing Sites