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Updated Quarantine Timeline

January 20, 2022


Dear Springfield Public Schools Community:


We have continued to monitor the district and regional data related to COVID-19, as well as deeply review the guidance provided by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH).  Based on the updated guidance and decrease in positive cases among our students and staff, and in consultation with our local health officials, we are sharing updated COVID-19 isolation and quarantine timelines for our schools.   

Effective Friday, January 21, 2022, if an individual tests positive for COVID-19:

  • The individual will be excluded from school for at least 5 full days;

    • It is important to note, Day 0 is the day symptoms began or the date the test was administered;

  • In order to return on the 6th day, the parent/guardian or staff member will need to assure the school:

    • The individual has remained fever-free for 24 hours without a fever-reducing agent (i.e. Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen);

    • The individual has had an improvement in any COVID-like symptoms, i.e. headache, nausea, cough, congestion, sore throat, shortness of breath. 

  • Upon return to school, the individual must strictly wear a well-fitted mask including outdoors for the next 5 days upon their return to school.

    • Please note, this includes in all courses.  Students will be required to participate in non-aerobic activities in physical education, and will not participate in non-masked activities in music or other activities.  

  • During lunch, students may remove their mask only while eating or drinking, and then put the mask back on whenever not actively eating or drinking.  All students will continue to follow social distancing requirements while eating.

  • Families will continue to be allowed to utilize virtual instruction for ten (10) days, and should consult with their health care provider if symptoms persist. 


If an individual is symptomatic with COVID-like symptoms:

  • In the absence of a test, individuals will be required to follow the protocols above;

  • If the individual is tested by a laboratory-rapid test or PCR and receives a negative result, the individual may return to school when they provide the lab test results/ report to the school nurse as long as the individual is fever-free for 24 hours and additional symptoms have improved.  Please note:

    • An alternate diagnosis (i.e. positive strep test, influenza, etc.) absent of a negative PCR test is not acceptable for individuals who meet COVID-19 exclusion criteria to return to school earlier than the recommended exclusion timeframes.

    • The negative test must be a laboratory-rapid test or PCR and CANNOT be a home-based test unless the test is medically supervised and sent to a laboratory for processing.

As a reminder, the following protocols regarding close contact(s) remain in place: 

Unvaccinated individuals who are identified as a close contact in their household:

  • If asymptomatic, get tested at least 5 days after the initial exposure.  If the test (Rapid Antigen or PCR) is negative, the quarantine period can end after day 5.  

  • If symptoms appear, an individual must get tested and wait to return until after a negative test is received or the ten-day period has passed. 

Unvaccinated individuals who are identified as a close contact outside of their household;

  • If unvaccinated staff remain asymptomatic they will not be required to participate in a quarantine.

  • Unvaccinated staff must continue to participate in district testing protocols.

  • Follow social distancing protocols and correctly wear a well-fitting mask at all times.


Upon return, and for days 6-10 after their return, individuals will be required to follow the guidelines including:

  • Correctly wear a well-fitting mask at all times in the school environment or when in the presence of other individuals;

  • Follow social distancing protocols and remain separate from other individuals when eating or drinking.

Masking continues to be required for all students, staff, and visitors within our buildings as stipulated in Governor Murphy’s recent Executive Order No. 281

We were happy to expand our athletic program to include parents as spectators at home games this week.  We will continue to monitor our local and regional data to identify our next opportunities for expanding spectators.  In addition, we have reopened all after-school extracurricular activities to be in-person.  

Finally, as a reminder, virtual instruction is only permitted for COVID-related absences.  Students who are identified as close contacts, or report symptoms will remain allowed to participate in virtual instruction for the isolation/quarantine period.  Families with questions regarding their child’s symptoms should follow up with their school nurse.

Thank you for your continued support. 



Rachel Goldberg