School Guidance

Updated 12/21/2021

Montgomery County is currently experiencing a high level of community transmission, and mask-wearing continues to be an effective strategy for minimizing the spread of COVID-19–particularly in settings in which individuals are not vaccinated. At this time, Montgomery County Office of Public Health encourages schools to continue to require mask-wearing as recommended by the CDC.

Selecting a Safe Face Mask

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) plan have aligned practices and policies for safely operating schools with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) in collaboration with Montgomery County Superintendents have developed recommendations for the Montgomery County School community to prevent disease transmission in the school environment.

COVID-19 School Exclusion Chart (English) (Updated 11/1/2021)

*Posted 11/22/2021 

CDC Symptoms for Covid-19

Test to Stay

Test to Stay (TTS) is a COVID-19 prevention strategy that allows individuals who are identified as a close contact to a case of COVID-19 to continue to attend school and participate in extra-curricular activities in modified quarantine for 7 days after the last day of exposure. To participate in TTS, individuals will need to opt-in to completing an antigen testing cadence for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 virus), remain symptom-free, and test negative to be able to remain in school and participate in extra-curricular activities over their 7 day quarantine period. MCOPH has collaborated with the CDC, CHOP Policy Lab, and Montgomery County Superintendents to develop recommendations for the Test to Stay for Montgomery County Schools

CDC views Test to Stay as a promising practice. It is important for schools/districts implementing TTS to evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy. All schools/districts should have a system in place to internally track those participating in TTS to include demographic information, exposure information, and testing details. MCOPH has created a Sample MCOPH TTS Tracking Template of the information that should be included in school/district data collection.

COVID-19 Reporting to the Montgomery County Office of Public Health

For the 2021-2022 school year, the MCOPH will be implementing electronic reporting of Covid-19 cases associated with K-12 schools. Updates to this process will be made available soon. Please report positive cases to MCSchoolsCovid19@montcopa.org

At-Home Covid Testing

MCOPH only recognizes negative diagnostic Covid-19 test results that have been performed through CLIA -Certified healthcare providers. Negative results from over-the-counter (at home) tests will not be accepted for release of quarantine and return to school.

Seasonal Allergies or COVID-19? (Spanish)

  1. COVID-19 Testing
  2. Relevant Guidance
  3. Case Reporting, Quarantine, & Isolation

Below are several options for COVID-19 testing that are available for schools and families.