District Updates » COVID-19 Information: 2023-2024

COVID-19 Information: 2023-2024

Everett Public Schools COVID-19 Information 2023-2024 School YearThe COVID-19 pandemic has stabilized over the past year regarding the level of risk of severe sickness or death, and there is widespread access to vaccines, effective treatments available for those at higher risk for severe illness, and availability of rapid self-tests.  As a result, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) and the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) issued guidance in August 2022 (DPH link / DESE link) based on an update from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regarding how schools should approach operations. Everett Public Schools will continue to follow the most recent MA DPH and DESE guidance.  Below is a summary of our current guidelines:

1) Vaccination and boosters remain strongly encouraged by medical and public health authorities as the best way to protect against the effects of COVID-19. 

2) Masking inside school buildings and offices continues to be optional for all members of the school community, except for those within school nurse health offices, where the nurse may require masking for students displaying COVID-19 related symptoms.  The individual decisions to mask made by students, families, and staff will be respected.

3) Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for five days, with Day Zero being the day symptoms began (or the day of the positive test, if asymptomatic).  If symptoms are resolved or improving and the individual has been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine, they may return to school on Day 6 but should continue masking through Day 10 (however, those who have a subsequent negative test on Day 5 or later do not need to mask – see MA DPH guidance for details).

4) Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 but who are asymptomatic are no longer required to quarantine, regardless of vaccination status; however, masking is recommended through Day 10 after exposure.  Individuals who have been exposed and who have symptoms but who then test negative may remain at school, and should wear a mask until the symptoms resolve.  Testing is recommended on Day 6 after exposure and sooner if experiencing symptoms before Day 6. 

5) School building ventilation systems will continue to be utilized in the same manner as in the earlier stages of the pandemic.  Those in spaces without windows should utilize the provided air purifiers.   

6) To reduce the chances of transmitting COVID-19 or other illnesses, individuals should practice good hand hygiene and encourage this with students, and should use good judgment regarding staying home and getting tested if exhibiting symptoms: 
  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Headache, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies), when in combination with other symptoms
EPS will update guidance and practices, if necessary, based on the continued evolution of the pandemic.