Below you will find the Salem Public Schools COVID-19 guidance for the launch of the 2022-23 school year.  We have aligned our procedures to the most recent public health guidance.  Please note that, in collaboration with the Salem Board of Health and SPS health advisors, we will regularly revise these protocols to reflect the latest public health information and to be responsive to the prevalence of the virus in our community.   

Prevention/Mitigation Strategies*:

  • Staff or students with signs or symptoms of viral illness must remain at home and test for Covid-19 until symptoms resolve.  
  • Staff and students are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and boosted according to the following schedule. 
  • Handwashing or hand sanitizing will be available and highly encouraged throughout the school day.
  • When the weather allows, windows will remain open to promote air circulation, and students will have the opportunity to eat lunch outside.  
  • Classroom and office spaces will continue to be provided with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.  
  • SPS will continue to provide (KN95 and surgical) masks to students and staff who wish to wear masks in schools.  Masks must be worn in SPS nursing offices.  

*Please note – Further mitigation and prevention strategies may be necessary during the school year should viral community levels increase.

Isolation and Exposure Protocol

  • Quarantine for exposure to Covid-19 is no longer required nor recommended for children or staff in school settings, regardless of vaccination status or where the exposure occurred. Those that are able to mask should do so until Day 10, and it is recommended that they test 6 days after exposure. If symptoms develop, please follow the guidance for symptomatic individuals below.

When a Student or Staff Member Tests Positive: 

  • Isolate at home for at least five days (and mask when around others in the home) from the date of symptom onset or, if no symptoms are present, from the date of the positive test. (Please note: Should individuals develop moderate or severe symptoms, they should consult with their medical provider and continue to stay home, potentially beyond the five days).
  • After the 5-day period has passed, and if viral symptoms are improving and the individual is fever free without the use of fever-reducing or cold/flu medicine for at least 24 hours, they may return to work or school on day 6. A well-fitting mask must be worn through day ten while inside school buildings.
  • Please be advised that there will no longer be a remote instruction option available while a student is out of school due to testing positive for COVID-19.  

How to Determine ‘Day 6’ to Return to Work/School:

  • Day 0 = The day Covid symptoms began or, if no symptoms develop, the date of the positive test. 
  • Day 1 = The first day after symptoms began or, if no symptoms develop, the first day after a positive test.
  • Days 2 through Day 5 = Required isolation for all positive individuals.
  • Day 6 = Return to work/school with a mask if symptoms are resolving.  
  • Day 7 through Day 10 = Well-fitting mask required inside school buildings.

Point-of-Care Testing:

Should symptoms of viral illness occur during the school day, with parent or caregiver consent, SPS students can be tested at school for Covid-19. Consents for rapid testing will be distributed through a ParentSquare message at the start of the school year. Test kits are also available to staff and families free of charge. Please contact the school nurse at your child’s school to obtain a test kit if needed. 

Any questions about this guidance can be directed to the SPS Director of Nursing and Health Services or your child’s school nurse