Communicable diseases are infectious diseases that pose a threat to public health, including emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, vaccine preventable agents, bacterial toxins, and pandemics.
Depending on the illness, schools are required to distribute exposure notices, exclude a child from school, and/or call the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.
Reportable illnesses and exposure notices can be found at the Santa Clara County Public Health Department Exposure Notices for Schools and Child Care webpage.
COVID-19 testing will be available for students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or are exposed to a person who has tested positive with COVID-19. Take Home Rapid Tests are available in the school offices until test kits run out. On-site testing will be available at the following locations for students and PAUSD staff:
25 Churchill Avenue
Monday – Friday
8:00 am – 4:30 pm
COVID-19 symptoms include: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, sore throat, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Person with a COVID-19 Positive Test
- Date of positive test or symptom onset is considered Day 0.
- Isolate through at least Day 5.
- May return as early as Day 6, with no fever for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medication, no symptoms, or mild symptoms improving.
- Staff must wear a mask when around others until Day 11.
- Students are encouraged to wear a mask when around others until Day 11. They may remove their mask after two negative tests 24 hours apart.
Close Contact to a Person with COVID-19
- May continue to attend school as long as they are not symptomatic.
- Students and staff are recommended to test 3-5 days after exposure, unless they had COVID in the last 30 days.
- Students and staff with symptoms must stay home and get tested immediately.
- Those with symptoms can return if test is negative once symptoms improve and no fever for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medication.
In the event that a case of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is reported at any PAUSD school, the PAUSD nursing team works very closely with the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health to respond to and prevent cases of pertussis from spreading. The PAUSD nursing team uses the public health department's protocol to ensure the health and well- being of all PAUSD students. Please use the following resources to learn more about Pertussis and how to prevent it:
- California Department of Public Health - Pertussis (whooping cough)
- California Department of Public Health - Pertussis Quick Sheet / Spanish
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - About Pertussis
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccine Recommendations
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Tdap Vaccine Information Statement / Spanish / Chinese Traditional / Other Languages
Monkeypox (MPX) and Schools FAQ (source CDC)
Should settings serving children and adolescents worry about MPX?
At this time (updated 8/25/22), the risk of MPX to children and adolescents in the United States is low. MPX virus can infect anyone – including children – if they have close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact with someone who has MPX. Although less common in the current outbreak, MPX may also spread by touching contaminated objects (such as toys or eating utensils), fabrics (clothing, bedding, sleeping mats, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with MPX.
Should students, staff, and volunteers get vaccinated against MPX?
At this time, there is no need for widespread vaccination for MPX among children or staff at K-12 schools or early childhood settings.
Should a student, staff, or parent/guardian with a rash get tested for MPX?
Currently, the risk of MPX to children and adolescents is low. Several illnesses can cause a rash and fever in children, such as hand-foot-mouth disease and chickenpox (varicella). For a child without a known exposure to MPX, a fever and rash should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. A healthcare provider can determine what treatment or testing the child needs. It is important to avoid stigma and fear-based exclusion of children and adolescents.
There are also multiple potential causes of rashes in adults. Parents, teachers, and staff members should understand the symptoms of MPX and see a healthcare provider if they remain concerned.
What should I do if my child or I has a known exposure to MPX?
The Public Health Department will provide guidance for people exposed to MPX on how to monitor for symptoms. Unless a rash develops after exposure, there is not currently a test for MPX. If a rash develops, an individual should follow isolation and prevention practices until (1) the rash can be evaluated by a healthcare provider, (2) testing is performed, if recommended by the healthcare provider, and (3) results of testing are available and are negative.
If a child, parent, or teacher is being monitored for MPX due to an exposure, refer to “What should we do if someone being monitored for MPX develops symptoms?” for what to do in these situations.
When can someone with MPX return to school?
MPX causes a rash with lesions that eventually scab over. People with MPX should follow isolation and prevention practices until all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of healthy skin has formed. This may take as long as 4 weeks after symptoms began. Parent(s)/guardian(s) should work with a healthcare provider and the Public Health to decide when the child or adolescent can return to the educational setting.
Staff or volunteers who have MPX should isolate and be restricted from the workplace according to CDC’s isolation and prevention practices.
For more information about MPX, please visit these Public Health webpages:
Lice are common age-old pests that are easily transferred from person to person. All age groups and localities are susceptible. If you discover a lice problem, please call your school office to help us keep the problem under control. Parents are encouraged to check their child's head for lice at home on a regular basis throughout the school year.
For help with treating head lice, please view the videos from HeadLice.org, the California Department of Public Health brochure, and A Parent's Guide to Head Lice (Spanish), also available at your school office.
The problem of pediculosis, or head lice as it is more commonly known, is ongoing and requires education and treatment. However, head lice do not pose a risk of transmitting disease and are not a threat to health.
Recent research indicates that neither NO NIT policies nor mass school screenings prevent or shorten the length of lice outbreaks at school. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the California School Nurses Organization (CSNO) all oppose the NO NIT policy as well as mass school screenings.
The goals of the PAUSD policy is to include community education regarding prevention and management of head lice, early detection and prompt treatment of students with head lice, minimizing disruption to the educational program, and reducing student absences.
The brochure A Parent's Guide to Head Lice (Español) containing information regarding prevention, screening, recognition, and treatment of head lice is available at each school through the Main Office or Health Office.
Parents/Guardians may view educational videos at HeadLice.Org
If you have questions please contact Health Services.