COVID-19 Testing Information for Students and Staff

There has been an increase in request for guidance clarification within the K-12 school community as to when a student or staff member can return to school after travel.   Per the outbreak response playbook pre-K-12 (referenced on slide 34), RIDOH recommends that the preferred method is to quarantine for 14 days after returning to RI from international travel or travel to a US state where > 5% of COVID tests are positive due to: 

• COVID-19 can develop any time between 2-14 days after exposure 

• A single negative test only indicates that you are negative at that point in time, but you could become infectious any time through day 14 

• Quarantining for 14 days before returning to school is the best way to reduce the chance of exposing the school community to COVID-19 

We acknowledge that RIDOH provides the general public with an exception that an individual may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within the 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island.  However, within the K-12 school community, RIDOH encourages school leaders to incorporate the quarantine approach into their LEA’s current protocols to reinforce a more conservative approach.  If you have any questions for further clarification, please email the EdOC at EDOC@ride.ri.gov