StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit - NC COVID-19 

RCS COVID Protocols - Updated February 21, 2022

  • Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference on Thursday, February 17, 2022 regarding mask mandates for schools.  He strongly encouraged all schools and school systems in North Carolina to end mask mandates by March 7, 2022.  Governor Cooper stated that the number of new Covid cases are down and continue to trend down.  He said that the Omicron Variant overran the nation quickly and it was a less severe virus.  The number of new Covid cases statewide are less than 10%.

  • On Friday, February 18, 2022 the Roxboro Community School Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the mask policy at RCS to “Masks Optional” beginning on Monday, February 21, 2022.

  • Handling Possible, Suspected, Presumptive, or Confirmed Positive Cases of COVID-19 

    • Students, teachers, and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19, should stay home and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care. 

    • Staying home when sick is essential to keep infections out of schools and prevent spread to others. 

    • For students, staff, and teachers with chronic conditions, symptom presence should represent a change from their typical health status to warrant exclusion from school. 

    • Occurrence of any of the symptoms below while a student, teacher, or staff member is at school suggests the person may be referred for diagnostic COVID-19 testing or evaluation. 

      • Fever or chills 

      • Cough 

      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 

      • Fatigue 

      • Muscle or body aches 

      • Headache 

      • New loss of taste or smell 

      • Sore throat 

      • Congestion or runny nose 

      • Nausea or vomiting 

      • Diarrhea 

  • If a person tests positive for COVID-19:

    • Person can return to school when 

      • It has been at least 5 days after the first day of symptoms; AND 

      • It has been at least 24 hours since the person had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine); AND 

      • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. 

      • The person is not required to have documentation of a negative test in order to return to school. 

      • The person must continue to wear a mask for 10 days after the first day of symptoms to minimize the risk of infecting others.

  • On Thursday, February 10, 2022 the NCDHHS announced it is no longer recommending individual contact tracing and exclusion from school (quarantining) of asymptomatic people after an identified exposure.

  • N.C. Strong Schools Toolkit - Management of Individuals Potentially Exposed to COVID-19: 

    • As the pandemic evolves, the most effective and appropriate public health tools for the current phase of the pandemic should be applied. 

    • The best tools right now are: Getting vaccinated and boosted, masking, testing after exposure, ventilating areas, and staying home when sick. 

    • While contact tracing has been an important tool for slowing the spread of COVID at earlier points in the pandemic and remains important in certain high-risk congregate settings, individual contact tracing is a less effective tool for responding to the pandemic at this phase in other settings due to several factors that include:  

      • Emergence of variants with shorter incubation periods and more rapid transmission 

      • Most contagious periods prior to symptom onset and during the first few days of illness 

      • Large number of asymptomatic and less severe cases 

      • Many infections are never identified by public health agencies because persons with asymptomatic or mild cases may not get tested as well as the increasing use of over the counter at-home tests. 

      • Low proportion of all infections being detected or reported to public health during time when people are in their most infectious time period.

      • For the reasons stated above, the impact of individual contact tracing on transmission during this stage of the pandemic may be limited in school settings. 

      • Therefore, individual contact tracing and exclusion from school after an identified exposure (regardless of location of exposure) is no longer recommended statewide in K-12 schools, effective February 21, 2022. 

      • Although exclusion from school is no longer recommended following an exposure, when a COVID-19 case is identified in the school setting: 

        • Schools should notify potentially exposed students or staff so they can receive appropriate public health guidance, testing, and access to any resources that might be needed; notification can be on an individual, group, or school basis. 

        • People who have been notified of an exposure should: 

          • Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after the last known exposure. 

          • Be tested immediately if symptomatic, and on day 5 after exposure, unless the person tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days. 

          • Although exclusion is no longer recommended statewide for people who have been exposed but have no symptoms, schools should implement policies that allow asymptomatic students and staff to stay home from school for five days after a recognized exposure if they choose to do so. 

          • Students and staff who develop symptoms should follow isolation guidance listed elsewhere in the Toolkit.


Featured here is information about how to prevent infection and spread of COVID-19. Please remember to wear a mask, wait six feet apart and wash your hands frequently.