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How Sick Is Too Sick?

When Children and Staff Should Stay Home from School or Child Care 

Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment logo

At Jeffco Public Schools, we follow the recommendations from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on when is too sick actually too sick to go to school, work, or child care.

During Colorado's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, children and staff who have been exposed to a positive case or who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 listed below, must follow the Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools.

MAJOR SYMPTOMS of COVID-19
  • Feeling feverish, having chills or temperature of 100.4° F or greater
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • New or unexplained persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
MINOR SYMPTOMS of COVID-19
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea

There are five main reasons to keep sick children and adults at home:

1. Someone who the child lives with or the staff lives with (or has had close contact with) has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or has symptoms of COVID-19.

2. The child or staff member does not feel well enough to take part in usual activities. For example, a child is overly tired, fussy or will not stop crying.

3. A child needs more care than teachers and staff can give while still caring for the other children.

4. The symptom or illness is on this list, and staying home is required.

5. Someone who the child lives with or the staff lives with is being tested for COVID-19.

Remember, the best ways to stop the spread of infection is through good hand washing and staying home when sick.


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