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TUSD updates health guidelines following official end of COVID emergency

Almost three years to the date of its proclamation on March 4 of 2020, California’s COVID-19 State of Emergency officially came to an end on Feb. 28. The end of the state of emergency has prompted several changes to pandemic-era public health orders related to vaccines, masking, isolation and quarantine, including in public schools.

On Monday, the Turlock Unified School District shared a message regarding the end of the state of emergency and how the California Department of Public Health’s updated guidance for K-12 schools will impact their 14 campuses.

As part of the new changes, those who test positive for COVID-19 beginning on March 13 must stay home for five days from symptom onset or the day they first tested positive. Individuals may return to school on the sixth day if they have improved symptoms or if they have no fever for 24 hours, regardless if they are doing any follow-up testing. Previously, isolation could only end if symptoms were no longer present and the person tested negative.

TUSD Covid dashboard
Prior guidelines also required campus community members to wear a facemask for 10 days once returning from their isolation period. New guidance now allows individuals to go maskless after two consecutive negative tests taken at least one day apart.

Amid the new guidance, students or staff members who develop symptoms of COVID-19 must still report potential exposures to their school at Antigen tests will continue to be offered for free at all school sites, while the district will have testing available to students and staff at the Child Nutrition Education Center at 1901 Auto Mall Dr. from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, though insurance is required.

For those who test positive for COVID-19 and if they were present on any of the TUSD campuses, potential exposure locations and time will be uploaded to All confirmed COVID-19 incidents related to Turlock Unified School District school sites will continue to be posted on TUSD will also continue to follow all CalOSHA requirements for safe school and workplace environments, including reporting outbreaks to Stanislaus County Health Services Agency.

“We are thankful to be entering a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic which better aligns with our efforts to return to a more normal school year,” said Marie Russell, director of communications, family engagement and outreach at TUSD. “We appreciate your patience and support.”