Children with flu- and cold-like symptoms can attend school in California, no strict COVID policies in place


More and more schools are now allowing children to come in even if they have cold or similar symptoms, which is a big change from the COVID-19 days when kids had to stay home if they felt sick.

California rules are finally more relax

In California, the rules are now more relaxed, as the state health department’s website shows. Children can go to school or daycare with symptoms like a cough, runny nose, sneezing, stuffiness, or body aches, unless they have a fever, keep coughing uncontrollably, or find it hard to breathe.

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Kids who have a headache or a stiff, painful neck but isn’t due to a concussion or infection are allowed in school too, says the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Even those with pink eye can attend, as long as they don’t have issues like vision trouble, pain, or an injury.

It’s also fine for kids to go to school with a stomachache, except when there’s an injury, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever involved. Sometimes, students can even come with an earache, diarrhea, or wheezing, according to the health guidelines. California has updated its advice for people who test positive for COVID-19, the CDPH shared in a message.

People who test positive should still watch their symptoms and stay home if they have a fever and feel sick, but the strict quarantine rules are no longer in place.

“Instead of staying home for a minimum of five days, individuals may return to work or school when they start to feel better, meaning that their symptoms are mild and improving, and they have not had a fever for a full day (24 hours) without the use of fever-reducing medication,” the CDPH told Fox News Digital.

The department still advises students who have COVID or respiratory symptoms to wear masks for 10 days.

Schools now allow kids to come in even if they have cold or flu symptoms, which is a big change from the COVID-19 days when kids had to stay home

California has eased up on its advice about COVID testing too

The agency explains that only people who have been close to someone with confirmed COVID-19 and don’t show symptoms need to test if they’re at high risk for serious illness or if they’re around others who are vulnerable to severe COVID-19.

The reason for these policy changes is that our situation with COVID-19 is now different, with less severe impacts thanks to widespread immunity from vaccines or past infections, and treatments for those who get infected are easily accessible, the CDPH mentioned.

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Boston also loosened guidelines

In Boston, Massachusetts, guidelines for when sick kids should stay home have also been loosened.

On the Boston Public Schools website, the district states that students can attend with “common” respiratory infections.

“If the child does not have fever, does not appear to have decreased activity or other symptoms, it is not necessary for the child to stay home,” the guidance says.

Kids who have thrown up once in the last 24 hours can go to school, but if it happens two or more times, they should stay home, the school district says.

Public health agencies’ recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps to stricter rules, saying that anyone with signs of respiratory or stomach infections like coughing, fever, sore throat, throwing up, or diarrhea should stay home.

The CDC also says people who think they might have COVID-19 should get tested right away.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) mentions on its site that kids should not go to school if they’ve had a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 24 hours, have been vomiting or had diarrhea recently, or aren’t feeling well enough to take part in school activities.

“If your child has been ill and is feeling better, but still wakes up with minor problems such like a runny nose or slight head­ache … you can send them to school if none of the three circumstances listed above is present,” the AAP stated.

The AAP also talks about the negative effects of missing school too much, like young kids not learning to read as well and older students being more likely to fail, get suspended, or drop out.

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“Chronic absenteeism is also linked with teen substance use, as well as poor health as adults,” the organization added.

Alex Burton
Alex Burton
Alex is part of US News Hub where he covers local news about Los Angeles and Long Beach. From LA crime news to local Long Beach events and happenings, Alex provides breaking stories keeping US News Hub readers informed and engaged.

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