Current Environment:

As you know, we are experiencing an incredible increase in COVID-19 cases in our area and a very high volume of calls and messages to our office. We are providing this update to our families in the hopes of answering many of your questions.

The latest guidelines released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education are summarized below.

What to do if I get a POSITIVE COVID test:

A POSITIVE COVID test includes either an at home rapid antigen test, a rapid molecular test or a PCR test (types of tests).

Please note: in most circumstances we do not recommend any kind of confirmation test after a positive at-home test.

Everyone, regardless of vaccine status:

  • Stay at home for 5 days (rest, drink plenty of fluids, Tylenol for comfort)
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms have resolved after 5 days, you can leave your house
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days (this includes wearing a mask at home as well as outside the home). If you are unable to wear a mask, you must isolate at home for a total of 10 days
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until you are fever free for 24 hours
  • If you took an at home test and will need "documentation" of the test, please send a photo of the test with the child's name on it to us as a MyChart message.

Please note: the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) agrees with the above isolation guidelines (5 days at home, 5 days masked) and does not require a negative test to return to school.

Please call the office if your child experiences any "red flags":

  • Chest pain
  • Increased work of breathing/labored breathing
  • Concerns for dehydration
  • Fever (> 101) for more than 72 hours in child younger than 2 years of age
  • Fever (>101) for more than 120 hours (5 days) in child 2 years of age or older

If your child is over 12 years of age and plays a competitive sport the American Academy of Pediatrics, the NCAA and the MIAA recommend "Cardiac Clearance" to return to play after having COVID-19:

  • This applies only to children over 12 years old
  • An office visit should be scheduled at least 11 days after testing positive or onset symptoms as long as all symptoms have resolved prior to the visit:

What to do if you have had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, you have NO symptoms and you are fully vaccinated:

Fully vaccinated is defined as:

  • Have been boosted
  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine within the last 6 months
  • Completed the Primary series of the J+J Vaccine within the last 2 months
  • You do not need to quarantine, but you should wear a mask around others (including at home) for 10 days
    • If you are unable to wear a mask, you must isolate at home for a total of 10 days
  • Test on day 5 (if possible)
    • Positive rapid antigen tests are assumed to be positive and do not need confirmation
  • If you develop any symptoms, get a test and stay home

What to do if you have had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you have NO symptoms and are not fully vaccinated:

Not fully vaccinated is defined as:

  • Received only 1 dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine
  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine over 6 months ago and are NOT boosted
  • Completed the primary series of the J+J Vaccine over 2 months ago and are NOT boosted
  • Unvaccinated
  • You should stay at home for 5 days. After that, continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days
    • If you are unable to wear a mask, you must isolate at home for a total of 10 days
  • If you cannot quarantine, you must wear a mask for 10 days
  • Test on Day 5 (if possible) with PCR test preferred
    • Positive rapid antigen tests are assumed to be positive and do not need confirmation
  • If you develop any symptoms, get a test and stay home

Some frequently asked questions:

  • Can my child get a COVID vaccine anywhere?
    Yes. Pharmacies will be providing the exact same vaccine as we do and may have available doses. Check out the Mass DPH site, vaxfinder.mass.gov.
  • Can my child get the flu shot and the COVID vaccine on the same day?
    Yes. Your child can get the COVID vaccine and any other vaccines (including the flu vaccine) on the same day. If you sign up for one of our COVID vaccine clinics, we are unable to give flu vaccine at the same time due to time constraints and staffing.
  • Can the 2nd dose of COVID vaccine be given more than 3 weeks after the first?
    Yes Guidance from the CDC is clear. You should get your 2nd shot as close to 3-4 weeks after the first as possible, but up to 6 weeks (42 days) is acceptable, if necessary. Click here for a detailed answer from the CDC.
  • My child had a COVID infection, how long do we need to wait until he/she can get the COVID vaccine?
    Your child can get the COVID vaccine after having COVID infection once they have completed their isolation AND have recovered from the illness.
  • What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
    Basically, you quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus and may or may not have been infected. You isolate when you are sick or when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms. Please see the CDC website for more information.

Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?

Please see the links below for detailed answers to frequently asked questions from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

From the CDC:

From the DPH:

From the AAP:

Vaccine information sheets: