COVID-19 Protocols

University School of Milwaukee works closely with a team of medical advisors and regularly reviews ongoing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Wisconsin's Department of Health Services (DHS), and the North Shore Health Department (NSHD). In addition, the school regularly consults with other area health departments as needed, as it serves students from nearly 60 different ZIP codes in Southeastern Wisconsin. USM also consults regularly with several respected pediatric physicians who have school ties.

The exact steps taken by USM with any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in our school community will vary and be determined on a case-by-case basis, but below is information about what families can expect in the event of positive COVID-19 cases in our community.

Isolation

Effective Monday, Jan. 3, any student, faculty, or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19, whether they are symptomatic or not, must isolate for five days, which follows updated CDC, Wisconsin DHS, and local health departments' guidance. The following applies to any of these individuals who test positive:

  • Stay home for five full days following the date of the positive test result. (The day of the test is day zero; the next day is day one.)
  • If you have no symptoms, or your symptoms are resolved after five days, you can return to school.
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

Quarantine

Effective Monday, Jan. 3, any student, faculty, or staff member who is identified as a close contact of someone with a positive COVID-19 test result will follow the new, shorter quarantine period policy, which follows updated CDC, Wisconsin DHS, and local health departments’ guidance, based on the information below.

USM will also follow CDC, Wisconsin DHS, and local health departments' guidance for the new, shorter five-day quarantine period for close contacts. Following is what USM's new, shorter quarantine period policy means for individuals who are close contacts of someone with a positive COVID-19 test result.

  • Individual is a close contact, whether at USM or anywhere else, AND is asymptomatic, AND is fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible):
    • This individual does not need to quarantine and can stay at school, but must wear a well-fitted mask at school per the USM mask policy, as well as for 10 days following the close contact (the day of contact is day zero) at any outside public events. If symptoms would develop, the individual would need to test and isolate until a negative test result was returned.
    • This individual must also be tested on day five. (The day of contact is day zero; the next day is day one.)
  • Individual is a close contact while at USM, AND is asymptomatic, AND is:
    (a) unvaccinated, OR
    (b) more than six months out from their second Pfizer/Moderna dose and not yet boosted, OR
    (c) more than two months out from their Johnson & Johnson dose and not yet boosted
    • This individual may choose to either quarantine at home for five days, or use USM's test-to-stay program option and produce a negative test each school day for five days to stay at school. If symptoms would develop, the individual would need to test and isolate until a negative test result was returned.
    • This individual must also wear a well-fitted mask at school per the USM mask policy, as well as for 10 days following the close contact (the day of contact is day zero) at any outside public events.
    • This individual must also be tested on day five. (The day of contact is day zero; the next day is day one.)
  • Individual is a close contact of someone outside of USM, including in his/her home, AND either (a), (b), or (c) from above apply:
    • This individual must quarantine at home for five days. USM's test-to-stay program is not available to this individual because it is highly likely that well-fitted masks have not been worn around the individual with the positive case.
    • This individual must also be tested on day five. (The day of contact is day zero; the next day is day one.)

There is an exemption from quarantine for indoor classroom settings. If an individual, while wearing a well-fitted face mask, was determined to be in close contact (3 to 6 feet for 15 or more total minutes) of another individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and was also wearing a well-fitted face mask, the first individual does not need to quarantine and can continue to come to school, but must wear a face mask for 14 days and monitor for possible COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 Symptoms

If a student, faculty, or staff member has one or more of the following symptoms, that individual should stay home:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Symptoms of a cold, such as sore throat, congestion, and/or runny nose
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness

Your doctor will determine if your child needs to be tested and whether or not to come in for the testing. It is possible that your child may be ill with a different virus, but only COVID-19 testing will confirm this. A laboratory test analysis is the only test that is accepted at school. A letter from the doctor is necessary for return to school if COVID-19 testing is not required by the physician.

USM COVID-19 Reporting

USM will also share its current data on the number of individuals in isolation by division, for students, as well as for the school’s faculty/staff daycare children, and all staff. This will be published at the end of each school day on the main COVID-19 section page.

If a USM student is found to have been in close contact (defined as 15 or more minutes within 6 feet or less in any 24-hour period) with an individual who we have been notified has received a positive COVID-19 test, someone from the USM Nurse Clinic will attempt to contact that family by phone and/or email, and a hard-copy letter will also be sent to the family.