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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Staying Healthy
HPISD has carefully monitored conditions related to COVID-19 since early 2020 and continues to take precautions to mitigate its spread. We believe students benefit from in-person learning and ask for the help of parents, students, staff and the community to assist us in keeping our schools safe.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Wash for 20 seconds or more, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. 
  • Practice social distancing (stay six feet apart). 
  • Wear a mask. 
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home when sick. 
  • Cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 
  • Practice other healthy habits like drinking plenty of fluids, eating well, and getting adequate sleep. 
HPISD Operations
The health and safety of our students, staff, families and community is our top priority. HPISD regularly reviews and adjusts its safety protocols based on conditions and guidance from local, state and federal authorities including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) Department, and the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

Once a school is made aware of a positive case, the campus nurse will complete the appropriate paperwork to determine the individual’s isolation period and make appropriate notifications to the campus principal, Dallas County Health and Human Services, and the attendance clerk.  

Notification is sent to the classroom in which a positive case was present, indicating the last day the individual was present on campus.  

In the Spring of 2020, the district established a Fall Reopening Committee that has since been renamed the Pandemic Response Committee or PRC. The PRC developed the district's 2021-22 Back to School Plan and meets regularly to review current conditions and consider any modifications.

HPISD continues to encourage frequent hand washing, the wearing of masks, and daily symptom monitoring. The availability of masks, hand sanitizer and the use of MERV-13 filters within facilities continue to be in use.

If your child is sent home from school through the clinic with COVID-like symptoms, he or she is assumed to be a positive case, even if the student has not been exposed to someone confirmed to be positive. The student must be approved by the school nurse to return to class. Students will be able to return after:

  • providing a negative COVID test (PCR or rapid antigen) administered by a doctor or healthcare provider; OR
  • providing a doctor's note with an alternative diagnosis (must be reviewed by the school nurse);
  • staying home for a minimum of five (5) days.
Most common symptoms:
  • allergy symptoms
  • common cold
  • fever over 100
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

Please reach out to the school nurse at your child's school if anyone in your family tests positive for COVID. The school nurse will help you determine who is required to quarantine. Page 2 of the HPISD Parent Quick Reference Guide provides links to contact information. 

Any student living in the same household as another person who tests positive for the virus is required to remain home for a minimum of five (5) days and up to potentially 10 days during the incubation period after exposure. Individuals who return to campus after the five (5) day absence period due to COVID diagnosis or exposure will be asked, but not required, to wear a mask for five (5) days upon returning to school in accordance with CDC guidelines.

If the exposed individual has not developed symptoms, he/she may end isolation with approval from the school nurse if one of the following criteria is met:

  • Return on day 6 without testing;
  • Return on day 5 after receiving a negative test result that was administered on day 4 - 5 of quarantine.


If the exposed individual begins to develop symptoms, then they will follow the re-entry criteria for someone who is considered confirmed positive and must meet ALL three of the following:

  1. at least one day (24 hours) has passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); AND
  2. the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND
  3. at least five (5) days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

If the exposed individual is tested and is confirmed positive, the individual will need to meet the re-entry criteria for those who are confirmed positive (bullets 1, 2 and 3 above).


There are additional possible exceptions: if a verified vaccinated child aged 5 or older has been exposed to the virus in a household and is not showing any symptoms, he or she may still attend school only after being cleared by the school nurse. Students who have tested positive for COVID in the last 90 days can return with proof of previous positive test results.


Absences will be excused and homework will be provided for students.

The student must isolate for a minimum of five (5) days from the date of last contact/exposure with the confirmed positive individual and, with approval from the school nurse, may return to school on day six (6) after receiving a negative rapid or PCR test that was administered on day 4 - 5 of quarantine. Parents should assume their child is positive and isolate at home until there is confirmation of a negative rapid or PCR test administered on days 4 - 6 of quarantine. 

If a student is a confirmed COVID-19 positive case, he or she must isolate at home and will not be permitted to return to school until ALL THREE of the following criteria are met:

  • At least one day (24 hours) has passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); AND
  • The individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND
  • At least five (5) days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

The CDC specifically recommends against retesting as you could potentially continue to test positive for several weeks. Per the CDC, you should consider yourself non-contagious once a minimum of 10 days has passed, symptoms have significantly improved and you are fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications. Some symptoms, such as loss of taste or smell may persist for several weeks.

Anyone tested for COVID should do so with a molecular PCR OR Rapid Antigen test. Some of the PCR tests are rapid and some may take several days depending on the test location.

If you have returned from travel and are asked to self-quarantine, you should not come to school or work and remain home. The CDC recommends monitoring your health and practicing social distancing. The CDC has guidelines in place to monitor symptoms. Any symptom of COVID-19 should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider.
HPISD campus-wide COVID letters were suspended in early November 2021. School-level parent emails regarding potential exposure notification continue to be sent as needed and the HPISD COVID-19 Dashboard with active daily case count information continues to be updated by 5 p.m. each day school is in session.
If you are not receiving emails from a teacher in a specific class, you will need to update or add your email address in Skyward. To access Skyward, click here
Travel Protocols

HPISD will follow the CDC’s criteria for travel protocols. Use the CDC website as a guide and resource.

About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people can become severely ill.

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants persist. Numerous variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are being tracked in the United States and globally during this pandemic.

The Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus that causes COVID-19. It might cause more severe illness than previous strains in unvaccinated people.

The Omicron variant spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus.

Symptoms can be mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Fever over 100.4 or chills
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomachache
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle or body aches

The following symptoms are associated with the Omicron variant: cough, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, muscle or body aches, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and fever or chills. Visit the CDC website, click here, to learn more.

Adults of any age with the following conditions can be more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.  Severe illness means that a person with COVID-19 may need: hospitalization, intensive care, a ventilator to help them breathe.

This includes: 

  • Older adults 
  • People who have serious medical conditions like: 
  • Heart disease 
  • Diabetes 
  • Lung disease 
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease


While children have been less affected by COVID-19 compared with adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and some children develop severe illness. Children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions. Current evidence on which underlying medical conditions in children are associated with increased risk is limited. Current evidence suggests that children with medical complexity, with genetic, neurologic, metabolic conditions, or with congenital heart disease can be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Similar to adults, children with obesity, diabetes, asthma or chronic lung disease, sickle cell disease, or immunosuppression can also be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.