Not necessarily. A person who tests positive for COVID can return to school on Day 6 if they have no symptoms or if symptoms are improving. According to the Baltimore City Department of Health, this means that the person:
- Is fever free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications
- Has no new acute cough, persistent cough, or worsening cough (chronic cough from baseline conditions should be distinguished from any new acute cough and is not a reason to be excluded from returning to school)
- Has minimal or completely resolved sore throat
- Had no vomiting or diarrhea in the preceding 24 hours
- Has no or minimal congestion, runny nose, or other symptoms that interfere with mask-wearing
If the COVID-positive person has any of these symptoms and they are not getting better on Day 5 of isolation, they should remain home until 24 hours after they begin to improve.
(Note that if symptoms included loss of taste or smell, this may be ongoing but is not a reason to be excluded from returning to school.)