School Guidance

**Guidance and Recommendations will be updated on Mondays by 12:00pm.**

Updated 5/20/2021

Assessment for Move to Virtual Education during COVID-19 Pandemic  

The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) supports the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s guidance for Recommendations for Pre-K to 12 Schools Following Identification of a Case(s) of COVID-19. By following the PDE guidance and through the collaboration between OPH and public/private schools, case investigations, contact tracing, and cleaning and disinfecting are prioritized. Due to the prioritization of the above prevention tools, schools will not need to alter their learning models.* OPH may recommend a change in learning models to virtual under the following circumstances: 

  • Linked in School Transmission: OPH will recommend a move to virtual for 14 days after the last exposure.


  • Functional Closure: OPH will recommend/support a move to virtual for a period designated on a school-by-school basis.

*Schools can opt to alter the learning model and close schools in accFOR SCHOOL - Seasonal Allergies vs. COVID-19 - 8.5x11ordance to PDE guidance if case investigating, contact tracing, and cleaning and disinfection cannot be completed in a faster time frame.

Montgomery County School Reopening Guidance (7/18/2020) for Pre-K to 12: As Montgomery County Pre-K to 12 schools start to
plan for the upcoming 2020-21 school year while dealing with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) in collaboration with Montgomery County Superintendents has developed general recommendations to support the prevention of disease transmission in the school environment. Montgomery County guidance should be utilized to support the development of the Health and Safety Plan for reopening as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

COVID-19 School Exclusion Guide: This provides schools with exclusion and return to school guidelines developed by the Montgomery County Office of Public Health. 

Montgomery County Office of Public Health only recognizes negative results from tests that have been performed under the supervision of a healthcare provider. Negative results from over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 tests will not be accepted in order to return to school.

Seasonal Allergies or COVID-19? (Spanish)

Prom Guidance

Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Determining Instructional Models: In response to school leaders' need for additional guidance as to the risk of COVID-19 transmission in their communities, the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education are providing recommendations to Pre-K to 12 schools for use when making decisions related to the instructional models used during the 2020-21 school year.

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard
  • Level of Community Transmission Table
  • Clarification of the impact of the CDC update on current DOH/PDE guidance for school entities:

    Because most K-12 students in Pennsylvania are not vaccinated and only a few weeks remain in the 2020-21 school year, PDE recommends school entities continue to follow their current mitigation strategies. Remaining consistent in approach will help to ensure the safety and well-being of school communities while minimizing disruptions that may result from significant revisions to existing plans and systems. As a reminder, school entities may implement stricter mitigation strategies than otherwise required by law, rule, and regulations.

  MCOPH supports this guidance, including the use of masking in schools for all persons. Read PDE's full statement here.

Pennsylvania Department of Education, Response following the identification of a case(s) of COVID 19: To address school leaders’ need for additional guidance in responding to COVID-19 cases in a school setting, the Pennsylvania Departments of Health (DOH) and Education (PDE) are providing recommendations to Pre-K to 12 schools for use in consultation with public health staff when making decisions related to school procedures following a case of COVID-19 in a school.

Household Contacts

Household contacts may require further investigation, by either OPH or school officials, to determine dates of quarantine.

Household contacts are able to start quarantine from the last date of exposure only if the following conditions are met:

  • If the sick person is staying in their own bedroom
  • If the sick person using their own bathroom
  • If the sick person is not leaving their bedroom to do anything else with other family members (ex. eat meals, watch TV, etc.)
  • If the sick person is not caring for anyone else in the house (ex. a sick parent who still needs to care for their children)

If the above conditions cannot be met, then quarantine will be until 10 days after the positive is released from isolation or after 7 days with a negative PCR or antigen test (must be collected on day 5 or thereafter).

COVID-19 Isolation vs. Quarantine

Quarantine Calculator (Source: South Dakota Department of Health)


Universal Face Coverings Order: Under what circumstances are students permitted to remove their face coverings (e.g. masks and face shields)? 

Schools may allow students to remove face coverings when students are: 

  • Eating or drinking when spaced at least 6 feet apart; or
  • When wearing a face-covering creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task; or
  • At least 6 feet apart during “face-covering breaks” to last no longer than 10 minutDone Editinges.

GLobal-International TraVEL

Global-International Travel

Sports Guidance for Schools

Decisions to run school sports in Montgomery County are made at the School District or Independent School level. Montgomery County OPH offers guidance and collaboration to schools to create policies and procedures for school sports to run safely. 


To report a positive case of COVID-19 in the school setting or questions for the OPH, please contact OPH at 610-278-6211 or

To report close contacts to a positive case, use this spreadsheet and email the spreadsheet to


Signed Order - November 13, 2020

Pennsylvania Department of Health- Health Advisory Network Notifications