Back to school Health Department Message

August 31, 2020

We all need to do our part for in-person schooling to be successful and sustainable during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Students and staff should:

  • Minimize travel outside of designated low-risk states and low-risk communities within MA unless necessary; if traveling back from a high-risk state or out of the country, a 14 day quarantine is mandatory without a test. Plan accordingly – do not let this impact in-person return to school.
  • Limit interaction outside of household (if out, follow the most current requirements including face coverings to be worn inside public places and outdoors when 6 feet apart cannot be maintained.  Face coverings must also be worn when more than 10 people from different households are together.) 
  • Consider getting a COVID-19 test prior to the first day of in-person classes to avoid inadvertently spreading COVID-19. Take advantage of free COVID-19 testing available to all MA residents. (Tests for PCR analysis are currently recommended. More information on COVID-19 testing can be found here)
  • Get the flu vaccine: School based clinics will take place in October and community drive thru clinics will be available in October and November - dates will be listed on the Town's website here


School Face Covering Requirements:

  • Must be a minimum of 2 layers 
  • Can be reusable cloth or disposable; cloth masks must be laundered each day after use
  • Gaiters, bandanas and masks with one-way exhalation valves will not be permitted
  • N95 or KN95 masks are not recommended
  • Must cover your nose and mouth and ideally fit snug to the face
  • Face Shields are not a replacement for masks


The Health Department will be working closely with the schools to follow state protocols for isolation of COVID-19 positive students and staff, and to quarantine those exposed to prevent spread of the illness in the school community. We will collaboratively assess data and circumstances to help inform the safest course of action for schools.

Email questions to the Winchester Health Department