In-Depth: A look at Middle Tennessee school districts' quarantine policies

Posted at 1:56 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 15:34:50-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Earlier this week, Metro Nashville Public Schools reported that more than 1,000 of its students and staff were quarantined or isolated after just the first week of school. Here's a look at the quarantine policies of other Middle Tennessee school districts.

What's the difference between "quarantine" and "isolation?" The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says you quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus. You isolate when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms.


If diagnosed with COVID-19 based on a test or symptoms, the individual may return to school, with a release from their county health department AND:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
  • AND at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medications
  • AND a significant improvement in symptoms
  • If they have had a negative COVID-19 test after the date of dismissal, the individual may return to school once there is no fever without fever-reducing medications and has felt well for 24 hours.
  • Student or staff member can return to school, following normal school policies, if they receive confirmation of an alternative diagnosis from a health care provider that would explain the COVID-19-like symptom(s), once there is no fever without fever-reducing medications and they have felt well for 24 hours.
  • Student or staff member should participate in remote learning/teaching while out if they are feeling well enough.

Read more about the district's COVID guidelines here.


Positive case individuals with COVID-19 will be excluded from school per board policy. They can return when the health department or healthcare provider determines that it is safe for them to return. (Note required)

Official quarantines are the responsibility of the local health department.

Individuals who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine if they are determined to be a close contact of a positive case by the health department.


Any confirmed close contacts will be notified and reported to the TN Department of Health. Contacts will quarantine 10 days from last exposure & monitor symptoms/or receive a negative test result on day 6 or after and no symptoms.


Students and staff who test positive will be required to stay home for the prescribed days specified by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH). Public officials will contact families and provide the return date for each person. Students and staff living in a household with family members testing positive will also be required to stay home for the prescribed days specified by the TDOH.


Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19, or who are exhibiting symptoms, should stay home until they have recovered from COVID-19 or it is ruled out as the problem. Those who are identified as a possible contact of a positive case and are exhibiting symptoms will not be able to attend school until they have been cleared of COVID-19.

Those who are possible contacts and are symptom free will be strongly encouraged to complete a quarantine period. In these cases, the state and local health department has the sole authority to enforce a quarantine.

Those who are household contacts of an individual with a positive case of COVID-19 must complete the quarantine period before they can return to school because of the sustained nature of the contact.

In all situations, the Department of Health has the ultimate authority to quarantine individuals, and the school district’s procedure is in effect to the extent practicable and in consideration of its statutory purpose to educate students safely.


Students and staff that have been exposed to COVID-19 will be notified by the Health Dept regarding quarantine guidelines. The Robertson County School System recommends families follow these guidelines. However, except for those contacts whose exposure is the result of a household member testing positive, your student will be allowed to attend class if they continue to come to school as long as they are vaccinated or not showing symptoms of COVID-19.

If a member of a household tests positive for COVID-19, we ask that you notify your school nurse. Quarantine guidance varies for household contacts based on several factors. The school nurse will help you navigate your individual household contact situation.


There are no specified days. Read their guide here.


Following Tennessee Department of Health guidelines.

Guidance from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all students, teachers, and staff wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status.