As school resumes this fall, St. Joseph School is prepared to respond in the event that a student or staff member should test positive for COVID-19.

The school has received guidance from the Diocese of Little Rock and the Arkansas Department of Health, and it is from this guidance that we have developed our protocols and procedures.

In this guidance, there are three possible levels of response:

Limited Response - In this level, there may be isolated cases in a class or grade. The school may send a student or students, teacher or teachers, or an entire class home for a 14-day quarantine after possible exposure. If/when St. Joseph School is notified of a positive case of COVID-19, the school's Point of Contact (POC) will personally notify the parents of those students and any staff members who are probable close contacts with information concerning quarantine.

Moderate Response - In this level, multiple cases may necessitate sending an entire school or schools home for an extended period of time. St. Joseph School will continue to notify probable close contacts of COVID-19. Communication about possible school closures will be made with the normal methods - email, website, social media, etc. 

Critical Response - In this level, there is substantial community and school spread that is disrupting the delivery of onsite instruction. A school-wide closure may be necessary, but will be determined by the Diocese of Little Rock and Arkansas Department of Health.

Please note: Decisions to close a school and/or St. Joseph School are not made independently by the school, but in conjunction with the Diocese of Little Rock and Arkansas Department of Health. 

If St. Joseph School is notified of a confirmed positive test of a SJS student or staff member, St. Joseph School will begin contact tracing for probable close contacts and the school's Point of Contact (POC) will call the parent of any student (or any staff member) who is a probable close contact to the positive case. Probable close contacts will immediately quarantine for 14 days. Absences will be considered excused.

Any student/staff who tests positive for COVID-19 must be cleared by the Arkansas Department of Health before returning to school. Probable close contacts may return to school after 14 days, if they do not contract the virus.


Probable Close Contactanyone who has likely been within 6 feet for 15 cumulative minutes or longer within a 24 hour period of the person testing positive, during the infectious period. Probable close contacts will be sent home by the school immediately to self-quarantine for 14 calendar days.

Close Contact- an individual is determined to be a close contact once confirmed by the Arkansas Department of Health Contact Tracing as being within 6 feet for 15 cumulative minutes or longer within a 24 hour period of a person testing positive, during the infectious period. Close contacts are required to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of contact with the infected person and it is highly recommended that all close contacts get tested for COVID-19.

Secondary Close Contact- anyone who has had contact with someone identified as a close contact to a person testing positive for COVID-19. In most instances, these individuals do not require quarantine, but are encouraged to monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Infectious Period- The two days prior to the onset of symptoms or the two days prior to the test date, if asymptomatic, until the individual is released from isolation by ADH.

Asymptomatic- Testing positive for COVID-19, but not exhibiting any symptoms. COVID-19 transmission in the absence of symptoms reinforces the value of measures that may prevent the spread by infected persons who may not exhibit symptoms despite being infectious.

Quarantine- required for someone identified as a probable close contact to a positive case of COVID-19. This person must remain at home and avoid all public activities for 14 days from the last date of contact with the positive case, even if they receive a negative test result.