PHILADELPHIA. – The School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) have been working closely throughout the summer to determine the best health and safety measures for public school students. As the District prepares to welcome students for the 2023-2024 School Year on Tuesday, September 5, the District has updated its COVID-19 Protocols in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as students return to school.

While the District’s guidelines can be read in its entirety here, here are the highlights:

Individuals may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to
protect themselves and others.

Masking will be optional for students and staff except:

When determined necessary by PDPH to mitigate a classroom, school-wide, office-wide
or department-wide outbreak.

When a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 returning from their
five day isolation.

Students and staff exposed to COVID-19
are highly recommended to wear
a mask for 10 days after their last date of exposure.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate at home for at least
five calendar days and participate in virtual learning.

Parents/guardians must also notify their school nurse or school administrator.

If symptom-free after 5 days of isolation, students may return to school but must
wear a high-quality (N95 or KN95) mask for an additional five days.

Students with COVID-19 symptoms during the school day are required to be picked
up by a parent or guardian and will be provided with a free Over-the-Counter (OTC) test to take at home.

While a new COVID-19 variant is circulating, PDPH currently has deemed Philadelphia is at low risk for COVID-19. A list of COVID-19 testing sites for families can be found here.

Since the COVID-19 vaccination is an essential layer of protection and a proven mitigation strategy to stem the spread of COVID-19, the District encourages anyone who is eligible, and who has not been approved for a medical or religious exemptions, to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the students and staff around them. A list of upcoming clinics can be found here. Additionally, students can receive the vaccine at healthcare clinics, pharmacies and other locations throughout the city. Further information can be found by visiting the City of Philadelphia’s website or

For the most recent resources and information, please visit the COVID-19 Information Hub or the Health & Safety Protocols website.


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