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If experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, students will require doctor clearance or negative COVID test before returning to school.

New return to school if sick requirements and voluntary COVID testing

Jan. 8, 2021

As COVID-19 cases surge nationally and are beginning to increase in Hawai’i, we are adding health and safety measures for the second half of the year. Kamehameha Schools will implement a voluntary COVID-19 testing program and has adjusted its criteria for a student to return to school after having a COVID-19 symptom(s). However, the most effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 remain physical distancing, mask wearing, handwashing, avoiding gatherings, and staying home when sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies the symptoms most commonly associated with COVID-19. They are generally the same for adults and children and are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

These are the symptoms that are asked about in the daily wellness check, which now asks if your child has had any of these in the previous ten days. They are also the symptoms for which a student would be sent home from school, if the symptoms are not typical for the student who has a known chronic condition that causes them. 

If your child has experienced any symptom(s) of COVID-19 for 1-3 days, a doctor’s note or negative COVID-19 test must be provided to your child’s health room prior to your child’s return. A doctor’s note continues to be required for return following 4 or more days of illness. To ensure that your child is cleared to return to school, we recommend that you submit the required documentation prior to when your child returns onsite. This will avoid your child possibly needing to be sent home upon arriving at school for not having the necessary documentation. Please log into the KS electronic health record Mo‘omō‘ali Olakino ( and upload a copy of the negative test result or doctor‘s note clearing the student to return to school, as applicable.

We are also planning to offer a voluntary testing program throughout the second semester on school days. This may include periodic surveillance testing of participating haumāna and staff utilizing saliva-based PCR tests, rapid antigen testing with confirmatory PCR testing as indicated for haumāna who develop a symptom of COVID-19 at school and are sent home, and PCR tests for close contacts of a confirmed case at school. In order to participate in this voluntary testing, ‘ohana and staff will be asked to complete a one-time consent form accessible through the KS electronic health record system (EHR) Mo'omō'ali Olakino. This one-time consent grants Kamehameha Schools permission to administer COVID-19 tests during the remainder of the current school year. 

Please refer to our Kamehameha Schools Approach to Health and Safety for requirements for returning to school after having COVID-19 symptoms and for more information on KS’ COVID-19 Testing Program. In addition, a new resource has also been developed to explain Kamehameha Schools' procedures in the event of a positive case. Visit COVID-19 student exposures: What you need to know for more information. 

Please reach out to your child's health room nurse with any questions you may have. 

Elementary and Middle School:
Carl DeLeon, RN
Phone: 808-982-0411
Fax: 808-966-5908

High School:
Verna Lau, RN
Phone: 808-982-0611
Fax: 808-982-0612

mālama ola, covid-19, ks hawaii

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