supporting Cambridge public school students

COVID-19 Information

The safety and health of students and school volunteers is very important to CSV. As all of our sites are inside public schools, and the school district itself is our partner, all COVID-19 safety measures are identical to or aligned with Cambridge Public Schools policies.  Take a moment to visit the Cambridge Public Schools COVID-19 safety information page.

Before You Volunteer

Coming to School

Isolation and Quarantine


Volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to provide documentation to CSV as part of your application.

We expect that volunteers will also be required to show proof of booster vaccinations some time in spring of 2022.

Please do not ask students about their vaccination status. Students are only required to be vaccinated for participation in extra-curricular athletics, clubs, or other non-academic activities. 



Effective Monday, March 14, 2022, masking in schools is optional for students, staff, and volunteers.

Please consider these Cambridge Department of Public Health recommendations (up to date as of 1/15/22) when choosing a mask:

Wear a mask with excellent filtration. Aim for 90-95%.

  • Several types of disposable masks available to the public provide excellent personal protection. These “high filtration” masks include KF94 masks (made in Korea; white mask, pictured above), KN95 masks (made in China), and flat medical-style masks that are quality-certified (blue mask, pictured above).
  • KN95 and KF94 fit more snugly, depending on face-shape, than flat medical-style masks. 
  • If shopping for masks, some keywords to look for are KF94, KN95, or ASTM-rated.
  • About Cloth Masks: Cloth masks are best suited to outdoor use when it's easy to social distance. They do not provide adequate protection against the Omicron variant in indoor settings.

“How to Find a Quality Mask (and avoid Counterfeits),” New York Times, 1/14/22

Cambridge Public Schools' policy as of 2/18/22, followed by Cambridge School Volunteers, is that

  1. Individuals may not enter CPS buildings if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status. If you have these symptoms, you must test negative (rapid or PCR test) before returning to school.
  2. The following are policies for staff and students. CSV requests that volunteers also comply with these policies:
    • If a member of your household is positive, or has COVID-19 symptoms and is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, you may continue to volunteer, however
      • Even vaccinated individuals are recommended to seek testing  5-7 days after the end of the isolation period of the positive case in your household.
    • If you travel domestically or internationally, please get tested before travel and again 3–5 days after return, and self-monitor for symptoms after your return.


If you have COVID-19, you must isolate for five days. Day “0” is the day you became symptomatic or the date of your positive test, whichever is first. If you become a close contact or plan to travel, please consult the most current CPS quarantine and isolation protocols, here: Cambridge Public Schools Isolation and Quarantine Protocols, updated January 14, 2022.

 Beginning February 28, 2022, CPS-CPHD will cease in-school contact tracing and in-school close contacts will no longer be required to quarantine.


The Cambridge Public Health Department has adopted the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s updated COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidance, with some additional recommendations. The CPHD recommendations are as follows:

  • If you test positive, you must isolate for at least 5 days (until symptoms are resolving) and wear a mask for 10 days. CPHD strongly recommends taking a rapid antigen test (home test) and receiving a negative result before ending home isolation after Day 5.
  • If you are exposed, CPHD strongly recommends taking a PCR or antigen test on Day 5, regardless of vaccination or booster status. If you test positive, you should stay home and follow MDPH isolation guidance.
  • If you test positive or are exposed, you must wear a mask throughout the 10-day isolation or quarantine period. CPHD strongly recommends wearing a well-fitting, high quality mask, such as a KF94, KN95, or N95 mask. CPHD discourages the use of cloth masks because they do not provide adequate protection.



If you have any of these symptoms, CPS policy dictates you must stay home:

• Fever above 100.0° F

• Chills or shaking chills

• Trouble breathing

• New loss of taste or smell

• Muscle aches or body aches

• Sore throat

• Cough (not due to other known causes)

• Headache plus other symptoms

• Nauseous, vomiting or diarrhea (throwing up, feeling sick to your stomach)

• Fatigue plus other symptoms

• Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes) plus other symptoms