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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

What are the coronavirus safety protocols for Iowa school employees?

Local 5 is breaking down what happens if a teacher or school staff member tests positive.

Dr. Caitlin Pedati with the Iowa Department of Public Health said on Thursday that 94% of Iowans contracting COVID-19 are over the age of 18.

That means teachers are at a higher risk of catching the virus than their students.

Dr. Pedati said she expects cases to appear in schools, but the severity depends on how well people follow public health measures put in place by IDPH.

If a teacher is exposed to a case, they need to test for the coronavirus and return to work 24 hours after receiving a negative or inconclusive, as long as they do not have a fever.

But if a teacher tests positive, they should only return to work 10 days after experiencing their first symptoms and no longer have a fever.

Here's where an exception to return can be made: If a staff member is considered critical personnel, they can return to work if they are not showing any symptoms.

All staff needs to be temperature-checked before and after school, always wear a mask and if any symptoms develop, they must isolate immediately.

The only time a staff member is in the clear and doesn't need to worry about exposure for 12 weeks is if they have already had the virus and are fully recovered.

WATCH: Tailor donates 2,000 masks to Des Moines Public Schools