Should you have gone to work today?

Should you have gone to work today?

Should I stay or should I go?

Not feeling 100%? Dr. Dana Vlachos, a family medicine physician with Advocate Christ Medical Center and Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., outlines handy guidelines for when you should to go to work or school and when it’s best to stay home.


  • Stay home: You have a temperature of 100.4 or higher
  • Go: You are fever-free for 24 hours without using fever reducing medications like Tylenol or Motrin


  • Stay home: You have a fever, body aches or shortness of breath
  • Go: You have a cough without any of these other symptoms and you’re able to wash your hands and cover your cough.


  • Stay home: You have vomited within the past 24 hours.
  • Go: You have kept at least two solid meals down.


  • Stay home: You have had this within the past 24 hours.
  • Go: You have been free from diarrhea for at least 24 hours.

Eye infection

  • Stay home: There is redness, itching and/or crusty drainage from the eye.
  • Go: You have been evaluated by a doctor and have been cleared to return to work/school.

Head lice

  • Stay home: Itchy head with active lice.
  • Go: You have been treated by an approved home or facility treatment and you have proof from a nurse that you no longer have lice.

If you have been seen by a physician in an emergency department or have been admitted to the hospital, do not return to work or school until your doctor has given you the all-clear.

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  1. Thanks for this very helpful article that can help many people. I’m printing it off for my daughters and their children.

    It would be also helpful to show everyone when you should see a Dr. about annual lab tests that are recommended by age or sex. Specific testing that can help uncover illness or chronic conditions, i.e. diabetes, coronary artery disease and even cancer..

    Working for our ACL lab I know our Pathologists would be a great help in proving information or collaborating with one of their primary care physicians.

  2. I have always practiced these guidelines for myself and my kids. I wish this article was read and adhered to by parents sending their children to school sick.

About the Author

Kate Eller
Kate Eller

Kate Eller was a regional director of public affairs and marketing operations for Advocate Health Care. She enjoys road trips, dogs, minimalism, yoga, hiking, and “urban hiking.”