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Chickenpox (Varicella)

Going back to school, work, or daycare after chickenpox

People who have chickenpox and still have a rash can go back to daycare, school, or work:

  • if they were already there when they were contagious

  • as soon as they feel well enough

Healthcare workers should check with their employer before returning to work.

Chickenpox rash © HealthWise  


There are a few places that people with chickenpox should NOT go.

If you still have a rash, don’t:

  • go back to activities you don’t do every day such as going to the gym, evening lesson, or sporting event (people at these activities may not have been exposed to you while you could still spread the virus or were contagious)
  • travel by plane until the rash has crusted over (the air in the plane is re-circulated and can spread the virus)
  • swim in public pools until the spots have healed and all of the crusts are gone (the virus can still be spread)
  • enter a hospital until the entire rash has crusted over (this includes visitors and healthcare workers)

If you have chickenpox or still have a rash you should avoid being around people who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems. If you're around anyone who is pregnant or has a weak immune system, let that person know that you have chickenpox. The person can then talk with their doctor about their risk of chickenpox.

Current as of: June 15, 2020

Author: Communicable Disease Control Program, Alberta Health Services