On Tuesday, January 12, state public health officials announced a new quarantine policy that could reduce the number of required quarantines for students and teachers who are exposed at school to a person who tests positive for COVID-19. Formal written guidance for schools from state health officials is not yet available. Health officials anticipate having that available by the end of the week.
Based on statements at a news conference, it appears school districts will be allowed but not required to change quarantine policies related to a school-based exposure if the following conditions are met:
- Masks/Safety protocols: Both the positive person and the person who was exposed must have been wearing a mask and other safety protocols were in place.
- Exposure: The exposure must have happened in a classroom setting (extracurricular activities and athletics don’t count).
- Symptoms: The no-quarantine only applies if the person who was exposed has no COVID-19 symptoms.
- Positive case: The person who tests positive still must isolate in accordance with CDC guidance.
Until we can thoroughly review the written guidance from the State Department of Health, as well as the documents and science cited in making the policy revision, we will continue to follow the revised CDC quarantine guidance that was announced on December 2, 2020. You can find that guidance here.