Shortened Isolation and Quarantine Periods

On Thursday, January 6th, 2022 the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionreleased updated guidance for COVID-19 prevention in schools which shortens the recommended isolation and quarantine periods for COVID-19 positive individuals and close contacts. On January 12th, the New Jersey Department of Health released COVID-19 public health recommendations for local health departments for K-12 schools. 

 

Our school district has a mixed population of fully vaccinated, not fully vaccinated, and unvaccinated individuals. As such, in order to reduce the burden this pandemic has placed on our school community and increase willingness to adhere to these new CDC public health recommendations, the following procedures will go into effect on Tuesday, January 18th to include all students and staff who are directed by the district or their personal physician to quarantine, or who have tested COVID-19 positive via a Molecular/PCR, Antigen, or “At-Home” Test.
Positive
Exposure

 

Students/Staff Currently in Isolation or Quarantine:

 

Students and staff that tested positive for COVID-19 and/or were quarantined between the dates of January 7th through January 12th will now be free to return to school on Tuesday, January 18th as long as they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).

 

Who needs to isolate?

People who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 need to isolate regardless of vaccination status. More specifically,

 

  • People who have apositive viral test for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they havesymptoms
  • People withsymptoms of COVID-19, including people who are awaiting test results or have not been tested. People with symptoms should isolate themselves even if they do not know if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19

 

How long should a student or staff member with COVID-19 isolate?

All people with COVID-19 should undergo isolation for at least 5 full days. Day 0 is the day symptoms began or the day of the positive viral test (for people with no COVID-19 symptoms)

 

  • Students, teachers, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms should isolate for at least 5 days. Day 1 is the first full day after the specimen was collected for the positive test. If they continue to have no symptoms, they can end isolation after at least 5 days and return to school on day 6. If they developsymptoms after testing positive, the 5-day isolation period should start over. Day 0 is the first day of symptoms
  • People who have COVID-19 and have or hadsymptoms should isolate for at least 5 days. Day 1 is the first full day after their symptoms developed. They can end isolation after 5 full days and return to school on day 6 if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation)
  • If they continue to have fever or other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, they should wait to end isolation until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. They should continue to wear a well-fitting mask and contact their healthcare provider with questions

 

Who Should Quarantine:

Students, teachers, and staff who come into close contact* with someone with COVID-19 shouldquarantine for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5 with a return on day 6) after their last close contact with a person who has COVID-19 if they are in one of the following groups:

  • Ages 18 or older and completed theprimary series of recommended vaccine but have not received arecommended booster shot when eligible
  • Those who have received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) over 2 months ago and have not received a recommendedbooster shot
  • Those who are not vaccinated or have not completed aprimary vaccine series.

 

Who Does Not Need to Quarantine:

Students, teachers, and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they:

  • Are ages 18 or older and have received allrecommended vaccinedoses, includingboosters andadditional primary shots for some immunocompromised people
  • Are ages 5-17 years and completed theprimary series of COVID-19 vaccines
  • Had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days
  • Those who test positive or develop COVID-19 symptoms while in quarantine should follow recommendations forisolation
  • *See the added exception in theclose contact definition for the exclusion of students in the K-12 indoor classroom who are within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student with masking
  • Vaccination status for students should be directed to your child's school nurse ihnurse@rih.org or ramnurse@rih.org

 

Vaccination status for faculty & staff should be uploaded into Frontline

 

Effective immediately, a student or staff member who is a confirmed COVID-19 case will no longer need written evidence of being free of a communicable disease in order to return to school or work after at least 5 days has passed (return on day 6), as long as the “who needs to isolate” criteria above is met.

 

Under the recommendation of our District Physician, School Nurses, and the American Academy of Pediatrics “students who participate in Extra-Curricular Activities Competition under Policies 8451 & 2431 shall be required to present written evidence of being free of COVID-19 and eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities competition supplied by the school medical inspector or another qualified physician who has examined the student before the student is permitted to resume participation in any extra-curricular activities competition.”