NEW COVID-19 QUARANTINE GUIDELINES

01/10/2022

The CDC and the TDH have issued new quarantine guidelines.  It is difficult to fully describe what every individual should do in each situation because there are a number of variables which would impact the quarantine period.  We always encourage individuals to contact the health department or their medical provider for specific directions.  However, we hope the following clarification will help outline the school district’s approach to the new guidelines. 

 

These guidelines have never been easy to understand, so we have attempted to make it clearer by separating the guidelines into three categories.  The first category will be for those individuals testing positive.  The second category is for those fully vaccinated individuals, who have not tested positive, but who are living in a household with someone who has tested positive.  The third category is for those unvaccinated individuals, who have not tested positive, but who are living in a household with someone who has tested positive. 

 

 

I. Individuals Who Have Tested Positive

 

1.         A student or staff member will quarantine for 5 days when they test positive for COVID.  This 5-day quarantine period will begin from the day that symptoms began or the day they actually tested positive.  These individuals may return to school on Day 6 if they are symptom free and have no fever.  Staff and students should not return to school until they are symptom free.    Note: This changes the old quarantine period for 10 days to 5 days.    

 

2.         We highly recommend that staff and students wear a mask for 5 days after returning to school to provide extra protection for those around them.  We also ask these individuals to be more conscientious during this 5-day return period and limit close contact with other individuals when possible. Wearing a mask for these 5 days is not required but we ask that everyone help lessen the spread of the virus by using a mask for this period of time. 

 

II. Individuals (Fully Vaccinated) Living with a Family Member Who Has Tested Positive  

 

1.         It is important to note that the term, “fully vaccinated” has changed, and it is not easy to explain.   Under the new guidelines, fully vaccinated means that you have received at least 2 shots (or one shot from Johnson and Johnson), or have received the booster within the past 6 months.  You would not be considered fully vaccinated if your last shot was greater than 6 months ago.  You would be considered fully vaccinated if you received both shots if your last shot was less than 6 months ago – even if you have not received your booster shot yet. Your fully vaccinated status begins two weeks after your last shot but will only last for 6 months.  

 

2.         Staff and students living with a family member who has tested positive should take the necessary precautions to remain isolated from the infected individual, if possible.  Sleeping in separate bedrooms, using a different bathroom, eating separately, not sitting in the same room, etc. will help reduce your chances of infection.  

 

3.         We will continue our policy for staff and students not having to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.  This means that staff and students may come to school if someone in the immediate family tests positive as long as they have been fully vaccinated. Of course, that individual must be symptom free to come back to school. It is also recommended individuals isolate themselves from other family members within the home who have tested positive, if possible.   

 

4.         We highly recommend that staff and students wear a mask for 10 days after returning to school to provide extra protection for those around them.  We also ask these individuals to be more conscientious during this 10-day return period and limit close contact with other individuals when possible. Wearing a mask for these 10 days is not required, but we ask that everyone help lessen the spread of the virus by using a mask for this period of time. 

 

 

III. Individuals (Unvaccinated) Living with a Family Member Who Has Tested Positive 

 

1.         It is important to note that you would not be considered fully vaccinated unless you met the definition described above.  Fully vaccinated means that you have received at least 2 shots (or one shot from Johnson and Johnson), or have received the booster within the past 6 months.  You would not be considered fully vaccinated if your last shot was greater than 6 months ago.  You would be considered fully vaccinated if you received two shots if your last shot was less than 6 months ago. Your fully vaccinated status begins two weeks after your last shot but will only last for 6 months.  

 

2.         Staff and students (not fully vaccinated) should quarantine for 10 days if they are living in a household with someone who has tested positive.  Staff and students may return to work on Day 11 if they are symptom free.   The 10-day quarantine starts on the first day that the household member had symptoms or the day the infected household member tested positive if they had no symptoms. 

 

3.         It is important to note that the quarantine period for this situation has been reduced to 10 days.  The old guidelines required a 20-day quarantine period. 

 

4.        Individuals who test positive during this 10-day quarantine would be able to return to work after 5 days of testing positive as described in Section I. 

 

 

We fully understand this entire pandemic has been extremely difficult for everyone.  However, this is simply part of our life now and we must learn to live with it.  It will not always be easy or simple to combat, but we must do all that we can to keep schools and our community open.  We sincerely appreciate your assistance with all of this.