Beginning Monday, October 18, CCPS will be following a modified process for quarantining unvaccinated students identified as close contacts of a positive case of COVID-19. Based on updated guidance from the Caroline County Health Department (CCHD), quarantining protocols will be as follows:
In settings where all students are masked, an asymptomatic student who is identified as a close contact will no longer need to quarantine from school as long as the following conditions are met:
- If at any time the student develops symptoms of COVID-19, he or she should isolate and get tested right away.
- The student must continue to wear a mask properly for 14 days after the exposure in all settings.
- The student cannot participate in activities within a school or public setting for 14 days where universal masking and social distancing are not in place. This includes sports and extracurricular activities.
- Testing is recommended 5-7 days following the exposure.
Parents will be notified by email only if their child is identified as a close contact while masked. Parents should ensure their email address is current with the school, and check their email regularly.
Students currently quarantined under these conditions (all students masked) may return to school on Monday. Parents unsure of the conditions of their child’s quarantine should check with the school nurse.
If parents choose to keep an asymptomatic child home to quarantine, they should notify the school and the absence will be excused until a specified return date.
Students who are identified as close contacts while not wearing a mask (such as during meals) will continue to be quarantined. Students currently quarantined under these conditions (no masks) must remain quarantined as directed. Parents unsure of the conditions of their child’s quarantine should check with the school nurse.
Parents will be notified by phone, followed by a letter in the mail. There are two options for quarantined students:
- Option A: Quarantine at home for 10 days from the last date of known exposure. Your child can return as long as they remain without symptoms.
- Option B: Quarantine at home for 7 days from the last date of known exposure with testing on or after day 5 from exposure. Your child can return to school on day 8 with a negative test result.
According to CCHD Health Officer Robin Cahall, “Based on a regular review of quarantine and testing data, it is evident that the layered prevention strategies instituted within the schools are working. Situations where masking and social distancing are required and adhered to show a reduced likelihood of COVID-19 transmission within schools over the first five weeks of in person education.”
She added, “COVID-19 continues to evolve and change, this guidance may need to change. If COVID-19 spread within schools is not contained following this guidance, changes may need to be made. Schools and public health officials will continually evaluate the guidance being followed and adapt as needed.”
“We appreciate this modification made by CCHD in response to data from the first five weeks of school,” said Interim Superintendent Derek L. Simmons. “Our goal remains to keep schools open full time for in-person learning for all students. With this cautious step forward, we can safely keep more students in the classroom.”
CCPS will continue to implement layered prevention strategies as outlined in the 2021-2022 Reopening Plan. These include universal masking (except while eating), distancing to the extent possible, and contact tracing to identify close contacts.