New K-12 school recommendations say children who haven’t been fully vaccinated and have been exposed to the coronavirus should quarantine for at least five days after they’ve had those with Covid-19. Have the last close contact with the person. Adults who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have not received a booster shot are also advised to follow this recommendation.
Previously, CDC K-12 guidance recommended a 14-day home quarantine for people exposed to the coronavirus who had not been fully vaccinated.
The new K-12 recommendations say that students, teachers and staff with COVID-19 should stay at home and away from others for at least five full days. Day 0 is considered the first day of symptoms or the day of a positive viral test for those who do not have symptoms. People whose symptoms are improving can go into isolation after a full five days if they are fever-free for 24 hours. They must wear a mask around others for an additional five days.
Previously, CDC K-12 guidance recommended an isolation period of at least 10 days for people infected with the virus.
The agency also updated its screening test recommendation for K-12 schools.
“In K-12 schools, screening tests can help identify clusters to help identify and isolate cases quickly, initiate quarantine, and reduce the risk of individualized learning,” the new guidance states. .
Previously, K-12 recommendations stated that screening tests should be offered to students who have not been fully vaccinated if community transmission is moderate, substantial, or high. The guidance now says that, at a minimum, those students should be offered the screening test. This includes an updated chart that recommends screening tests for all students at least once per week in communities with moderate to high transmission.
Additionally, the new K-12 recommendations now recommend screening tests for all teachers and staff at least once per week. Earlier, such screening was recommended only for teachers and staff who were not fully vaccinated.
Recommended screening tests for high-risk sports such as football and wrestling, and high-risk extracurricular activities such as singing or bands have also been updated. In previous guidance, screening was recommended at least once per week for participants who were not fully vaccinated and twice per week in areas with substantial coronavirus transmission. Those screenings now include all participants, regardless of vaccination status, according to an updated chart in the recommendations.
In areas with high transmission, schools are now advised to cancel or organize high-risk sports and extra-curricular activities to protect individual learning; Previous guidance did not advise cancellation or virtual events in areas with high transmission if all participants were fully vaccinated. Currently, the CDC says, more than 98% of the counties have high COVID-19 transmission.
In areas with moderate to high transmission, previous guidance on low- and intermediate-risk sports also recommended screening participants who were not fully vaccinated once per week. That recommendation now covers all participants, regardless of vaccination status.