Health Services Update
Update to Quarantine Guidance for Close Contacts at School
Effective 4/26, after a series of published studies and updated guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the CDC, and multiple medical advisory boards, and supported by our own case data and quarantine data for the entire school year, students seated in the classroom and on the bus, when wearing masks, who are at least 3 feet apart, will no longer have to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19 in the classroom.
In all classrooms PreK-12, student desks are spaced at greater than 3 feet apart.
This means at our elementary level, we will no longer be quarantining entire classrooms when a positive case is reported. Moving forward we will be notifying families of classroom cases, but there is no quarantine requirement. The exceptions to this would be our preschool program as well as our district-wide special education programs. In these classes, due to the nature of the educational environment and movement around the classrooms, there may be a need for identification of close contacts. These instances will be handled on a case-by-case basis through consultation with our school nurses, classroom staff, and families.
At the secondary level, we will be informing families if their students were in proximity of a positive case, but there is no quarantine requirement as no students are seated less than three feet apart.
This updated guidance does not apply to exposures related to household members, social activities, extracurricular activities, or sports.
Also, note that:
- Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine or test for 90 days as long as they are not showing any symptoms.
- Individuals who had confirmed COVID-19 (diagnosed by a positive PCR test) do not have to quarantine or test for 90 days if they are fully recovered and remain without symptoms.
- Students may be seated at less than three feet from one another on the school bus so contact tracing resulting in quarantine is still possible from a school bus exposure.
If you have traveled outside the country, you are required to provide a negative test result for your student before they can return to school. Children 10 and under do not need to test, as long as their accompanying adults have a negative test, or are exempt from testing because they are either fully vaccinated or within 90 days of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Due to testing inconsistencies with the rapid antigen tests, we are requesting that families supply a negative PCR test result.
If you have traveled out of state we request that you schedule a COVID-19 test. Children 10 and under do not need to test, as long as their accompanying adults have a negative test, or are exempt from testing because they are either fully vaccinated or within 90 days of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Testing is no longer mandatory, according to the governor’s revised travel advisory, but is highly recommended.
As always, if you or your child are experiencing any symptoms of illness, even if very mild, please stay home and contact your school nurse. Please continue to remain vigilant - wear a mask in public, avoid large gatherings, wash your hands often, maintain 6-foot distancing whenever possible and get a vaccine if you qualify.