New Quarantine Guidelines - December 7, 2020

New Quarantine Guidelines
Posted on 12/11/2020

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control issued new quarantine guidance for close contacts of people who are positive for COVID-19. The CDC continues to recommend a quarantine period of 14 days. However, based on local circumstances and resources, the CDC now also gives new options that "Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring. Quarantine can [also] end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring." The agency says that those who end their quarantines early must practice "continued symptom monitoring and masking through Day 14."

 

Watch this video of Superintendent Jonathan Cooper as he shares information about the options available for MCS students. 
 


 

In working with our local public health partners at the Warren County Health District, Mason City Schools families will now have four options when a student has had a close contact exposure (within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes) at school:

  • 14-Day Quarantine: Close contact exposures quarantine for 14 days after your last contact with the person who has COVID-19. Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19 until 14 days after exposure.
  • 10-Day Quarantine: **MCS DEFAULT OPTION** Close contact exposures quarantine for 10 days after your last contact with the person who has COVID-19. Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19 until 14 days after exposure.
  • 7-Day Quarantine with Negative Test: Close contact exposures quarantine for 7 days after your last contact with the person who has COVID-19. They must take a test on Day 5, 6, or 7. If the test is negative, on Day 8 they may return to school and activities. Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19 until 14 days after exposure.
  • OH COVID-19 Rapid Test Pilot: Close contact exposures must be tested with the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card at school two times in week 1, and two times in week 2. If the tests are negative, they may continue to learn in class, but cannot participate in extracurricular activities until after Day 10. Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19 until 14 days after exposure.

Below are common questions from our families and the public, and our responses.
 

Are these new options only for students exposed at school, or does this also apply to kids who are quarantined due to a family member testing positive?

The date of quarantine begins the day after the last contact with the positive person. The pilot is only for close contact at school. The Health Department will work with you on close contacts with family members to assess when your quarantine is finished based on your household's circumstances.
 

Is this effective immediately? If my child was quarantined under the 14-day rule last week, can they come back sooner now?

The district will be sending updated quarantine deadline notices to all impacted students tomorrow with the new date based on the 10-day quarantine rules.
 

Who determines which quarantine option a student has to use?

Our school district and our local public health partners will default to the 10-day quarantine option, unless a family tells us they prefer the 14-day option. The 7-day option requires proof of a negative test.
 

Is there a particular type of test I need for the 7-day quarantine option?

The Ohio Department of Health and the Warren County Health Department have approved both antigen and PCR tests. Tests used in the OH COVID-19 Rapid Test pilot are antigen tests. If you are submitting test results from a facility or physician’s office, you must email COVID@masonohioschools.com

  • the child’s student ID 
  • date of birth 
  • date of negative test
  • attach a copy of the test 

You may not send your child back to school until a school official has confirmed receipt of your information and given you confirmation of the date of return.  
 

If close contact students are participating in the OH COVID-19 Rapid Test pilot, can they now begin participating in extracurricular activities?

The rapid test pilot is designed to test the efficacy of the safety bundle in our schools - not outside activities. Currently, it does not allow a return to activities until after Day 10, but it does allow for students to be in school learning as long as they are symptom-free. We test on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so if a student (for instance) found out that they needed to quarantine on Monday, they could participate in the pilot on Tuesday and as long as they were negative could learn in class. If guidance on the pilot changes, we will share that information with families.

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