New COVID-19 quarantine guidance issued for Ohio schools
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - On Monday, the Ohio Department of Health updated their COVID-19 school quarantine guidance.
The new guidelines are aimed to keep asymptomatic children at school, according to Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.
Dr. Vanderhoff said out-of-school quarantining has had the unintended consequence of reducing in-school learning and can place an added strain on parents, schools, and local health departments.
“While vaccination and masking remain critical components of ensuring a safe school environment, to support in-school learning, we offer an in-school alternative to out-of-school quarantining for students and staff exposed to COVID-19 in school settings and during school-related activities,” he said. “Those exposed outside of school-related activities, such as in the household, should continue to follow standard quarantine guidelines.”
According to Vanderhoff, schools are not required to follow the guidelines and parents can opt-out.
Mask to Stay
People at school who have direct contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 may remain in the classroom if:
- They wear a mask for 14 days after the last date of exposure
- Self-monitor for symptoms
- Isolate and get tested if they start to experience symptoms of COVID-19 (regardless of level of severity)
- May discontinue quarantine procedures after seven days if they don’t develop symptoms and they test negative between days 5 and 7
Test to Play
Guidance for asymptomatic athletes who have been exposed in a school environment:
- Wear a mask when possible - not during play; can be worn on bus, sidelines, etc.
- Test on initial notification of COVID-19 exposure
- Test second time between days 5 and 7
- Quarantine can end after the second negative test
Vanderhoff said the tests can be PCR or Antigen tests, but not over the counter.
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