The CDC has recently released new guidance related to quarantines for people who have been in close contact with a positive COVID person. Previously, the recommendation was that a COVID positive person had to be quarantined for 14 days from the first day of symptoms. The guidance was recently updated to allow for a quarantine of 7-10 days. COVID protocol for anyone with a COVID positive diagnosis has not changed. It is still 10 days after symptoms have started.
After consultation with Kearney County Health Services, Minden Public Schools has decided to move to a 10-day quarantine period immediately. We felt moving to 10 days was the safest and most prudent action considering the following factors:
A 10-day quarantine would align with employers who may shorten quarantine periods for their workers.
A 10-day quarantine limits the amount of time our staff would potentially be out with a child in quarantine, and this reduces the impact that it could have on the staffing of our schools.
Moving our quarantine period to ten days creates consistency between the current 10-day isolation period for symptomatic people and those in quarantine.
If someone wants to enact a 7-day quarantine period, the quarantined person must have a documented negative COVID test, specifically after day 5 of the quarantine. We understand that our parents may have difficulty getting an appointment or timely test results. Therefore, we believe this could make quarantines more confusing. For example, if a person receives a test on day four and not after day five, the results are invalid. If results are slow to return, the quarantine period ends up being longer than ten days.
We hope this new information will help your family as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together. As a reminder, a child who has to quarantine due to close contact with a symptomatic person can only return to school in one of the following ways:
Waiting for ten days to return to school. (Must be symptom-free upon return).
Producing a negative COVID test result for the symptomatic person.
Producing an alternate doctor's diagnosis for the symptomatic person.
If a child is quarantined due to close contact with a COVID positive person, every effort should be made to discontinue close contact as soon as possible and maintain an appropriate distance from the COVID positive individual in the household. The CDC defines close contact as being within 6 feet for more than 15 accumulated minutes. Any exposed child will need to quarantine for ten days from the last close contact with the COVID positive person. Example: If a parent tests positive on Monday but did not end close contact with their children until Wednesday, all exposed children would begin their 10-day quarantine on Wednesday. The children cannot return to school before ten days have elapsed. Upon their return, the children must be symptom-free. All other protocols (required face coverings and social distancing etc.) will remain in place. Please contact your school if you have a question on when your child should return.