We have shared updated guidance and procedures on COVID-19 exposure and quarantining throughout this school year as it has continued to evolve.
With cases continuing to decrease in our schools and in Summit County, the District will now follow the most recent guidance from the CDC for both the 7-day or 10-day quarantine options for students who are exposed and must still quarantine. When using the reduced 7-day or 10-day option, students must be asymptomatic.
Options to return to school after exposure to a positive case:
- After day 7 and after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later); or
- After day 10 without testing
With either option, students/parents should watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
Again, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your school clinic.
Quarantine protocols have evolved for primary contacts (in close proximity to someone testing positive for Covid-19) during the school day. In short, if a student was exposed in class (and prevention steps were in place: universal mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing, identification & management of students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and routine environmental cleaning & disinfection protocols—and these steps are followed at HCSD) they will be allowed to continue coming to school. However, they will not be permitted to attend any extracurricular activities (sports, clubs, etc.) until the 14 day quarantine period has passed.
- If your student’s classroom exposure was 6 feet or beyond: no restrictions.
- If your student’s classroom exposure was within 3-6 feet: may attend class, but no extracurricular activities.
- If your student’s classroom exposure was less than 3 feet: traditional, at-home quarantine for 14 days.
Parents can still choose to keep their student home for the 14 days quarantine if they are identified as a primary contact.
Parent Message Regarding Updated Quarantine Guidance from Ohio Department of Health (1/11/21)
On Thursday, January 7, 2021, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued new guidance on quarantining of close contacts during the school day based on exposure to an individual who tests positive for COVID-19. In addition, Summit County Public Health also issued a Classroom Based Exposure Quarantine Update that follows the ODH guidance. This new guidance is based on a study of data from a sample of Ohio school districts that indicated there was little or no increased potential of school spread of the virus in the classroom setting by close contact if safety protocols were in place. This new study and the subsequent guidelines will reduce the instructional time out of school for students and staff due to close contact.
Our district data indicates and supports the findings of the data collected in the study in other Ohio districts.
While the definition of close contact has remained the same, under the new guidance, if the exposure occurred outside of 3 feet, the individual (another student or a staff member) within close contact parameters is no longer required to stay home from school for 14 days. This assumes that the exposure occurred within a classroom environment or school bus, and that the infected and exposed individuals were wearing face coverings at all times.
Please note that the above guidelines only apply to the school and classroom environment. Students should not attend in-person school if they were exposed to COVID-19 outside of the school day (i.e. while participating in sports or other activities, or if exposed at home).
Close contacts who continue to attend in-person instruction should also follow normal protocols for quarantine when outside the PreK-12 classroom environment, including staying at home and, if possible, staying away from people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. During this 14 day time period, students may not participate in extracurricular activities outside of the classroom environment, such as practices, games, or in-person performances. Individuals who are close contacts of positive cases outside of the school environment (e.g., family gatherings or events) are still required to quarantine for 14 days.
In summary, we will continue the following:
- Contact tracing and reporting, and notifying parents and staff of positive cases and close contacts;
- Close contacts in the classroom environment and/or school bus may now continue to attend in-person instruction if the exposure occurred outside of 3 feet with masks on;
- Athletes identified as close contacts in the classroom environment or school bus may continue to attend in-person instruction if the exposure occurred outside of 3 feet, but will not be able to participate in sports practices or games for 14 days.
- Close contacts identified outside of the school environment must stay home and can return to school after 14 days.
- Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home for 10 days unless they have a doctor’s permission to return to school; and
- A positive case may still return to in-person instruction after 10 days from the symptom onset if they are symptom free.
Ohio’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory
We will follow the guidelines outlined by the Governor's office for traveling out of state. Right now, Ohio has issued a travel advisory for certain states, which asks families to self- quarantine if traveling back to Ohio from those states. However, guidelines change and we will communicate with families as we know more. In addition, the Governor's Office is looking at what the family did while traveling, such as incorporating the same COVID-19 guidelines on vacation that are being recommended for Ohio guidelines (masks, physical distancing, handwashing) that may also be used to determine if a family needs to self-quarantine when returning home.