coronavirus in schools

Conn. DPH Updates COVID-19 Guidance for PreK-12 Schools

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The Connecticut Department of Public Health has updated its COVID-19 guidance for PreK to 12 schools.

The updates include changes to quarantine, isolation, testing and return to in-person activities.

Having Symptoms of COVID-19

Anyone who is mildly symptomatic with any symptoms associated with COVID-19 is instructed to immediately isolate at home, test for the virus with a PCR, antigen or self-test and stay away from activities outside of the home until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours and other symptoms are improved.

Testing Positive for COVID-19

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home for at least five days or longer if symptoms develop and persist.

A mask should continue to be worn for an additional five days at all times when around anyone else.

Close Contact With Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

For people who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and are notified that they have had close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should immediately quarantine at home and test for the virus five days after their last exposure to the COVID-19 case.

State officials said this is especially important in situations where extended high-intensity exposure may have occurred. Some examples include household contacts, unmasked social settings and athletic activities.

Contact Tracing

Conn. DPH is recommending that schools begin to refocus the activities of health staff away from the investigation of in-school exposures and instead focus on identification, early isolation and clinical management of students and staff with active symptoms that may be related to COVID-19.

Routine contact tracing of individual exposures that happen inside schools or during school-organized/supervised activities can be discontinued.

According to state DPH officials, school districts that opt to discontinue individual-level contact tracing should:

  • enforce universal masking rules inside the school
  • take steps to ensure that unmasking periods inside the school are brief and as distanced as possible
  • appropriately notify staff and parents/guardians when there are positive cases in the school population

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