Isolation and quarantine are actions that help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe. If your student:
- Is exposed to COVID-19 in school, they will be asked to quarantine at home unless they are fully vaccinated.
- • Receives a positive test for COVID-19, they will be asked to isolate at home.
If either of these situations occurs, you can anticipate a phone call from a school nurse and working with your school to arrange distance learning.
Isolation means that someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 stays home and stays away from other people in their home as much as possible. If your student, or anyone else in your home, tests positive for COVID-19, we ask that they follow isolation guidelines, including any specific instructions from the local public health department. Generally, isolation will involve:
- Staying at home for 10 days after symptoms appeared, AND remaining home until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications, and other symptoms have improved. During this time, individuals isolating will need to stay away from other people in the home as much as possible. They may stay alone in a bedroom or in another part of the home and use their own bathroom, as much as possible. It also helps to reduce the spread by staying out of areas of the house where people gather, such as the living room or kitchen.
- Having one person to care for the individual with COVID-19, if possible. This caretaker should keep 6 feet of distance from other people in the house as much as possible, wear a face covering, and wash their hands often.
- Having other members of the same household stay home for 14 days since their last contact with the person who has COVID-19, as they are considered close contacts. See quarantine section for more information.
Quarantine means keeping someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others outside their home. A person can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms. Quarantine reduces the risk of accidentally spreading the virus to other people. If members of the same household have not directly been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, and they are not showing symptoms, they do not need to quarantine.
If your student, or anyone else in your home, has come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, we ask that they follow quarantine guidelines, including any specific instructions from the local public health department. Generally, quarantine will involve:
- Staying home for the 10-14 days following close contact with someone who has COVID-19, monitoring health and watching for symptoms. While a 14-day quarantine is most preferred, our local health department is currently supporting a 10-day quarantine as long as symptoms do not present through the 10th day.
- Staying away from others, especially those with a high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. This means not participating in any activities outside the home.
- Having one person to care for the individual in quarantine, if possible. The caregiver should keep their distance from other people in the house as much as possible and use a face covering, stay 6 feet apart as much as possible, and wash their hands often.
- The incubation period (the period between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms) for the virus is 2-14 days but is typically 4-6 days.
Per Marion County Health & Human Services (our local health department), if the household member with COVID-19 is unable to be completely separated from others in the household—meaning in a completely separate building and not within the same house—all other household members must undergo an extended quarantine (unless fully vaccinated). An extended quarantine is quarantining the 10 days while the person with COVID-19 is in their infectious period, and then another 10 days of quarantine. (Rationale: the person with COVID-19 can spread the virus at any time while infectious (2 days before symptoms start to 10 days after) and the virus can take 2-14 days to present itself after being infected.)
People who are vaccinated and have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they meet the following criteria:
- They are fully vaccinated, meaning they have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine, or one dose of a single dose vaccine, AND it has been more than 14 days since completing the vaccine series, AND
- They have not shown symptoms since being exposed to COVID-19.
Public health guidance recommends that fully vaccinated people still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after being exposed and if symptoms develop, isolating at home and getting tested. They also recommend those that who are vaccinated and exposed get tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after the exposure date.