UPDATED 3-3121! Q: What are the quarantine requirements?
A: Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) has updated its guidance for schools regarding quarantine. The updated guidance is available here. You can see a video summarizing the new guidance here. You can also see this video for an overview of the changes in quarantine guidance over the course of the current school year.
According to FCPH, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet or less of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more (combined total time) starting 2 days before their symptoms began. This is their “infectious period”. If they don’t have symptoms, it is two days before the day they were tested for COVID-19.
The updated quarantine guidance states:
- If the exposure occurs within a classroom environment and at least 3 to 6 feet of physical distancing was maintained, any close contacts to a COVID-19 case are allowed to continue attending class and organized athletic and extracurricular activities during a "modified" quarantine period if both the case and contacts were adhering to other prevention measures (i.e. correctly wearing masks, covering the nose and mouth, at all times). However, during a modified quarantine, contacts should still limit all other activities for 10 days - staying home, separating themselves from others, and monitoring their health. According to updated guidance from Franklin County Public Health, this means not attending after-school care, not visiting individuals that reside outside of the household, and not taking part in any other types of events or activities, with the exception of organized athletics and other structured activities that students commonly participate in outside of school (i.e. dance, clubs, music, etc.).
- If the exposure occurs within a classroom environment and less than 3 feet of physical distancing was maintained, a close contact to a COVID-19 case would not be eligible for the modified quarantine described above and would need to quarantine at home for 10 days beyond the last date of exposure. They would not be permitted to attend school or any other activities. They would have the option of returning to school and all other activities after day 7 of their quarantine period with a negative result from a COVID-19 test administered on day 5 or later.
- If the exposure occurs outside of a classroom environment (exposure from a teammate, family member, childcare, etc.), the individual will need to quarantine at home for 10 days beyond the last date of exposure and should not be permitted to attend school or any other activities. They would have the option of returning to school and all other activities after day 7 of their quarantine period with a negative result from a COVID-19 test administered on day 5 or later.
We will continue to follow Franklin County Public Health for any updates on the quarantine guidance for schools.
Q: What conditions constitute a “classroom environment” per quarantine rules? Does a PE class with students closer than 6 feet engaging in a physical activity constitute a “classroom environment?”
A: According to Franklin County Public Health, “a classroom environment is anything that is part of a normal day for students, including recess and gym/P.E. Busing is also included. Sports, extracurriculars, and before/after care are not included as part of the classroom environment.”
Q: Would the quarantine requirements apply for SACC?
A: Yes, based on current Franklin County Public Health guidance, any elementary student who is identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case may not participate in before/after childcare, including our SACC program.
UPDATED! Q: What about students who go away for spring break? Will there be any regulations for quarantining if they travel outside of state?
A: Leading up to and following spring break, we will remind families of the state’s travel advisories and self-quarantine guidance. Franklin County Public Health recommends quarantining for 10 days if you have traveled to any state reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19).
For someone who has traveled internationally, the CDC recommends people should quarantine upon returning. This is even if they had to have a negative test before returning to Ohio. Franklin County recommends quarantining for 10 days after returning from international travel. The CDC provides additional information on international travel here
Q: How is it determined that you had a close exposure?
A: Based on current Franklin County Public Health guidance, close contacts are defined as being within six feet of someone who is positive for a total of 15 minutes or more. Whenever we are notified of a positive case in our schools, our COVID Nurse Coordinator, in partnership with our school staff, conducts a COVID-19 case investigation to determine whether there were any close contacts in the classroom or through school activities.
Q: Will we be made aware if someone in our child’s classroom tests positive?
A: Yes, we will continue to send a school notification and a classroom notification for any positive case in our schools, per the state order.
Q: How do we report if our child has tested positive or is in the process of being tested?
A: You can report that to your school nurse, or you can contact or COVID-19 Nurse Coordinator directly. Contact information is available on our website.
UPDATED! Q: For HS students rotating classes, if exposed in one class, do they go to all classes after or just the one they were exposed in?
A: Under the updated quarantine guidelines from Franklin County Public Health, any student who is determined to be a close contact in a classroom setting where at least 3 feet of physical distancing has been maintained would be allowed to continue to attend school during their quarantine period. So, in such a case, the student would continue to attend a full class schedule.
UPDATED! Q: How will my child keep up if they are on quarantine?
A: Learning during quarantine will be treated like extended absences we’ve had in the past, and we’ll handle any students who are quarantined and are not able to attend school on a case-by-case basis. In general, elementary teachers will connect with students as they have for years with long term absence situations using their learning management system, SeeSaw. Secondary teachers (middle school and high school) will do the same - monitoring Canvas for assignments and work submission, and using either Canvas or email for that two-way communication to keep up with the assignments.