JuabSD Parents and Students,
Today I received new “Low Risk Test and Return” guidance from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Sydnee Dickson. Under the new guidelines, time in quarantine could be cut in half for JuabSD students and employees who were wearing masks at the time they were possibly exposed to COVID-19 while at school.
Effective immediately, students and employees who test negative for COVID-19 after the seventh day from their last exposure — and, importantly, only if they were wearing masks at the time of exposure — can return to in-person learning, activities, and work. As you may know, the previous quarantine time was 14 days.
The new guidance was recommended by a school medical advisory group and approved by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah State Board of Education. Students and employees must meet all three of the following criteria to return from quarantine before 14 days has transpired.
- The school verifies the student, teacher, or staff member who was exposed and the person who tested positive were both wearing a face mask as defined by the State Public Health Order on masks in schools. Face shields do not count as face coverings under the health order.
- The student or employee tests negative for COVID-19 (the test must be a PCR or antigen test and not an antibody test) at least seven days after the last exposure. Those currently on quarantine may now seek a new test for a possible early return.
- The student, teacher, or staff member does not have symptoms of COVID-19.
If the person does not meet all three criteria or chooses not to get tested, she or he will quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day of exposure. Note that the protocol does not apply to students, teachers, staff, or settings that are exempt from the State Public Health Order regarding masks in schools. Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 and comes back to school must continue to watch for symptoms. If employees or students get symptoms, they should isolate at home and call their healthcare provider. These guidelines only apply to close-contact exposures that occur at school.
Dr. Kodey S. Hughes, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
Juab School District