Valdosta City Schools released new COVID-19 quarantine guidelines earlier this week. Below is the information from the news release sent out by the school district so you can see the changes and reasons straight from the horse’s mouth.
On Tuesday, September 14, the Valdosta Board of Education adopted new COVID-19 quarantine guidance in accordance with the administrative order released by the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The Georgia Department of Health issued the following guidance to schools: “…recognizing the importance of in-person learning, we have issued an updated administrative order related to quarantine. Schools may now elect to adhere to different quarantine requirements in order to facilitate in-person learning. These alternative quarantine guidelines can only be followed if the point of exposure is in the school setting and the individual remains asymptomatic”
What does this mean for VCS faculty, staff and students? Effective Wednesday, September 15, we will use these quarantine requirements:
- We will continue to follow DPH guidance as it pertains to positive cases.
- We will continue to notify the parents of students who meet the “close contact” criteria, however, the Department of Public Health has approved three exemptions for close contacts:
- Asymptomatic individuals who are fully vaccinated are NOT required to quarantine if it has been at least 14 days since the completion of the vaccination series and they are free of symptoms.
- Individuals who had COVID-19 within the previous three months and are free of symptoms are NOT required to quarantine but should continue to wear a mask indoors.
- A pre-K – 12 student who is free of symptoms and was between 3 – 6 feet of a student with confirmed or probable COVID-19 in the classroom setting is NOT required to quarantine, if BOTH students were consistently and correctly wearing well-fitting masks at the time of exposure.
- We will NOT require quarantine for students or staff who meet one or more of the approved exemptions.
- When a positive case occurs, school staff will be on a heightened level of observance for symptoms among exposed students and staff.
- Any exposed student who is exempt from quarantine but whose parent chooses for the student to be quarantined will receive an excused absence and receive temporary virtual instruction.
Individuals exposed by close contact should follow DPH guidelines (wearing a mask, monitor temperature twice per day, social distancing, and washing hands). In the event these individuals become symptomatic or test positive, quarantine will be required.
Exposure by close contact is defined as within 6 feet of the positive individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more. If you are unsure of your quarantine status, please contact the school nurse before sending a student to school or reporting to work.
HOW TO GET VACCINATED: COVID-19 has killed more than 30,000 Georgia residents. Don’t let yourself or your loved ones die from a preventable virus. COVID vaccines are free and widely available statewide without insurance or identification. To find a vaccination location or to schedule an appointment, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.