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New DPH Guidelines for Close Contact Quarantines

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New COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines for Close Contacts

Effective December 10, 2020

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) recently revised its quarantine guidelines for close contacts, which will affect the amount of time students and staff are required to be out of school when they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19. The Paulding County School District continues to follow DPH guidance on COVID-19, and these guidelines will go into effect for PCSD schools and facilities for new cases only effective December 10, 2020.

All close contacts (staff and students) MUST be quarantined and excluded from the school setting and all extracurricular activities, regardless of students, teachers, or staff wearing masks or the use of physical barriers (e.g. plexiglass).

A 14-day quarantine period is still recommended; however, individuals may opt for a shorter quarantine period by following the below criteria.

Asymptomatic persons who have a known exposure to a person with COVID-19 can return to school:

  • After 7 full days have passed, if:
  1. Tested for COVID-19 (PCR/molecular or antigen test), AND
  2. Receive a negative result; AND
    • A copy of this report will be submitted to and maintained at the school
    • Staff should also send a copy of the report to Human Resources
  3. Remained symptom§ free; AND
  4. Wears a mask appropriatelyф on school buses and in school until day 15 after the initial exposure date; AND
    • Students who refuse to wear mask appropriately will be sent home to complete the 14-day quarantine
  5. Will closely monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms§ for the entire 14-day quarantine period
  • After 10 full days have passed, if:
  1. Not tested for COVID-19 AND
  2. Remained symptom§ free; AND
  3. Wears a mask appropriatelyФ on school buses and in school until day 15 after the initial exposure date; AND
    • Students who refuse to wear mask appropriately will be sent home to complete the 14-day quarantine
  4. Will closely monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms§ for the entire 14-day quarantine period

After stopping quarantine after day 7 or 10, all individuals who do not have symptoms§ should strictly adhere to mitigation measures including appropriate mask usage, following social distancing guidelines to the extent feasible, washing hands, avoiding crowds, and taking other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for at least the entire 14-days.

Athletics and Activities

Students participating in athletics and/or activities and who end quarantine after day 7 or 10 can return to practice/meetings if they can adhere to the mitigation measures, including appropriateФ mask usage and following social distancing guidelines to the extent feasible while at practice or meeting. However, they cannot return to contests/competition until a full 14-days have passed since their exposure.

  • Each head coach/sponsor should maintain a working spreadsheet for all their athletes/participants
  • If the athlete/participant meets all criteria for a shorter quarantine period (7 or 10 days), the coach/sponsor must check the athlete’s temperature daily
  • The athlete/participant cannot participate in contests/competition until a full 14-days have passed since their exposure. Athletes/participants may attend home contests to observe if all criteria are met, but do not need to travel to away contests.
  • This guidance does not apply to feeder programs that utilize your campus; feeder programs shall adhere to the current 14-day quarantine period.

If an individual, who is a close contact AND ended quarantine after day 7 or 10, develops symptoms§ they should be sent home immediately and follow the guidelines for symptomatic individuals and seek COVID-19 testing.

Reporting

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, parents should notify the front office of their child’s school as soon as possible. Staff members also are required to notify their supervisor in the event of a positive test.

 


‡    The test must be a PCR/molecular or antigen test performed after the 5th day of quarantine. If

an individual is tested more than 48 hours prior to release from quarantine, they must be  

retested after the 5th day OR follow the 10-day guidance. If you plan to discontinue quarantine after 7 full days, this means you should not have a sample collected for a test until after you have completed 5 full days of quarantine.

You may not discontinue quarantine until you have completed a minimum of 7 full days since your most recent exposure, even if you receive your negative test result earlier. If your result is positive, you must follow DPH isolation guidance https://dph.georgia.gov/isolation-contact

 

§     If the individual experiences:

ONE of the following COVID symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • new cough
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

OR

TWO of the following symptoms:

  • sore throat
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • chills
  • muscle pain
  • extreme fatigue/feeling very tired
  • new severe/very bad headache
  • new nasal congestion/stuffy or runny nose

 

then follow the guidance for symptomatic individuals.

 

Ф    How to Wear Masks (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html

 


Georgia Department of Public Health Quarantine Guidance:

https://dph.georgia.gov/contact

 

Georgia Department of Public Health Administrative Order [10]:

https://dph.georgia.gov/administrative-orders

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Symptom-Based Discontinuation of Isolation:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/strategy-discontinue-isolation.html