St. Michael-Albertville School District announced Wednesday that students testing positive for COVID-19 can rejoin school after a shorter quarantine, even as the Omicron variant of the virus peaks in the state of Minnesota.
As Omicron spreads, those suffering infection seem to be seeing milder symptoms, with most school-aged students not requiring hospitalization or special medication after testing postive.
That led the Centers for Disease Control to issue new guidance earlier this year to drop quarantine periods to five days for most cases, provided those sick wear a mask and not have symptoms after that time.
Here’s the communication from STMA Schools that outlines the quarantine and re-entry process for students:
In alignment with new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), STMA Schools will be updating our covid isolation procedures effective Wednesday, January 19th. The new procedures can be found in our updated Safe Learning Plan.
A shorter isolation period of five (5) days (for asymptomatic and mildly-ill people) will now be in place to focus on the period when a person is most infectious. Students who test positive can end isolation AFTER five full days if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. The five-day isolation period will start as Day Zero being the first day symptoms started OR the day of the positive test if no symptoms are present. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected. Upon return students are required to wear a well-fitting mask for five (5) additional days (days 6-10).
If, on Day Six, symptoms have not improved the student should continue to isolate at home until symptoms have improved. If students are unable to wear a mask on days 6-10 they must continue to isolate at home.
Students who were previously given a 10-day isolation or/return date, can now return using the 5-day period following instructions provided. Please contact your student’s health office for an updated return to school date.
As a reminder, all students should stay home any time they are experiencing one “more common” or two “less common” symptoms of covid. More common symptoms include: fever, new/worsening cough, difficulty/hard time breathing, new loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include: 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.
If you have any questions please contact your child’s health office.