There have been some questions about the recent decision by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to allow alternatives to the 14 day quarantine requirement. According to the CDC website, “local public health authorities determine and establish the quarantine options for their jurisdictions.” CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days.
The Fairfield Department of Health (FDH) has provided the following statement: “The Centers for Disease Control have published new possible quarantine guidelines. These guidelines will be evaluated by the Ohio Department of Health who in turn will give us their recommendations. Once we have those recommendations, we will share them publicly on our social media outlets. There will be no changes made until we receive further direction from ODH.”
Therefore, the district will continue to follow FDH’s guidelines for quarantining students and employees. Under the Fairfield Department of Health's current guidelines, any person who has been exposed to a person who has contracted COVID for an accumulated 15 minutes or more has to self quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.
Exposure is defined as a person who has been within 6 feet of a positive person within 2 days prior to the positive person exhibiting symptoms. This is regardless of whether the persons were wearing a cloth mask or not. Also, a negative COVID test does not release a person from quarantine who was in contact with a COVID positive person.
It is important to understand that anyone living with a positive person may have to quarantine longer than 14 days. The following clarification on this was provided to us by FDH:
"Students and staff who live with a positive person cannot begin their quarantine period until the positive case COMPLETELY isolates from the others in the house or until the positive case is no longer contagious (isolation has ended). Complete isolation means that the positive person stays in their bedroom and has their own bathroom, meals are left at the bedroom door and returned in the same manner. They cannot sit in the living room, serve/eat dinner with others, or share any space with the rest of the household. This is often very difficult when children are involved because they can rarely be completely isolated from parents. Every time you are around a positive person during quarantine, the exposure clock starts over. This means that some students and staff may miss 24 days."
We have had some individuals have to quarantine for more than 24 days. This happens when one person in the household tests positive and later during the quarantine period, other household members test positive. The 14 day quarantine period does not begin until 10 days after the last positive person in the household is over.
The best way to keep COVID out of the household is to not let it in. Follow the basics - practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash hands frequently. Let’s do all we can to limit the spread of COVID so everyone can have the full benefits of school.
Lancaster City Schools