On Friday, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction modified its COVID-19 quarantine regulations for students and personnel who have been exposed to the virus.
After being exposed to someone with COVID-19, students and employees who have had their booster vaccinations will not need to be quarantined away from school.
Students and workers who have received COVID-19 in the past 90 days are likewise not need to be quarantined following exposure.
Alongside, Students and employees who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and have gotten their booster doses will not be required to quarantine.
“Research and lived experience in this pandemic have shown it is essential we do everything we can to safely keep our students in the classroom,” North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Chief Deputy Secretary Susan Gale Perry said in a Friday statement. “In-person learning is more than academics, it’s also children interacting with their peers, getting healthy meals and accessing critical support services.”
In accordance with revised recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NDHHS has lowered the length of time a student must miss from school after testing positive for the virus to five days if they are asymptomatic (CDC). Those who have repeat negative PCR tests within 24 to 48 hours after a positive test can return to school.
For at-risk individuals, people with symptoms, and those who have just recovered from COVID-19, the NCDHHS continues to recommend for mask use, although the Department only requires masks in counties with high transmission rates.
“Protecting our students and staff requires layers of protection to stop the spread of COVID-19,” State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson said. “In addition to vaccines and masks, Test-to-Stay is another proven tool that can help minimize the spread of COVID-19 while also maximizing time in the classroom.”
In-person learning is still supported by President Biden and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Students and employees who have not been tested for COVID but are exhibiting symptoms must also quarantine for five days and must not have a fever for at least 24 hours before returning to school.