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Iowa City Community School District relaxing COVID quarantine guidelines

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 2:52 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa City Community School District is relaxing its COVID-19 quarantine guidelines.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, the Board endorsed and approved the District adopting the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance.

According to a statement from Superintendent Matt Degner, the changes will allow “more students to remain in school while also keeping a focus on health and safety. Specifically, the IDPH guidance modifies the District’s quarantine process and reinforces the importance of consistently and appropriately wearing masks.”

Students and staff currently in quarantine will not be returning to school earlier than they are currently scheduled without first consulting with a school nurse. School nurses will review each case and determine if any changes to quarantine dates are needed based on the new guidance.

Quarantined individuals who are able to return early will be notified by 5:00 P.M. on Friday, April 16th.

Effective immediately, the District will follow these COVID-19 Quarantine Protocols:

  • An individual is considered a close contact when they have been within 6 feet of the COVID-19 positive individual for 15 minutes.
  • Quarantine is no longer recommended if a potential exposure occurs while both the infectious individual and the close contact(s) are wearing face coverings consistently and correctly. The decision regarding the correct wearing of a face covering and whether a close contact must quarantine is made during the District’s contact tracing process.
  • If it is determined that an individual needs to quarantine due to close contact, there will be two options for exposed individuals with NO symptoms to reduce their 14-day quarantine.
  • A close contact may return to school after ten days without a test OR
  • A close contact may return to school after seven days with a negative test. The test must be taken within 48 hours of the end of quarantine. This information must be shared with the school nurse before returning.
  • A parent/guardian may choose to keep their child in quarantine for the full 14 days and those absences would be excused.
  • Individuals who are a close contact due to exposure to a household member are required to quarantine for at least 14 days.
  • Individuals who have COVID-19 must isolate for at least 10 days and be fever-free for 24 hours before returning.

“This shift in quarantine protocols allows us to minimize the number of individuals impacted by a positive COVID-19 case in a school and the amount of time spent away from the classroom,” said Denger in the statement. “This change does not minimize our commitment to health and safety. It is important to remind students to always wear face coverings consistently and correctly while at school. We remain diligent in our efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure schools remain a safe and healthy environment for students and staff.

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