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In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, students and staff will only need to quarantine for five days when positive with COVID-19. 

The West Linn-Wilsonville and Lake Oswego school districts have shortened quarantine times for those who test positive for COVID-19 — despite rising omicron cases.

The decision was prompted by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, which on Dec. 27 reduced the isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 from ten days to five. On Jan. 6, local school districts received the green light from the Clackamas County Public Health Department to follow the updated quarantine guidance.

Both school districts were quick to align their protocols with CDC guidelines.

The new guidance

Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, can return to campus after day five of isolation if symptoms are no longer present. The CDC guidelines also outline that an individual may not use fever-reducing medicines like Tylenol to alleviate COVID symptoms.

After following the recommended quarantine, students and staff can return to school as long as they wear a face covering for the next five days.

"A negative result means they can return to school but must continue to wear a well-fitting mask when around others for an additional 5 days," the Lake Oswego School District said in a community letter.

The new protocol alteration arrives at a time when COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly throughout local schools. WL-WV Superintendent Kathy Ludwig recently said the district has identified "a record number" of cases in recent weeks.

The Lake Oswego School District currently has 124 people isolating, according to the COVID-19 dashboard. The WL-WV district identified 175 positive cases in the 14 days leading up to the last update of its COVID-19 dashboard on Jan. 7. In an earlier interview with Pamplin Media Group, West Linn-Wilsonville Communications Director Andrew Kilstrom said these cases were from people attending school already with the virus, rather than a spread caused on campus.

The districts said they will begin implementing the new quarantine protocol immediately and both continue to recommend other safety mitigations to their communities.

Both districts urged people to get vaccinated and boosted, and to wear masks in public indoor settings.

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