Quarantine cut in half for district staff, students
Quarantine for kids just got a little shorter.
As of Jan. 6, Newberg and Dundee public schools have changed their COVID protocols to reflect the updated CDC guidelines for quarantine, per request by the Yamhill County Health Department.
Now, instead of quarantining for 10 days, staff and students who test positive for COVID can return to school after five days of isolation if they have been fever free for 24 hours. These guidelines apply to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
People who have been closely exposed to someone who tested positive must also undergo a five-day quarantine, unless they can prove they have received a second vaccination or booster within the last six months or have recovered from COVID within the last 90 days. Before returning, they must have had no symptoms or fever for 24 hours.
An updated flow chart for the school district's procedure can be found at https://bit.ly/3F83GqR. Staff and students currently in quarantine can now return five days earlier.
Despite the protocol changes, Oregon continues to break its record for number of COVID infections, and many staff and student absences are tied to illness and quarantine. The district is also facing staffing, including substitute teacher, shortages.
To limit exposure, wear masks, social distance, avoid large gatherings and keep students home who exhibit symptoms. The Oregon Health Authority has more strategies to slow the spread, which can be found at https://bit.ly/3JMaj5Z.
Regular testing is another way to help slow the spread, as asymptomatic exposure is possible. Therefore, the school district is offering an optional, free weekly testing program for all students. At-home testing kits can be picked up on Monday mornings and returned the following day before 10 a.m. If needed, tests can also be sent home with students.
To enroll students in the program, fill out the consent form found at https://bit.ly/3G6k6Bo and then contact the school's secretary about acquiring a testing kit.
As for extracurricular activities, safety protocols are still in development. The number of spectators may be limited at sporting events, but the school district will release an official statement once changes have been finalized.
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