LAUSD adopts modified quarantine for students

The Los Angeles Unified School District has, in recent days, updated its COVID-19 safety protocols to allow for students and employees who were in close contact with an infected person to remain on campus under a “modified quarantine” as well as announced other changes impacting student athletics.

Under a new quarantine protocol that aligns with county guidelines, students and employees who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated – they must also be boosted if they’re eligible for a booster shot – won’t have to quarantine, though they must take a COVID-19 test immediately and again on the fifth day following exposure. Individuals who recovered from a PCR-confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 90 days and have no symptoms also won’t have to quarantine.

TK-12 students who aren’t fully vaccinated and employees who haven’t gotten their booster shots but are eligible can remain on campus under a “modified quarantine,” sometimes referred to as “test to stay,” if they meet certain conditions. (Students in early education centers or adult education centers aren’t eligible for modified quarantine.)

For TK-12 students to qualify for modified quarantine, first, they must be asymptomatic. Secondly, a school staff member must confirm that both the COVID-positive individual and the close contact were wearing masks properly the whole time the exposure occurred. A student with a face mask accommodation won’t be eligible for the modified quarantine, nor can students at a school with a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.

Those who qualify for modified quarantine can be on campus for the regular instructional day but can’t take part in before- or afterschool programs, clubs or sports. They must, for 10 days, wear surgical-grade or higher-quality mask at all times while on campus except when eating or drinking, during which they must remain at least 6 feet from others.

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Individuals under modified quarantine also must monitor for symptoms daily and undergo COVID-19 testing twice weekly and can be released from modified quarantine on the sixth day if their tests are negative and they continue to be asymptomatic.

Close contacts who aren’t exempt from quarantining or who don’t meet all the criteria for a modified quarantine must quarantine at home. If they receive a negative COVID-19 test five days after their exposure and have no symptoms, they can return to campus the next day.

What about Zooming while home?

Students who must quarantine at home may continue to access their classes online via Zoom as they did last semester, Anthony Aguilar, the district’s chief of special education, equity, and access, confirmed during an interview earlier this week.

“In a regular quarantine – if the student is actually told to quarantine and stay home – nothing has changed. We have an opportunity to keep kids Zooming in a room,” he said.

“Nothing has changed even in our agreement” with the teachers union, he continued.

In a “Frequently Asked Questions” post on its website, United Teachers Los Angeles said students who test positive for the coronavirus are considered in isolation – not quarantine – and that teachers do not need to provide Zoom access to …read more

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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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