Loudoun County Public Schools are immediately reducing quarantine and isolation periods for individuals who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or come into close contact with someone who has, according to a Monday evening statement.
Following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Dec. 27, school officials said people who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for five days, rather than 10, as was standard procedure for LCPS for the past several months, through winter break.
School officials said in the statement that they will be implementing a five-day quarantine period for all individuals identified as a close contact, regardless of vaccination status. However, according to a flowchart posted on the LCPS website, individuals who are fully vaccinated or have obtained booster shots and are identified as close contacts are only required to self-monitor for symptoms.
Individuals who test positive for the virus may return to school or work after that five-day period if they are asymptomatic or have not had a fever within 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, according to the LCPS statement.
The school division will require individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to isolate for five days from the start of symptoms, or after symptoms subside following a positive test result.
School administrators said individuals determined to be close contacts may return to school or work immediately if they are asymptomatic and submit proof of a vaccine booster, two shots of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines within the last six months, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the past two months.
Members of the school community who either test positive for COVID-19 or are found to be close contacts of someone who has tested positive are encouraged to reference this flowchart to determine their recommended approach for quarantine or isolation.
Anyone entering an LCPS building is still required to wear a mask until further notice while students are present, school officials said. The school district has an Frequently Asked Question page about masks and mitigations in school.
Administrators encourage anyone who has not yet obtained a vaccination against COVID-19 to make an appointment to get vaccinated.
LCPS will host several walk-in vaccination events in coordination with the Loudoun County Health Department and Giant Pharmacy. First and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available to anyone aged 5 or older, and Pfizer boosters will be offered to those aged 16 or older.