Understanding Student Quarantine Scenarios

Understanding Student Quarantine Scenarios
Posted on 09/09/2021

Updated Procedures Related to COVID-19 Quarantines
(updated 10/13/2021)

Do I Need to Quarantine? flyer

Download the 2021 GCSD Quarantine Guide

CDC continues to recommend quarantine for 14 days after last exposure. However, there are options to reduce the duration of quarantine in either of the following two scenarios, which DHEC strongly recommends schools implement: 

  • 10 days of quarantine have been completed and no symptoms have been reported during daily at home monitoring.
  • 7 days of quarantine have been completed, no symptoms have been reported during daily at home monitoring, and the individual has received results of a negative antigen or PCR/molecular test that was taken no earlier than day 5 of quarantine.
  • A close contact who is ending quarantine early (less than 14 days) and returning to the school environment should wear a mask and in order to return to in-person learning. The individual should also continue to monitor for symptoms through 14 days after the date of last exposure.

CDC defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread the virus starting from 48 hours before they have any symptoms (or, for asymptomatic patients, 48 hours before the specimen was collected), until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation.

  • In the K–12 schools, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) if the exposed student(s) wore mask(s) during the exposure time.
     This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.
  • Athletics/Activities: Close contacts will include anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) from 48 hours prior to symptom onset (or specimen collection for an asymptomatic infected person) of the infected person.

Quarantine is required for an individual who has been a close contact with the following two exceptions:

  • Individuals who have provided documentation that they are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms do NOT need to quarantine after a close contact.
  • People who have tested positive (PCR or antigen test) for COVID-19 within the past 90 days and recovered and do not have symptoms do NOT need to quarantine.

SCENARIO

FULLY VACCINATED*

NOT VACCINATED

COVID-19 positive test result from a laboratory or healthcare facility.

Isolate for a minimum of 10 days (longer if symptoms persist).

Isolate for a minimum of 10 days (longer if symptoms persist).

CLOSE CONTACT** of a COVID positive individual.

If no symptoms are present, no quarantine is required.

Quarantine required. 

Household CLOSE CONTACT of a COVID positive individual.

If no symptoms are present, no quarantine is required.

Quarantine for infected individual’s isolation period PLUS a minimum of 10 additional days.

CLOSE CONTACT while wearing a mask.

If no symptoms are present, no quarantine is required.

If no symptoms are present, no quarantine is required.

CLOSE CONTACT of a CLOSE CONTACT

No quarantine is required.

No quarantine is required.


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