Update on Quarantine, Isolation, Testing, and Return to Activities

On December 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance regarding the appropriate duration of quarantine and isolation for COVID-19. Based on this updated guidance and the science supporting it, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) advises at this time that it is appropriate to allow school districts the choice to make changes in their operating rules regarding quarantine, isolation, testing, and return to in-school activities. These suggested changes are designed to focus on the increased risk from individuals reporting for school-related activities with active symptoms of illness and the decreased risk for and from individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In brief:
 
  • Individuals who are even mildly symptomatic with any of the symptoms associated with COVID19 should immediately isolate at home, test for the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) with a PCR, antigen, or self-test, and remain away from activities outside of the home until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours and other symptoms are significantly improved.
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home for at least 5 days, or longer if symptoms develop and persist. A mask should continue to be worn for an additional 5 days at all times when around others.
  • Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals who are notified that they have had a close contact with an individual who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should immediately quarantine at home and test for the virus 5 days after their last exposure to the COVID-19 case. This is especially important in situations where extended high-intensity exposure may have occurred, such as with household contacts, in unmasked social settings (e.g., sleepovers, parties), and/or during athletic activities.
 
Student/Staff with any
COVID-19 symptoms
Student/Staff with no
COVID-19 symptoms
If fully vaccinated against COVID-19
 
(defined as two weeks after second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or first dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
 
 
Isolate at home.
 
Test for COVID-19
(either self-test or at a testing site).
 
If test result is negative, return to activities
when fever free for at least 24 hrs. and other
symptoms are significantly improved.
 
If test result is positive, isolate for at least 5 days,
return to activities on day 6 or later
when fever-free for at least 24 hrs. and other
symptoms are significantly improved.
 
Wear a mask at all times when around
others for an additional 5 days (i.e., through day 10).
 

 

If notified of a close contact with a COVID-19 case outside of the school day:

Continue with in-person learning.

Test for COVID-19 (either selftest or at a testing site) 5 days after the exposure.

Consider quarantining for 5- days from other activities outside of school, especially if notified of an extended high-intensity exposure (e.g., household contact, unmasked social contact, contact during athletic activities).

Wear a mask at all times during any activities when around others for 10 days.

If only partially vaccinated

(one dose of a two dose COVID-19 vaccine or within two weeks of final dose) or Unvaccinated or Vaccination status is unknown.

 
 
If notified of a
close contact with a
COVID-19 case outside of the school day:
 
Isolate at home for a minimum of 5 days since last exposure to the
COVID-19 case.
 
Test for COVID-19
(either self-test or at a testing site).
 
Return to activities on day 6 or later when fever-free for at least 24 hrs. and other symptoms are significantly improved.
 
Wear a mask at all times during any activities when around others for an additional 5 days (i.e., through day 10).

 

If no known close contact

with a COVID-19 case outside of the school day:
 
Isolate at home.
 
Test for COVID-19
(either self-test or at a testing site).
 
If test result is negative,
return to activities when fever-free for at least 24 hrs. and other symptoms are significantly improved.
 
If test result is positive,
isolate for at least 5 days
after symptoms began, return to activities
on day 6 or later
when fever-free for
at least 24 hrs. and
other symptoms are significantly improved,
 and wear a mask at all times during any activities when around others for an additional 5 days (i.e., through day 10).

 

If notified of a close contact with a COVID-19 case outside of the school day:

Quarantine at home from school, extracurricular activities, and other activities for 5 days from the last exposure to the COVID-19 case.

Test for COVID-19 (either selftest or at a testing site) 5 days after the exposure.

Wear a mask at all times during any activities when around others for an additional 5 days (i.e., through day 10).