The Road Forward
Yesterday, the New Jersey Department of Health updated quarantine recommendations for schools and the general public. These recommendations align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While guidance continues to recommend the optimal quarantine of 14 days for those who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive, the revision allows for a shortened quarantine timeframe. The updated guidance for close contacts states, for individuals who remain asymptomatic, quarantine can end after day seven with a negative COVID-19 test result collected between five and seven days of quarantine, or after day 10 if testing has not been performed, but must continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure..
*If you develop symptoms at any time during the quarantine, you must fulfill the 14 days unless you submit proof of an alternate diagnosis from a health care provider.
How does the change in quarantine timeframe affect students who are quarantining today after an exposure (AS LONG AS THE INDIVIDUAL REMAINS ASYMPTOMATIC THROUGHOUT):
Students on Day 10 or higher of quarantine (as of today) may return to school on Monday, with no test required.
Students on Day 7 or higher of quarantine (as of today) may return to school on Monday with a negative test, or they can return after Day 10 without a test.
*If your child is currently quarantining, your school will reach out to you with further guidance.
In schools during times of moderate and high community transmission levels, individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and no known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the last 14 days, regardless of vaccination status, may follow the NJDOH School Exclusion List to determine when they may return to school only if they have an alternative diagnosis such as strep throat, influenza, or allergies supported by an evaluation by a medical provider. Testing is still recommended for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms. *PCR or rapid test is acceptable. Home-based tests are not acceptable.
Evaluation by a health care provider is necessary to confirm a diagnosis of COVID-19, establish an alternative diagnosis, and to determine the need for COVID-19 testing. Clinical evaluation and/or testing for COVID-19 may be considered for ANY COVID-19 compatible symptoms, depending on suspicion of illness from a health care provider. Testing is strongly recommended, especially when there are multiple unlinked cases in the school and during periods of moderate and high levels of community transmission.
As a reminder, fully vaccinated persons who have close contact with someone with COVID-19 do NOT need to be excluded from school if they are asymptomatic and continue to monitor for symptoms. Parents/guardians should discuss any questions/concerns they have with their doctor or pediatrician in order to determine what is best for their family.
To view the full guidance, visit: https://www.state.nj.us/
To view the updated quarantine timeframes, visit: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/
Thank you for your continued support and partnership!