As we prepare to begin the second half of our school year, I wanted to provide you with an update on some recent changes made by both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health regarding COVID-19. These changes impact the timelines and processes associated with isolation and quarantines when an individual comes in contact with the virus. Depending on the situation, these revisions may result in students being able to return to school sooner.
Here are answers to questions that you may have regarding these recent changes.
How long will someone need to isolate (stay home) if they test positive for COVID-19?
The isolation period was shortened from 10 days. With the new guidance from the CDC and VDH, students or staff who test positive may return:
- 5 days after they test positive if they never develop symptoms or
- 5 days after the onset of symptoms if their symptoms are getting better with no fever for at least 24 hours.
How long does someone need to quarantine (stay home) if they are a close contact to someone who is COVID-19 positive?
People who have received their booster are NOT required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19. In addition, students and employees do NOT need to quarantine IF they:
- have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last 2 months.
- have received both Pfizer or Moderna vaccines within the last 6 months.
Students and employees DO need to quarantine if they are a close contact and:
- are unvaccinated.
- have completed the Johnson & Johnson primary series more than 2 months ago and have NOT received the booster.
- have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than 6 months ago and have NOT received the booster.
The duration of quarantines has been shortened from 14 days to 5 days following exposure to someone with COVID-19. Both the CDC and VDH recommend individuals should continue to wear a mask for an additional 5 days.
Where can I find COVID-19 test kits?
The Virginia Department of Health has issued a limited number of test kits to our school division to distribute to students and staff who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If your child is symptomatic or has been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive, please request a test kit through your child’s school nurse. Additional testing sites can be located through the Virginia Department of Health's website.
Are there upcoming vaccination clinics near Goochland?
The Chickahominy Health District has vaccine clinics scheduled for January 5, 2022 and January 13, 2022 in Ashland. For more information and to register, please visit this link. For other nearby clinics, you can also search for vaccine locations by zip code and vaccine type through this website.
We ALL want to put COVID in our rear view mirror as a distant memory. Unfortunately, it is still right in front of us now and we must adjust and adapt as much as possible until this is finally over. As we continue to work through the challenges associated with the pandemic, let’s all remember to stay home if experiencing symptoms and report any positive exposures to our school nurses. With the shared, common goals of safety, prioritizing in person instruction, and minimizing disruptions to student learning, we are confident we will get through this together!