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Paso Robles School District releases new student COVID-19 guidelines 

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– The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department has updated their guidance regarding the health and safety practices for students in TK-12 schools. Below is a summary and the links for the entire public health memos, as sent by the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District:

1- Student Contact Tracing is now going to be part of “group tracing”

Big change: This will mean that the school district will not be looking at school-based close contacts. It has been replaced with “group tracing” and monitoring of wellness (lack of symptoms).

Recommendations for students exposed to someone with COVID-19 in a K-12 school:

  • Schools should notify students who spent more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes (within a 24-hour time period) in a shared indoor airspace (e.g., classroom) with someone with COVID-19 during their period of infectiousness.
  • Notification should occur to “groups” of exposed students (e.g., classmates, teammates, cohorts, etc.) rather than contact tracing to identify individual “close contacts” (e.g., those within 6 feet).
  • Notifications should be provided to all individuals considered exposed, including those who are vaccinated and/or recently infected. For example, if a student in tenth grade is diagnosed with COVID-19, the school should notify groups with whom that student interacted as per the criteria above, such as those in the same classes, sports team, and/or other extracurricular cohorts.

 

Exposed students, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status or prior infection, should get tested for COVID-19 with at least one diagnostic test obtained within 3-5 days after last exposure.

(Note: testing is not required for students to stay in school. Students may get tested at Paso Robles Train Station, 800 Pine Street, via Public Health. Over-the-counter (at-home) tests may also be used, parents do not need to show you the test. While supplies last, PRJUSD schools may have rapid home tests available by request, and asymptomatic students can test in the health office with the nurse, the parent must be present.

Exposed students who participate in testing may continue to take part in all aspects of K-12 schooling, including sports and extracurricular activities unless they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. They should test as recommended in Section (2), report positive test results to the school, and follow other components of this guidance, including wearing face-coverings as directed.

  • Exposed students who develop symptoms should see Section 4 of the K-12 Guidance.
  • Exposed students who receive a positive test result should isolate in accordance with Section 10 of the K-12 Guidance.

 

2- Student isolation and quarantine time periods

Change in quarantine recommendation for “group tracing” Quarantine is not recommended. Students without symptoms may remain in school and participate in all school activities. If symptoms develop, they should test and stay home.

Recommendations for staying home when sick and getting tested:

  • Follow the strategy for staying home when sick and getting tested by the CDC. Students can return to school after a positive test at 5 days, if the majority of their symptoms have subsided, and they provide a copy (picture) of a negative test. (Note: schools will not be providing this testing. It must be by an at-home test, health provider, or public health).
  • Advise staff members and students with symptoms of COVID-19 infection not to return for in-person instruction until they have met CDPH criteria to return to school for those with symptoms:

– At least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and Other symptoms have improved; and they have a negative test for COVID-19 OR at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset.

The below information is a reference to quarantine not “modified quarantine/class exposure” (group tracing):

Quarantine can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present and a negative COVID 19 test is collected on day 5. If unable to test or choose not to test, and symptoms are not present, quarantine can end after day 10.

Household contact guidelines

If there is a household contact for an unvaccinated person, they must quarantine 5 additional days beyond the household contact’s clearance (Note: in most cases, these will be a total of 10 quarantine days). Students and staff in household quarantine must provide a negative test before returning to school or work if they choose the shortened additional 5-day quarantine. A refusal to test would mean they would be out 10 days from the household contact’s clearance day.

Links for public health documents:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/K-12-Guidance-2021-22-School-Year.aspx
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Group-Tracing-Approach-to-Students-Exposed-to-COVID-19.aspx


 

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.