CDC’s New COVID Guidelines: Kids Can Stay in Class If Exposed

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The revised recommendations only require quarantining for exposure in high-risk settings, of which schools are not

After more than two years of frequent hand washing, mask wearing and quarantining, the CDC has just dropped new guidelines that seem to change everything we’ve come accustomed to. On Aug. 11, the Center stated that people no longer need to quarantine if they’ve been exposed to Covid, unless they are in a high-risk setting.

High-risk congregate settings are considered “correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and nursing homes,” per the CDC. In a nutshell, if your child becomes exposed to Covid while in school, and remains asymptomatic, they do not need to quarantine at home but can remain in class.

We’re not gonna lie: as parents this definitely has our heads spinning. After cancelling almost an entire year of in-person learning due to the alleged “high-risk nature” of a school setting, it feels strange to suddenly reverse everything. We’d like to think the changes mean we are getting a handle on the coronavirus, and hopefully that’s the case.

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“The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years,” said Greta Massetti, a senior epidemiologist with the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “High levels of population immunity due to vaccination and previous infection and the many available tools to protect the general population and protect people at higher risk allow us to focus on protecting people from serious illness from Covid.”

The CDC also provided for more updates in their new policy. If you are exposed to Covid, the new protocol is to mask for 10 days if you are asymptomatic and then test on day five. Schools also no longer need to administer Test to Stay (TTS) protocol, in which a student needs to show a negative test to remain in the class if exposed.

Also unchanged is the CDC’s policy on containing to wear a mask indoors in high transmission areas, which can include schools.

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