This week the CDC and New Jersey Department of Health updated their COVID-19 guidance for school settings, shortening the isolation period for COVID-19 positive cases and the quarantine period for those in close contact with a positive case. These changes, highlighted below, are now being implemented at Hunterdon Preparatory School (HPS).
We ask that you continue to keep your child home if they are experiencing even mild symptoms and that you report positive cases to our School Nurse, Sandy Sanchez. The NJ Department of Health is currently recommending everyone ages 12 and above to receive a COVID-19 booster vaccination. If your child’s vaccine status has changed or been updated, please report this information to Ms. Sanchez. We thank you for all of your efforts in keeping the HPS school community healthy and open for in-person instruction.
Here is what you need to know:
For Individuals who are Symptomatic or Test Positive for COVID-19 - Regardless of Vaccination Status:
Persons who test positive for COVID-19 and are symptomatic or persons with COVID-19 symptoms who weren’t tested or who are waiting for test results: Stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms).
If symptoms resolve (fever-free for 24 hours and other symptoms improve), isolation can end after 5 full days (i.e., on day 6).
If symptoms persist (fever or if other symptoms have not improved), continue to isolate until fever-free for 24 hours and other symptoms have improved.
Persons who test positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms: Stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the day of the positive viral test).
If no symptoms develop, isolation can end after 5 full days (i.e., on day 6).
If symptoms develop within one week of the positive test, the 5-day isolation period starts over with day 0 being the first day of symptoms. Follow recommendations above for ending isolation for persons who have COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition, individuals need to wear a well-fitted mask when around others through day 10. For those ending isolation on day 5, this would be during days 6 through 10. Individuals who are unable to wear a mask when around others should stay home and isolate from other people for a full 10 days.
For Individuals who are Close Contacts of a Positive Case:
Fully vaccinated individuals or those who had COVID-19 in the last 90 days DO NOT have to quarantine unless they start showing symptoms. Though the CDC and NJDOH are making a distinction between individuals 18 and older and 5-17 year olds in their recommendations, we are treating all students the same. At this time, students are considered fully vaccinated if they have completed their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines. All other HPS community members 18 and older must have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters, to be fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine if they come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact for students in a school setting is defined as less than 3 feet when students are wearing masks, or within 6 feet if not wearing masks for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
When on Quarantine:
Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after the last close contact with a person who has COVID-19. The date of the exposure is considered day 0.
If COVID-19 symptoms develop, get tested and follow isolation recommendations.
If asymptomatic, get tested at least 5 days after the last close contact.
If the test is positive, follow isolation recommendations.
If the test is negative, you can end quarantine after day 5.
If testing is not available, you can end quarantine after day 5 (as long as there were no COVID-19 symptoms throughout the 5-day period).
Continue to wear a well-fitted mask when around others through day 10. For those ending isolation on day 5, this would be during days 6 through 10. Persons who are unable to wear a mask when around others should stay home and quarantine from other people for a full 10 days. Continue to monitor for symptoms.
Please note that if your child is currently out of school on isolation or quarantine and their symptoms are improving and are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, you can request a shortening of the isolation/quarantine time period based on this new guidance by contacting Sandy Sanchez, School Nurse at email@example.com. Please do not send your child to school without first contacting Mrs. Sanchez.
Masks are Required for all Individuals in the School Setting
On January 11th, Governor Phil Murphy re-declared a public health emergency, which continues the mask mandate for schools. The mask mandate will continue for 30 days, unless the Governor extends the public health emergency an additional 30 days. Students, staff, and visitors of HPS will continue to wear masks while inside the school building.
The updated recommendations for school settings from the NJ Department of Health can be found here: NJDOH Revised School Guidance for Isolation-Quarantine January 10 2022.pdf.