Schools and COVID

California Students, Teachers No Longer Have to Quarantine After COVID Exposure

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The end of COVID-19 quarantine in schools is here after the California Department of Public Health updated guidelines for K-12 schools.

Students and teachers no longer have to quarantine after a COVID exposure if they don't have symptoms regardless of vaccination status. 

“It’s a problem one way because as a parent you are worried that a kid will get it and bring it home,” said parent Jessim Jadiro.

The San Jose Unified School District has been doing this for months now with students who are vaccinated and were exposed on campus, and they say they haven’t seen a significant surge. So they don’t expect that to change under the new guidelines.

“One major benefit is that people who are not sick and never develop covid after an exposure are not excluded from school,” said Katie Rodriguez, manager of Health and Family Support Programs. 

Those who were exposed are still recommended to wear a mask and get tested -- especially with spring break around the corner.

“We sent home with all of the students and staff an antigen test to use during spring break, but if they need an additional test or if they need a test outside of the spring break period they can go to one of the testing centers to pick up an antigen test,” said Rodriguez. 

The district said the move comes as the positivity rate remains low and while vaccination rates increase.

The California Department of Public Health is trying to treat COVID as other illnesses.

But health experts say even with cases level off, people need to be careful.

“We’re in the coasting phase, and many people thing that because our test positivity rate is a little bit up that this may just be the calm before the storm, there isn’t going to be much of a storm because of the amount of people who had omicron and high vaccination rate, but nevertheless we probably will see a slight increase in cases with BA.2,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong of UCSF.

The changes at San Jose Unified School District will go into effect after spring break on Monday, April 18.

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