Montgomery County Public Schools now say staff and students five years and older who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for five days.
Montgomery County, Maryland, now say public school staff and students ages 5 and older who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for five days.
If after day five the person has no symptoms — or has shown symptom improvement — and has not had a fever for 24 hours, they may return to school as long as they wear a mask.
In a change of course of guidelines released in NovemberMaryland’s largest school system said fully vaccinated adults and children — and those who’ve had COVID-19 in the past 90 days — who’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 don’t need to go into quarantine, but instead wear a mask. others wear for 10 days and are tested at least five days after exposure. They don’t need to be quarantined unless they also test positive.
The revised guidelines getting closer to alignment with those of Maryland’s Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Maryland State Department of Education.
But there is one crucial difference: For children under 5 years old, the recommendations call for 10-day isolation and quarantine periods before returning to school or day care.
Earl Stoddard, the county’s deputy director, explained why the county’s updated recommendations differ from the state’s guidelines when it comes to children ages 5 and under: “They are not vaccinated and cannot wear a face covering. ” Vaccinations against the coronavirus have not yet been approved for children under the age of 5.
“Everything for ages 5 and up is in accordance with the state of Maryland,” Stoddard noted.
While the new guidelines shorten isolation and quarantine periods from 14 days to 10 days, not everyone is happy that the province continues to differ when it comes to isolation and quarantine policies for younger children. On Friday night, Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson told WTOP that he plans to ask about that discrepancy at Tuesday’s city council briefing.
Earlier Friday, when County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council Chairman Gabe Albornoz Virtually met members of the Montgomery County delegationIn Annapolis, Del said. Kirill Reznik that he had heard from daycare and preschool operators, which are licensed by the state.
“What they’re seeing is very conflicting guidelines regarding quarantine and testing and everything else,” Reznik said.
Reznik also said the lack of consistency between state and county guidelines caused confusion among providers and parents. He told provincial officials: “What you are doing is not only putting a lot of pressure on the nurseries and kindergartens, but you are also putting a lot of pressure on families with young children who may not be able to quarantine as easily. for as long as literally the rest of the known universe.”
Stoddard said it is up to the Montgomery County Public School System to implement the updated policy. He said he has reservations about moving to a shorter, five-day isolation and quarantine period for students returning to school because of the challenges of preventing the spread of the coronavirus in cafeterias. Wearing masks effectively, Stoddard said, “is very hard to do in that environment.”
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