CCPS upholds stricter guidelines

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 14, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Despite the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reducing its recommended COVID-19 quarantine time from 10 days to now five, Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) Superintendent Robbie Mason said the school division would not follow those recommendations.

“While the CDC lowered isolation times for COVID-positive people to return to work or school after five days, CCPS will continue to follow our previous guidance requiring 10-day isolation for students and staff who test positive,” Mason wrote in a release to parents a day before schools reopened from winter break.

Mason said that CCPS would be notifying area physicians and pediatricians to make sure that they are aware of the schools’ current isolation and quarantine procedures.

“We have a surge of cases throughout our region and we need to take every possible precaution to keep our students and staff healthy,” Mason said. “Once the current case counts are regulated, we will re-evaluate our procedures.”

CCPS is still continuing to follow the public health order for masks to be worn in all schools.

On Dec. 27, the CDC announced shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public.

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.

The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to the onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”

Additionally, CDC is updating the recommended quarantine period for anyone in the general public who is exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than two months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict guidelines for mask use for an additional five days.