After the winter break, Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland said that students will return to in-person learning with some changes in coronavirus quarantine and isolation protocol.
Superintendent of Schools George Arlotto said in a letter to parents that the school system will adopt the new guidance from the Anne Arundel County Department of Health to align with the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new guidelines say that those who test positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate for five days and must be symptom-free or have symptoms resolving before returning to school or work.
Those who must quarantine under the direction of the Department of Health or another agency will also have to quarantine for five days.
There is no early test-out option, and those who must isolate or quarantine must also mask in all settings for five days after the conclusion of that initial five day period, the letter says.
The school system will continue its vaccination-or-test programs for both employees and high school student-athletes, but it will not adopt a “test-to-stay” program at this time because of a lack of resources, Arlotto said.
“We have had conversations about acquiring tests for such a program but supply chain issues persist and hiring sufficient people to carry out such a program remains problematic,” Arlotto said in his letter. “Our testing vendor, for example, is unable to provide the staff needed to carry out a daily test-to-stay program in each of our 125-plus locations.”
He said those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get a test as soon as possible and stay away from school or work until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours and have a negative test or alternate medical diagnosis.
Arlotto said that the goal is to keep students learning in-person, five days a week.
“The best way to help our students continue their comeback from disrupted instruction is to have them in our classrooms in front of our amazing teachers and staff every day and we are doing everything we can to maintain that course,” Arlotto said.