Fairfax Co. schools speeds up process of returning vaccinated students to classrooms after exposure

Public school students in Fairfax County, Virginia, will be able to return to classes sooner following exposure to COVID-19 if they are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, the school system announced Thursday.

School officials in Fairfax County are adjusting their policies starting on Sept. 7 after an increase in concern from families of fully vaccinated children about how much time students were spending outside of classrooms following an exposure.

Fairfax County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent, Special Services Michelle Boyd said that these changes should keep students, faculty, and staff safe.

“Our goal is to streamline this process so it takes the least amount of time possible to complete while keeping our school community safe,” Boyd said.

Parents will need to confirm their child’s information by completing a two-step process. First, they must provide a copy of their vaccination card and complete a health department survey to confirm the child has no symptoms.

Once the health department has confirmed that information, the district said guardians should receive a verification email that can be submitted to their student’s school.

Boyd said that while the new process will decrease the time officials need to investigate COVID-19 close contacts, vaccination is the best way to avoid disruptions to in-person education

” … It also means students are less likely to miss out on athletics, extracurricular activities, and all of the great moments that happen in our schools,” Boyd said.

If students are not cleared by the Fairfax County Health Department, or given a date to return to school, they will still need to pause in-person instruction.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect Michelle Boyd’s title as the Assistant Superintendent, Special Services. The division superintendent is Dr. Scott Brabrand.

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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