Loudoun County schools adjust quarantine guidelines

Some coronavirus-related rules have changed in Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia.

On Wednesday, the school district announced that the weekly testing requirement for unvaccinated school staff and student-athletes has been suspended indefinitely because of problems with a vendor.

Quarantine rules are changing, too.

Starting Monday, the school system will reduce the time students or staff are required to quarantine if they come in close contact with someone with the virus. That time will be cut from 10 days down to seven, as long as the person tests negative.

Also, students or staff who are vaccinated or have had a documented case of COVID-19 in the past three months and don’t have symptoms won’t have to quarantine at all.

In August, the county said all schools staff had to be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. A vaccine requirement was also announced for student-athletes.

Loudoun County joins Montgomery County, Maryland, in amending quarantine guidelines this week.

“If (you’ve been diagnosed with the virus) within the last 90 days and you’re feeling fine, the chance that you would be sick within those 90 days is extremely low,” County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend told county supervisors Wednesday. “We don’t know six months out or one year out, but in those 90 days it seems to be protective.”

Meanwhile, Loudoun County is gearing up to begin vaccinating kids age 5 to 11 with the kid-sized Pfizer COVID shot. They’re also being made available through doctor’s offices and pharmacies in the county.

The county’s vaccination site at Dulles Town Center in Sterling will begin administering the shots on Nov. 5 and 6.

Because of expected high demand, county residents are asked to schedule an appointment online.

More appointments will become available for upcoming dates on Nov. 6.

Goodfriend said the county is considering offering the shots in schools during the school day.

Goodfriend is urging parents to get their eligible young kids vaccinated as soon as possible. Getting both shots before Thanksgiving would be great, but Goodfriend suggests at least getting one shot before Thanksgiving and another before Christmas.

“I think that’s going to go a very long way to helping to blunt what we expect to be the increase in cases over the winter. The virus likes cold weather. Last winter was really the worst time of COVID,” Goodfriend said.


More Coronavirus News

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.


Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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