Prince George’s Co. updates COVID-19 school guidelines, gives out rapid testing kits

Schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland, have updated their COVID-19 quarantine and testing guidelines in response to the latest ones from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Regardless of vaccination status, students, teachers and staff who test positive for COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19 have to stay home for at least five days from the onset of symptoms if they are symptomatic or from the date they tested positive if they don’t have any symptoms.

They can go back to school on the sixth day if they don’t have any symptoms, feel better and have had no fever (without the help of fever-reducing medicine) for at least 24 hours. And, they must wear a well-fitting mask for an extra five days at all times, unless eating meals.

If you have had a booster, are recently vaccinated or recently got COVID-19

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, but you have had a booster, have completed your primary vaccination series or had COVID-19 within the last 90 days, then you do not need to quarantine after exposure. But you will need to wear a mask around others for 10 days after the last date of your exposure.

You must also get a rapid antigen test on the fifth day after the date of last exposure (individuals who had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days do not need to get tested).

Not yet gotten a booster, vaccinated several months ago or unvaccinated

If you have not had a booster; you completed your vaccine series more than five months ago for a Pfizer vaccine, six months ago for a Moderna vaccine or two months ago for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; or you are not vaccinated, then you must quarantine after an exposure.

You must stay home for at least five days from the last date of exposure, and if you have no symptoms, you must get tested with a rapid antigen test on the fifth day of the last day of exposure.

Prince George’s County schools said the goal of the protocols is to minimize disruption to learning and work, while quickly quarantining those who have COVID-19 symptoms.

Where to find at-home COVID-19 tests

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said Monday that the health department and the Office of Emergency Management will hand out 25,000 at-home rapid COVID-19 testing kits at designated locations each week in a partnership with the library system and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

Distribution will occur in select community centers and libraries starting on Wednesday while supplies last.

“We recognized that we needed to ensure that our residents had access to testing resources, and we are excited to be able to partner with our library system and M-NCPPC to bring these additional resources to our community. We strongly encourage residents to take advantage of these new options to get tested, regardless of your vaccination status, so that we can keep each other safe and healthy,” Alsobrooks said in a statement.

The testing kits are free, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Prince George’s County residents will need to show proof of county residency to get the tests. Examples of proof include, but are not limited to, a driver’s license, utility bill or lease agreement.

You can see where to get a test kit or get tested at Prince George’s County COVID-19 testing website.

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.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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