Prince William County schools revise COVID-19 isolation, quarantine guidelines

Schools in Prince William County, Virginia, are reducing quarantine requirements for students and staff in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

Starting Monday, students K-12 and staff who have been identified as a close contact but are not sick must quarantine for five days if they are not fully vaccinated. They do not need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated, not sick or had COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

Ten days of isolation are required for students who are sick or test positive for the coronavirus, and for staff, it’s five days. It’s 10 days for students because physical distancing while not wearing a mask during lunch is not logistically possible if isolation were shorter, Superintendent LaTanya McDade said in a letter to the school community.

These changes do not apply to students in pre-K. You can see Prince William County Public Schools’ family guide to isolation here.

Masks will remain in Prince William County schools despite an executive order by Gov. Glenn Youngkin over the seeking to make masks optional. Other school systems in Virginia, including Loudoun, Stafford, Fairfax counties and Alexandria, have said that they will continue to keep their mask requirements.

A lawsuit in Chesapeake Public Schools allege that Youngkin’s executive order violates a state law that orders school systems to “offer and prioritize in-person instruction” while adhering to “mitigation procedures, like mask-wearing, to the extent practicable as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.”

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares filed a motion to dismiss that lawsuit Thursday.

McDade said the school system will keep the masking requirements in place “until such time as PWCS receives clarification on the conflict between the Governor’s recent Executive Order and existing state and federal law.”

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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