State adjusts quarantine rules for schools

Oct. 9, 2020

The state of Utah has adjusted the quarantine protocol for students and staff who are exposed to COVID-19 at school. These adjustments apply to all K-12 schools statewide, including schools in the Uintah School District. The district had been using a “modified quarantine” protocol approved by the TriCounty Health Department.

Under the new statewide quarantine protocol, a student, teacher, or staff member who is exposed at school to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 may return to in-person learning, participation in extracurricular activities, or to work at a school if he or she meets ALL of the following:

1. The school verifies the student, teacher or staff member who was exposed and the person who tested positive were both wearing a face mask as defined by the State Public Health Order on masks in schools.

2. The quarantined student, teacher, or staff member has a negative COVID-19 test result (must be a PCR or antigen test, not an antibody test). The test result must be from at least 7 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive.

3. The student, teacher, or staff member does not have symptoms of COVID-19.

This new “low risk test and return” protocol does not apply to students, teachers, staff, or settings that are exempt from the State Public Health Order on masks in schools.

If a student, teacher, or staff member who was exposed meets ALL three criteria he or she may return to work, school or related activities, if the employee or the parents of the student choose. If the person does not meet ALL three criteria OR chooses not to get tested, he or she should quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day of exposure.

The Uintah School District has been informed that it will receive a supply of COVID-19 Rapid tests from TriCounty Health. School district nurses will be trained to administer these tests to students whose parents/guardians choose to have their child tested following an in-school exposure, as well as to teachers and staff who have an in-school exposure and choose to be tested.

Even after receiving a negative test result, anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 and comes back to school must continue to watch for symptoms. If employees or students develop symptoms, they should isolate at home and call their healthcare provider.

These guidelines ONLY apply to exposures that occur at school. They take effect immediately.
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