Health director revises COVID-19 school quarantine guidance for Ohio students

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 10:42 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The director for the Ohio Department of Health, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, detailed the latest revisions when it comes to COVID-19 exposures in school and quarantine guidance for students.

“While vaccination and mask usage are critical components of ensuring a safe school environment to support in-school learning, we’re offering an in-school alternative to out-of-school quarantine of students and staff who are exposed to COVID-19 in school settings and school-related activities,” Dr. Vanderhoff described.

Two options were discussed during the Ohio Department of Health briefing: “Mask to stay” and “test to play.”

“Mask to stay” applies to in-classroom attendance following a COVID-19 exposure in school or at a related activity, regardless of vaccination and masking statuses. Direct contact are recommended to do the following in order to remain in the classroom:

  • Wear a mask for 14 days after the last date of exposure
  • Self or parent monitor for symptoms of COVID-19
  • Isolate, get tested if the start of symptoms are experience
  • Students, staff may discontinue quarantine procedures after seven days if symptoms do not develop and a negative test result is received between days five and seven

“Test to play” is relevant for those who participate in extracurricular activities. Asymptomatic contacts can continue to participate if they do the following:

  • Wear a mask when possible, including on the team bus, on the sideline, and in the locker room
  • Get tested
  • Test again between days five and seven following the initial exposure. If negative at that time, test out of quarantine after day seven in order to resume normal activities

“It’s important to note that schools are not requested to adopt these policies, and parents can opt out if they desire,” Dr. Vanderhoff added.

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