SCS tweaks COVID guidelines, lessens how long students have to quarantine

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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Stanly County Schools updated its quarantine guidelines this week lessening how long students and staff need to be in quarantine before they can return to school.

SCS consulted with the Stanly County Health Department before tweaking its quarantine guidance, said Hope Miller-Drye, administrative assistant for the district.

The new guidance applies to students who are not masked either because they were eating lunch or breakfast or participated in athletics, along with staff members who had been in close contact with someone who tested positive.

Under the new guidelines, unvaccinated students and staff who were around a positive individual will have to quarantine, but as long as they submit a negative antigen or PCR test result performed after the fifth day of exposure to a school health official, they will be allowed to return to school after the 7th day. Previously, students and staff had to quarantine for at least 10 days after contact with an infected individual.

If a student or staff member is around a positive person who lives in their home, they will only have to quarantine for seven days, as opposed to 10, as long as they can safely isolate from the infected individual. From the 11th to 14th day after contact, they must still wear a mask and social distance from others the entire time they are back at school.

If the student or staff member is around a positive person at home and cannot safely isolate, they will have to quarantine for an additional 10 days after the positive person’s own 10 day isolation period has ended.

The district’s isolation guidelines, for when individuals test positive, have not changed.

For more information about the guidelines, people can visit the district’s website and click on COVID-19 Community Awareness & Alerts under the “Community” section.

The school system also released new COVID-19 data on Wednesday showing that 1,577 students and staff were quarantined for the week of Sept. 5-11, up from 1,234 the previous week. Every school had at least 12 students in quarantine, with four exceeding 100. The district has roughly 8,200 students.

In addition, 157 students and staff tested positive, a small increase from the 148 who tested positive the week before. At least one positive case was identified at every school except Stanly STEM Early College High School and Stanly County Virtual Education.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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