COVID-19 School Protocols

Ledge Light Health District has revised our COVID-19 recommendations for schools to align with updated guidance from the CDC and CT DPH and to provide clarification on contact tracing protocols.

As directed by DPH, contact tracing is only recommended for lab-confirmed positive cases. Schools electronically notify LLHD of lab-confirmed positive cases. Please contact your school directly to report your child as a positive COVID-19 case. Schools continue to be responsible for conducting internal contact tracing, notifying their school community of positive cases, informing school-associated close contacts about exposures, and communicating LLHD quarantine and testing recommendations with school-associated close contacts.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health and Connecticut State Department of Education released an updated version of Addendum 5. LLHD has updated a decision tree for COVID-19 scenarios in schools based on this guidance. Please note that the decision tree is meant as a guide for school administrators and school nurses and will not cover all COVID scenarios, so please refer to Addendum 5. LLHD also provides a contact tracing overview which includes a script for notifying close contacts.

Individuals directed to self-quarantine are excluded from participation in team athletics or other group extracurricular activities for a full 14 days. This period may be shortened to 10 days with a negative COVID-19 test collected at day 8 of quarantine or later, with continued daily symptom monitoring for days 11-14. If symptoms develop, the individual should self-isolate immediately.

Schools have been directed by DPH not to accept home tests. Anyone reporting a positive test of any kind should be excluded from school, but a positive home test should be followed up with a lab-confirmed test. Students involved in quarantine situations will not be excluded from quarantine unless they had a lab-confirmed positive test in the past 90 days (or are fully vaccinated and remain asymptomatic). Click here for information on COVID-19 testing locations.

Below are answers to our most frequently asked questions:

Q. What is the definition of a close contact?

A.

    • General Population: Anyone within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more (cumulatively over a 24 hour period) during infectious window.
    • Students: For students (not teachers or others) in a classroom setting only (not buses, athletics, or non-classroom settings), if both parties wore masks and were seated at their desks for the entire duration of their contact, a close contact is a student within 3 feet for 15 minutes or more (cumulative over a 24 hour period).

Q. What are the quarantine requirements for individuals identified as close contacts who have not been vaccinated, or whose vaccination status is unknown?

A. These individuals must quarantine for 10 days following the date of exposure to a positive case, and continue to monitor for symptoms days 11-14. If there is ongoing household contact with a positive case, the close contact must quarantine for the entire isolation period of the positive case PLUS 10 days following the end of isolation. It is recommended that all close contacts get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine. however, a negative test result does not negate the need to complete the quarantine period for unvaccinated individuals.

Q. What are the quarantine requirements for individuals identified as close contacts who are fully vaccinated?

A. These individuals do not need to quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic. It is recommended that they get tested 5-7 days post exposure, and wear a mask until receiving a negative test result or for 14 days following exposure if not tested. If they test positive they must isolate for 10 days.

Q. What are the quarantine requirements for individuals identified as close contacts who have recently recovered from COVID-19?

A. Close contacts who had a positive COVID-19 test result in the past 90 days and have completed their isolation period may refrain from quarantine provided they are asymptomatic.

Q. What is required of contacts of contacts of positive cases?

A. No action is required.

Q. What are the isolation requirements for individuals who test positive for COVID?

A. Individuals who test positive must isolate until they meet all of the following criteria to discontinue isolation:

    1. 10 days have passed following the onset of symptoms AND
    2. 24 hours without a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication) AND
    3. overall, symptoms improving.
    4. If asymptomatic, isolate until 10 days have passed following the date of positive test collection.

Q. Is a negative COVID-19 test required for positive cases to be return to school after isolation?

A. No, The CDC does not recommend requiring a negative COVID-19 test result to return to school, as positive cases may continue to test positive up to 90 days following the initial positive test. An individual is no longer considered contagious once they have met the CDC criteria to discontinue isolation.

Q. How do you determine the infectious period of positive case?

A. The infectious period of a positive case begins 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms (refer to CDC complete list of symptoms of COVID-19), OR 48 hours prior to a positive test date for asymptomatic cases.

Q. What is an acceptable COVID-19 test?

A. Both PCR and Rapid Antigen test results are acceptable, though a negative antigen test in a symptomatic individual should be followed up with a PCR test.

Q. If a positive test is followed up with a negative test, is it considered a false positive or may the case end isolation early?

A. No, the isolation period must be completed following a positive test.

Guidance Documents

Additional Resources