Quarantine Basics: Help Keep School A Symptom-Free Zone

Sheridan Hills Elementary students learn during a field trip to Wood Lake Nature Center

Dear RPS Families,

This week we talked about mask maintenance and home health screenings. Now we want to get into the details on quarantining. 

Who needs to quarantine?

If a student is identified as having close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19, they will need to quarantine for 10 days if any of these are true:

  • They were not wearing a mask when they were in close contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19
  • They show symptoms of COVID-19

A student would not need to quarantine if they show no symptoms of COVID-19 and any of these is true:

  • They are fully vaccinated 
  • They were wearing a mask
  • They recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days

When a student is identified as having been in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, families will receive a phone call and email from their child’s school. Additional information about the quarantine period and other resources are included in that email.

How long does a student need to quarantine?

In most cases, students who have been identified as a close contact to a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 need to quarantine for ten days from the last date of contact. Students should continue to be monitored for symptoms for a full 14 days after the initial exposure. However, please note that household close contacts must complete a 14-day quarantine due to potential continuous exposure. This means that if a child tests positive for COVID-19, their siblings need to quarantine for a full 14 days.

When does a class need to quarantine?

A class may need to quarantine when there are multiple positive cases of COVID-19 in an individual in a classroom. We consult with Bloomington Public Health to determine when a class should quarantine to prevent further spread. Typically this happens when there are three confirmed cases in a class within a week.

How long is a classroom quarantine? 

A class quarantine is 10 days starting from the last day of contact a positive individual had with members of the classroom. This can mean students who were currently in quarantine would have their quarantine time extended to align with the class quarantine time.

What are the expectations for students while they are in quarantine?

While in quarantine, it is important for students to stay engaged in learning. For grades PreK-5, your child’s teacher will reach out to you within the first three days of quarantine to provide assignments for your child to work on that are specific to the curriculum being covered during the quarantine period. For grades 6-12, students can access learning materials for each of their courses through Schoology. Teachers will add learning activities to the Schoology course each day. 

Nobody likes to be quarantined, especially after a year and a half of isolation due to this pandemic. For families with young children, this can place an additional hardship when it comes to finding child care. However, quarantine remains an effective tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and is one more way we can help ensure our schools are symptom-free zones.

As always, thank you for your partnership as we work together to keep our students and staff safe—especially our youngest students who are not yet eligible for the vaccine. Together, we will get through this. 

If you have any questions, please contact your school’s health office.

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Changes to COVID-19 Notification

We are continually monitoring and evaluating our COVID-19 procedures. Read this update for two changes we are making, effective the week of Octiber 4.