Some local school districts begin to loosen quarantine policies for COVID-19 exposures


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — School districts in our area are loosening quarantine policies after new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week.

The CDC recently announced that the mandatory 14-day quarantine after a possible COVID-19 exposure can be shortened to seven days with a negative test or 10 days with no test and no symptoms.

Here’s where school districts in our area stand:

If a student or faculty member at Suffolk Public Schools is exposed to COVID-19, they must quarantine at home for 14 days. If they’re vaccinated and exposed, quarantine is not necessary as long as they don’t have symptoms. If a student or teacher at SPS does have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 then they’ll quarantine for 10 days. The same goes for those who test positive but have no symptoms.

At Virginia Beach City Public Schools, those exposed will quarantine for 10 days unless they were at least three feet away from the person they were exposed to and wearing a mask. Anyone who is fully vaccinated will not need to quarantine.

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Those at Norfolk Public Schools and Chesapeake Public Schools will also have to quarantine for 10 days after a possible exposure, if they test positive and are asymptomatic, or if they have symptoms. If a student or staff member is fully vaccinated, they can return to school unless they had a breakthrough COVID-19 infection. Then they’ll have to quarantine for 10 days. Those who were exposed to a family member with COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days.

Portsmouth, Newport News and Hampton have the same 14-day quarantine policy if a student or staff member is exposed to COVID-19 at home. Those who have tested positive will isolate at home for 10 days.

In North Carolina, Dare County Schools and Currituck County Schools now align with state and local health officials. If a student or staff member is exposed to someone with COVID-19 or COVID-like symptoms, they can shorten their 14-day quarantine after seven days with a negative PCR test or after 10 days with no test and no symptoms.

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Senatara COVID-19 Infographic (Dec. 2020)

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