VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — Virginia Beach high schoolers are no longer required to quarantine after exposure to someone infected with the coronavirus.

The new policy went into effect on Monday, December 6.

Public school students and staff will still have to continue to wear a mask, and there will still be contact tracing.

Virginia Beach Public Schools and the Virginia Beach Health Department officials believe it is safe for older students due to the high vaccination rate at the beach. Local data shows COVID-19 is not spreading much in city high schools.

“We think that can largely be attributed to the large vaccination rate among [high schoolers] in Virginia Beach — it’s over 60%,” said Joshilyn Binkley, the district’s epidemiologist.

Binkley says fewer than 1% of those exposed test positive.

So far, about 800 students have missed class due to quarantine this year. Don Robertson, the district’s chief of staff, tells 10 On Your Side kids were missing on average about 5 days of class.

Students in elementary and middle school will continue to quarantine for 10 days after exposure, due to higher transmission rates there compared to the high schools. Those who are identified as low-risk exposure contacts will receive a general notification letter from VBCPS via the AlertNow notification system.