YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — In accordance with recent guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the York County School Division is shortening the required COVID-19 isolation and quarantine periods.

York schools announced on Monday night that the shorter isolation and quarantine periods would be effective starting Tuesday.

The adjustment is based on information from state officials regarding the CDC’s guidance.

Starting Tuesday, students and staff who tested positive for the coronavirus must isolate for five days. If they’re asymptomatic after that isolation, they can return to school on day six, but must remain masked when around others for an additional five days.

This means anyone who had previously been given a return-to-school date between Jan. 12 and Jan. 16 can now return to school Tuesday.

Those who still have symptoms need to remain home until they’re asymptomatic.

The masking requirement may impact a student or staff member’s ability to participate in extracurricular activities through day 10, the division said.

Students and staff who were exposed to someone with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis must remain home and in quarantine for at least five days after the contact if they aren’t fully vaccinated. Groups who must quarantine include:

  • People who are ages 18 and older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • People who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
  • People who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.

Students and staff who were exposed to a positive COVID-19 case don’t need to quarantine if they’ve received all vaccine doses and recommended boosters, those who are 5-17 years old who completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines, and those who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

In a presentation Monday night, administrators said high levels of absenteeism among staff and students may lead to decisions to learn remotely. Those decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A school spokeswoman on Friday said the division is monitoring its absentee rates daily.

Administrators added that changes in the quarantine guidelines should ease the need to shift to remote learning.

On Friday, 10 On Your Side reported that York County schools would shift several Yorktown Elementary classes to virtual learning this week.