January 14, 2022
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently announced it has officially adopted shortened COVID-19 isolation and quarantine periods of five days. This shift aligns with the new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it focuses on reducing the spread of the omicron variant in schools with fewer disruptions to in-person learning.
Isolation and quarantine
For anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status:
- Remain home for five days (Day 0 = the first day of symptoms, or the day a positive nasal swab or saliva test was taken).
- Return on Day 6 if you have been fever free for 24 hours and symptoms are improving (you feel well enough to resume normal activity).
- Remain home for five days.
- Return on Day 6 if you continue to be asymptomatic.
- If symptoms develop, restart the 5 day isolation, starting on Day 0.
Individuals who are unable to wear a well-fitted mask will continue to stay home through Day 10.
Students and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 will not need to quarantine if the following are true:
- They have had a confirmed positive COVID-19 test in the last 90 days.
- They provide documentation showing they have received a primary vaccine series and a booster dose if eligible.
If you are able to separate from the positive case, quarantine for five days. The last day of contact with the positive case is Day 0. If you are not able to separate from the positive case, quarantine for 10 days.
Stay home with symptoms
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and do one of the following:
- See a healthcare provider.
- Take a COVID-19 test.
- Remain at home until five days have passed and you have been fever free for 24 hours and symptoms are improving.
Please remember to use this symptom checker each day prior to school. People who have symptoms of illness should stay home from school.
Masks continue to be required in all Mounds View Public Schools buildings. MDH recommends wearing a high-quality mask to help limit COVID-19, including variants like omicron. Examples of high-quality masks include N95 or KN95 masks, which are very good at blocking droplets.
Considering the rapid spread of this variant and the early period when a person is most infectious, schools around the state have found contract tracing is often inconsistent, ineffective and inefficient. In Mounds View, schools will conduct contact tracing for school-based contacts only in unique circumstances for example, students who receive their education in program-based special education settings. In addition, schools will suspend the practice of contact tracing for students who ride the bus, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Schools continue to focus on layered mitigation strategies such as masking, physical distancing, regular testing, hand-washing, sanitizing surfaces and more. Site-specific plans have been developed to physically distance students as much as possible during lunch and snack breaks.
Elementary school and early childhood families will receive a notification if three or more new cases occur in their child’s classroom. Notifications to families will no longer occur after each new case has been identified in a child’s homeroom class. Each week, the total number of positive cases and quarantines among students and staff will continue to be posted here. All numbers reflect a combined total from all sites and schools during that time period. Numbers only represent learners and staff who are on-site. Numbers will continue to grow due to backlogged data.