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New Guidelines for Chattooga County Students Identified as Close Contacts to Positive COVID-19 Cases

These guidelines will go into effect for all Chattooga County Schools employees and students immediately.

On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines for those identified as close contacts to positive COVID-19 cases using symptom monitoring and diagnostic testing. These guidelines will go into effect for all Chattooga County Schools employees and students immediately.

The new guidelines are for anyone directly exposed.  “I want to emphasize that anyone choosing to return at 7 or 10 days must wear a mask through day 14. The guidelines for anyone that test positive will remain the same,” Jeff Martin stated in a press release.

Quarantine can be a burden on public health systems and communities and may dissuade people from naming contacts. Reducing the length of quarantine will reduce the burden and may increase community compliance.

Local public health authorities determine and establish the quarantine options for their jurisdictions. CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. However, based on local circumstances and resources, the following options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives.

. Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.

  • With this strategy, residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about  1% with an upper limit of about 10%.

• When diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available (see bullet 3, below), then quarantine  can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g., in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.

With this strategy, the residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be  about 5% with an upper limit of about 12%.

In both cases, additional criteria (e.g., continued symptom monitoring and masking through Day 14) must be met and are outlined in the full text HERE.

If you have any questions about the new guidelines please call Jeff Martin at the County Office.

Parents/guardians should notify their school principal if they or their child develops COVID-19 symptoms and/or receives a positive COVID-19 test result. If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms or positive COVID-19 test results while under a quarantine period, please also notify Chattooga County Schools.

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Casie Bryant is the NW Georgia Regional Manager for AllOnGeorgia.

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