After reviewing new state health department guidelines, Sumter School District reduces quarantine period for unvaccinated students and staff to maximum when exposed to COVID-19 to five days if they do not show symptoms.
Testing for the virus on day 5 or later is recommended, but not required, for these individuals to return to school, and use of a mask will be required on days 6-10, depending on quarantine protocols updates released Friday by the district. The changes come into effect Monday.
Maximum vaccinated people refer to people who have received their initial series of vaccines plus a booster. The state Department of Public Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use the term “fully vaccinated” to mean two weeks since the completion of a series of primary vaccinations.
Shelly Galloway, the district’s executive director of communications and community engagement, said the changes will help address staffing shortages and make in-person learning even easier.
Previously, at most unvaccinated people who were considered close contacts of a COVID-19 positive person were quarantined for 10 days by the district, even if no symptoms were present.
With students and staff fully vaccinated, Sumter District protocols have allowed them to skip all quarantine, if no symptoms are present.
The update added that the district’s COVID-19 quarantine and isolation protocols are fluid, and adjustments will continue to be made based on advice from the Centers for Disease Control and the state Department of Health. and environmental control.