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ECSD Receives Guidance from State Regarding CDC Updates

The Elko County School District (ECSD) is implementing recent recommendations from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On Thursday, January 6, 2022, the DHHS updated Directive 048 Full Guidance 2021–22 COVID-19 Guidelines for Prevention and Outbreak Control in School Settings to reflect recommendations made by the CDC in December of 2021. Of the changes, isolation and quarantine recommendations are now a minimum of five days for asymptomatic and mildly ill people.

Below are the changes as they apply in our schools in summary.

Isolation Guidelines

Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether they are symptomatic and regardless of whether they are vaccinated or boosted:

  • Must isolate at home for a minimum of five days.
  • May return to work/school on day six if the individual is asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving (an individual’s symptoms are improving and the individual is fever-free for 24 hours) followed by five days of wearing a well-fitted mask.
  • If you continue to have a fever or your other symptoms have not improved after five days of isolation, you should wait to end your isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved followed by five days of wearing a well-fitted mask.

Quarantine Guidance

Individuals (staff/students) who meet the existing close contact definitions:

  • Must quarantine for five full days.
  • May return to work/school on day six followed by five days of wearing a well-fitted mask.

Please note: testing on or after day five of exposure can help prevent possible spread at school.

Individuals who do not need to quarantine:

  • Age 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
  • Age 5–17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Anyone who has had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days (you tested positive using a viral test, meaning a positive PCR or an antigen test. Antibody tests do not count).

Mask Use

The CDC and the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) highly encourage the use of facemasks for unvaccinated persons over two years of age. Per 2021–2022 Guidelines for Prevention and Outbreak Control in School Settings section Mask Use, students who properly wear masks in school and come in close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, will not need to be excluded from school, if they are asymptomatic and the close contact who tested positive was properly wearing a mask during the contact period.

At this time, ECSD students are not required to wear a face covering unless the applicable local health authority identifies a school-wide outbreak of COVID-19. In the event of a school-wide outbreak, the use of face coverings for all students in the affected school building(s) is mandatory and must be immediately implemented. However, students always have the option to wear face coverings inside district buildings if they elect to do so. All students exercising their options will be fully supported in their decision by district staff. 

Pursuant to Directive 048, the use of face coverings is still required for all staff and visitors in all schools and district facilities regardless of vaccination status.

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