Rapidly Evolving Changes to School-Related COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols
January 11th, 2022 | COVID Return to School•COVID-19•Covid Pediatrics
Based on the update sent January 5, 2022, from Dr. Mendoza and the Monroe County Department of Public Health last evening (see below), we have confirmed the following key points or clarification:
- Narrowed pool for Test to Stay (TTS): TTS only applies to asymptomatic, unvaccinated students exposed to an infectious individual while IN SCHOOL. Those exposed outside of school are not eligible.
- The isolation and quarantine period for students is now reduced from 10 days to 5 days.
- Antigen Tests permitted for all return to school purposes. While the PCR requirement has been lifted from the county guidance for return to school, we continue to recommend PCR testing in cases where clinicians have a high index of suspicion for COVID-19 infection. Additionally, the language around permitted antigen tests specifies a “laboratory-confirmed Rapid Antigen Test” for return-to-school purposes. This category includes antigen tests performed where there is a limited-service lab license in place or a full-fledged lab and so applies to tests conducted at practice settings, schools, test centers and laboratories.
- Home tests, while allowed to stand for reporting if they are positive, are still NOT allowable for a return to school. In other words, a negative home test in a symptomatic student, regardless of vaccination status must be backed up by a laboratory-confirmed test (PCR/NAAT or antigen) as defined above.
- Further school guidance changes are anticipated from the CDC and NYS over the upcoming days, therefore no new algorithms have been released. However, the rules summarized here are the current guidance changes and supersede the most recent county algorithms released in December.
As other changes are adopted and updated algorithms are produced, we will share that information via COVID update email.