The Cape Henlopen School District will be following shortened isolation and quarantine period recommendations established Dec. 27 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Delaware Division of Public Health.
In a Jan. 1 email to families and staff, the district stated that the recommended time people should isolate or quarantine is now five days, rather than 10, based on certain conditions and vaccination status.
“The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to the onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after,” the email states. “Boosted individuals are not required to quarantine after exposure.”
People who test positive should isolate for five days, the email states, and if they have no symptoms or symptoms are resolving after day five, they may leave isolation as long as they continue to mask for five days to minimize the risk of infecting others.
Those who have been boosted, completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months, or completed the primary series of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last two months and are exposed to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask around others for 10 days and test on day five, if possible. Anyone who develops symptoms should be tested and stay home.
Those who are unvaccinated, completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than six months ago and are not boosted, or completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago and are not boosted must stay home for five days. After that, individuals should continue to wear a mask around others for five more days. Those who cannot quarantine must wear a mask for 10 days. These individuals should test on day five if possible, and anyone who develops symptoms should be tested and stay home.
On Jan. 3, the US Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine boosters for children ages 12 to 15. The FDA also shortened the time period between an initial vaccine series and a booster from at least six months after completion of the initial series to at least five months for everyone 12 and older.