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Putnam County Schools (PCS) will follow the West Virginia Department of Education's (WVDE) School Recovery & Guidance Document for COVID-19 in schools.
Contact Tracing Guidance from the WVDE
For cases requiring quarantining, students who have been vaccinated do NOT have to quarantine.
For unvaccinated students in a classroom, review class, bus, and cafeteria seating charts, and only quarantine students who were less than six feet of an infected person as opposed to quarantining an entire classroom. There are exceptions when quarantining an entire classroom is acceptable (e.g., greater than 10% of class positive with COVID-19 or younger-aged children where identifying close contacts is not possible).
Students who have been vaccinated do NOT have to quarantine.
With Mask: Students that are unvaccinated will need to quarantine if within six feet of a confirmed case in high-risk areas such as cafeterias, extracurricular settings where masks are not worn.
Without Mask: Students that are unvaccinated must follow one of the two quarantine options below.
Quarantine period can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been identified during daily self-monitoring.
Day 0*-10 quarantine for close contacts can end if no symptoms develop during daily self-monitoring without testing.
If an individual develops symptoms within the quarantine period, immediately isolate and contact the local health department to report change in clinical status.
Quarantine period can end after Day 7 if someone tests negative (PCR or antigen test) and if no symptoms have been identified during daily self-monitoring.
Post-quarantine transmission risk: 5%-12
Day 0*-7 quarantine for close contact can end if COVID-19 test is negative and if no symptoms develop during daily self-monitoring.
Specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation.
Self-monitoring and mask-wearing should be continuous.
If an individual develops symptoms within the quarantine period, immediately isolate and contact public health to report change in clinical status.
*Duration of quarantine applies from the last date of exposure
(Quarantine Guidance cited from the WVDE's School Recovery & Guidance Document. )
Definition of School Outbreak
Cases of COVID-19 are immediately reportable to the local health department. Local health departments, under the reportable disease rule 64-CSR7, have the authority to isolate and quarantine for COVID-19.
An outbreak in a school setting is defined as:
Multiple cases comprising at least 10% of students, teachers, or staff, within a specified core group (e.g. classroom, extracurricular activity, sports team).
OR at least three cases within a specified core group (e.g. classroom, extracurricular activity, sports team).
COVID-19 cases with symptom onset or positive test results within 14 days of each other that were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting (i.e., household) AND epidemiologically linked in the school setting.
WVDE Considerations for School Closing
Schools may consider closing individual classrooms for a 10-day period when rapid transmission occurs in a classroom to slow transmission. Schools should use the threshold five or more students in a single classroom or if 10% of the classroom has COVID-19, whichever is greater.
Schools may consider closing for a 10-day period to slow transmission if recommended by the local health department to the county superintendent based on meeting one of the thresholds:
School is unable to maintain a safe school environment due to the number of staff out.
School baseline absenteeism is double the average daily absences due to students out with COVID-19.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Guidance in this document is subject to change as additional information about the spread and prevention of COVID-19 is known. In addition, directives may evolve as they are received from Governor Jim Justice, public health officials, and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). Therefore, all West Virginia County Boards of Education must be prepared to alter their guidance to comply with any new directives to best safeguard student health and learning needs.