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Effective 1/4/22 LCPS Updates COVID-19 Protocols

Dear Loudoun County Community,

 

I want to provide you with an update on the school division’s response to the updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and the impact of COVID-19 on our community.

 

Effective immediately, LCPS will adopt the CDC and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recommendations to shorten the required isolation and quarantine periods. The updated guidance also updates the definition of close contact requiring at home quarantine to include fully vaccinated individuals who are eligible for a vaccine booster but have not yet received one.  The CDC guidelines are the result of new scientific evidence that most COVID-19 transmission generally occurs one to two days before the onset of symptoms and two to three days after (CDC Media Statement, 27 December 2021).

 

The new CDC guidance requires people who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate for at least five days. They may return to school or work after five days if they are asymptomatic or have not had a fever in 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. Individuals must wear a well-fitting mask for the five days following isolation to minimize the risk of infecting others. Individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must isolate for at least 5 days from the onset of symptoms or following a positive test result and until symptoms subside. Following the isolation period, individuals must wear a well-fitting mask for five days. 

 

LCPS will institute a five-day quarantine for all individuals identified as close contacts, regardless of vaccination status. Individuals identified as close contacts who are asymptomatic and submit proof of one of the following may be readmitted to school or work immediately: 

  • A vaccine booster, 
  • Two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months, or
  • One shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last two months.

 

LCPS has created this flowchart to illustrate the quarantine and isolation procedures for students and staff.

 

Masks are still required. Anyone who enters an LCPS school building, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering until further notice while students are present. Visit LCPS FAQ about Masks and Mitigations in School

 

LCPS wants to remind anyone who has not received their vaccination to make an appointment to be vaccinated. This is especially important with the spread of the Omicron variant. LCPS will host several walk-in COVID-19 vaccine events in coordination with the Loudoun County Health Department and Giant Pharmacy. First and second Pfizer doses are available for anyone age five and older. Only Pfizer boosters will be available for those who are 16 and older. 

 

According to the CDC, current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. Boosters are now also recommended for everyone 16 and older. For additional information about COVID-19 vaccination, visit Loudoun County’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.

 

We hope this updated guidance will support families and staff as we return to school. We wish everyone a safe and healthy new year.

 

Best wishes,

Scott A. Ziegler, Ed.D.

Superintendent

 

Published January 3, 2022