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Duval School District shortens ‘close contact’ quarantines

An empty Duval County Public Schools elementary classroom
An empty Duval County Public Schools elementary classroom (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Based on guidance for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Duval County Public Schools on Tuesday said it is reducing the quarantine period for people who are asymptomatic and were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a news release from the district, the timeframe is changing from 14 days in isolation to 10 days. It applies to both DCPS students and employees.

DCPS said a “close contact” is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for a total of 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period. Asymptomatic means someone who exhibits no symptoms of the virus such as fever, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, nausea or other flu-like symptoms.

Students who play sports will not be able to participate in athletics until the 14-day period has concluded as they are not able to wear a face covering while playing.

“When the CDC provides an option for students and staff to safely return to school four days earlier, we need to take that option,” Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said in a prepared statement. “I am pleased that we are on the same page with the Florida Department of Health – Duval in working to maximize learning time for students while still adhering to CDC guidance.”

According to DCPS, as of Tuesday, nearly 5,800 students and staff had been quarantined as a result of 607 positive COVID-19 cases identified through contact tracing.

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Lifetime Jacksonville resident, journalist and experienced broadcast news producer with a passion for classic and exotic cars.