DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. – The Pandemic is not over, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants to move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives.
The CDC rolled out several new guidelines last week involving schools.
First, students and staff who are exposed to the virus are no longer encouraged to quarantine. Instead, people should wear face coverings for 10 days and get tested. Those who test positive should isolate at home for at least five days. Any time beyond that depends on symptoms.
Students and staff sick with the virus don’t have to get a negative test to end isolation, but testing negative could shorten the number of days to wear a mask. Also, the CDC is asking schools to support students and staff who chose to wear a mask -- regardless of risk or community spread.
The National Association of School Psychologists says school systems need to be prepared to respond to bullying or harassment over masks.
Related: Parents encouraged to monitor students’ mental health as new school year starts
In Duval County, the school district is no longer operating its COVID-19 dashboard. If you want to know about infections at your child’s school you’ll need to call the health department. Parents will no longer receive nightly calls and elementary students will not get letters about individual cases at schools from the district.
The Duval County school district will continue to distribute hand sanitizer. Restrooms will be stocked with soap and paper towels and the practice of regularly cleaning desks and other high-touch surfaces with anti-microbial spray will continue.
Students with COVID-19 Symptoms will be offered a free test while supplies last. Schools will have a limited number of home test kits.
Families are encouraged to order free test kits through the federal government.