ADPH releases updated COVID-19 guidance for schools

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 12:01 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - Based on the Center of Disease Control guidelines, The Alabama Department of Public Health has released the latest COVID-19 recommendations for schools.

Schools are no longer recommended to use cohorts, quarantines and screening testing in most situations. This is because there is a better understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, such as wearing high-quality masks, testing and improved ventilation. People  with COVID-19 can spread the virus to others, and precautions are still needed to prevent spreading it to other people.

Masking continues to be recommended for everyone in schools in areas with a high COVID-19 community level. However, the CDC removed recommendations to keep students in the same groups or cohorts throughout the day. Routine screening testing is no longer needed but may be considered such as during high-risk activities in a high COVID-19 community level or when there is an outbreak. Students and staff exposed to COVID-19 no longer need to quarantine unless they are in high-risk congregate settings and should wear a mask for 10 days and get tested at least five days after exposure.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises people with and without symptoms to test multiple times if they get a negative result on an at-home COVID-19 antigen test due to the possibility of false-negative results.

The school guidance also calls on educators to make reasonable modifications to ensure children with disabilities and special health care needs can access in-person education. These may include masking in classrooms or during activities and other prevention strategies to provide a safe environment. These students should not be placed into separate classrooms or segregated from other students.

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