Anne Arundel County Schools update COVID-19 quarantine guidelines

Anne Arundel County Schools are modifying their quarantine guidelines for those who test positive for COVID-19.

In a letter posted online, Superintendent of Schools George Arlotto said those who test positive will need to isolate for five days and must be symptom-free or have symptoms resolving before returning to school or work.

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"Those who must quarantine under the direction of the Department of Health or another agency will also do so for five days," Arlotto said. "There is no early test-out option, and those who must isolate or quarantine must also mask in all settings for five days after the conclusion of that initial five-day period."

The school system says it will continue their vaccination-or-test programs for both employees and high school student-athletes.

Arlotto said the school system will also change the way outbreaks are classified. "In all school settings, a classroom or cohort outbreak is now defined as three or more laboratory-confirmed positive cases in a class or cohort in a 14-day period," he said. "In middle and high schools, the additional threshold for a schoolwide outbreak is laboratory-confirmed positive cases in 5 percent of the total number of students and staff in a given school in a 14-day period. Meeting those thresholds may lead to further action by the Department of Health that could involve quarantines and programmatic alterations such as classroom, grade level, or team shutdowns."

In additions, beginning January 3, Arlotto said the school system will accept results from home rapid tests for students or employees who are not part of our current vaccination-or-test program and who need a negative test result to re-enter school or the workplace.