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Quarantine No More

Lincoln Parish public schools roll out new COVID rules
Thursday, August 25, 2022
Quarantine No More

New school year, new COVID rules.

Changes in guidelines for handling COVID cases and exposures have trickled down from the Centers for Disease Control to the Louisiana Department of Education and Louisiana Department of Health and finally to the Lincoln Parish School District.

Last week the parish school system released its new, generally more relaxed slate of guidelines as students returned from summer break.

Chief among the changes is the removal of quarantine days for exposure to a COVID-19 case.

“The major thing for us is that if a kid is testing positive in a class, we’re not going to send the students deemed a close contact home anymore,” said Assistant Superintendent John Young, who is heading up the district’s COVID response this year.

Students and employees who come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID do not have to stay home as long as they are not sick, but they do have to wear a mask to school for the next 10 days.

Otherwise, masks continue to be optional.

Young said the district is no longer required to track what the CDC previously termed “close contacts” when someone tests positive.

“(In past years) We had to have some tough conversations with parents to send kids home for quarantine,” he said. “ Some of them were never even symptomatic. We were thankful for the new guidance with the LDH and LDOE recognizing the CDC changes. They’re in lockstep.”

He said over the first five days of the new year, the schools haven’t reported any problems with COVID.

Students and workers who are ill should continue to stay home, and home isolation for five days is still required for those who test positive for COVID. Symptoms must have improved with no fever for 24 hours before returning on day six.

Upon return they must wear a mask for days six through 10.

The COVID vaccine and boosters are highly recommended, but the school district’s guidelines don’t differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in any way.