August 29, 2022 - 11:06 am
Updated August 29, 2022 - 6:35 pm
The Clark County School District will no longer require students and employees who are exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine.
The change took effect Aug. 22 and is the result of new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines issued this month. The decision comes about 2½ years into the pandemic.
It means more students will be able to stay in classrooms — leading to fewer missed school days and reducing the impact on working families — and it means fewer absences among employees.
The updated guidelines apply to cases reported on or after Aug. 22, the district said in a Friday evening statement in response to a Las Vegas Review-Journal inquiry early last week.
“Any cases reported prior to that date will remain under the guidance in place at the time the contact tracing was completed,” according to the statement.
Close contacts will not have to quarantine if they are symptom-free, the district said in the statement.
“However, close contacts must mask for 10 days after exposure while on CCSD campuses,” the district said. “Close contacts are also encouraged to test for COVID-19 five days after exposure.”
The district said those who test positive for COVID-19 are still required to isolate for five days “regardless of symptoms” and “wear a mask at all times around others for an additional five days.”
“If an individual cannot wear a mask, they may not return to school until day 11 and must be symptom-free,” according to the statement.
There’s a phone hotline — 702-799-4322 — parents should call to report their child’s positive COVID-19 test result, recent exposure or possible symptoms.
The hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. English and Spanish-speaking staff are available.
When wait times are longer than 30 minutes, parents also may fill out a form to submit information, the district said.
Previously, rules varied on who needed to quarantine, and that depended largely on vaccination status.
The rules applied to people who were deemed a close contact — being fewer than 6 feet away for a total of at least 15 minutes in a 24-hour period — with someone who tested positive.
In line with previous federal guidance, the school district used to require those not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations to stay home for five days and then wear a mask for five additional days after returning to school.
Those who received vaccinations were allowed to stay at school but had to wear a mask for 10 days.
New CDC guidance this month also included dropping the “test to stay” strategy, which allowed those exposed to remain at school if they tested negative on multiple occasions.
The Clark County School District had adopted “test to stay” in January following a five-day “pause” — two canceled school days combined with a three-day holiday weekend — because of a surge in COVID-19 case numbers and absences. It was voluntary for students and employees to participate.
Clark County currently has a low level of community COVID-19 transmission, according to the CDC.