CDC Updates COVID-19 Testing Guide in Schools to Avoid Quarantines

Vaccines against COVID-19 are the best protection for students.

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The Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said schools should be able to limit quarantines by requiring COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated close contacts of a confirmed case of coronavirus, in a step that could eliminate interruptions in education while offering protection when cases increase in the United States, especially with the new variant Omicron.

It’s a practice known as a “trial to stay,” Walensky said at a briefing at the White House on Friday.

“In the ‘test to stay’ protocol, there is more close contact testing after an exposure to COVID-19, and that test must be done at least twice in the seven-day period after exposure,” Walensky explained. “If exposed children meet certain criteria and continue to test negative, they can remain in school instead of being quarantined at home.”

Announcement of CDC’s Updated Guidance on Coronavirus Testing in Schools elevates and updates existing guidance that some schools across the country have already been following.

The practice of testing close unvaccinated contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case for coronavirus could collectively save tens of millions of school days for students – assuming the typical 10 or 14-day quarantine – at times when the Omicron variant spreads in the United States.

Walensky cited two new CDC studies conducted in Los Angeles and Lake County, Illinois, which provide evidence that the so-called “test to stay” is effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in schools that have usage policies. of masks.

Students or staff who have been exposed are monitored for symptoms in addition to being evaluated and allowed in school only if they are asymptomatic.

It may interest you:

– What are the symptoms of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus?

– Booster doses work with Omicron, says Anthony Fauci, America’s leading epidemiologist.

– COVID-19: Where does the Omicron variant come from and why is knowing its origin important?