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  • COVID-19 Response Team

Caroline County Health Department Guidance for Student Quarantine Protocols

Quarantining students and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 is an important part of the Caroline County Health Department (CCHD) and Caroline County Public Schools (CCPS) layered protection strategy. This strategy also includes wearing masks indoors, encouraging vaccination for eligible populations, thorough cleaning procedures, proper hygiene measures like handwashing, and ensuring proper ventilation of school buildings. The layered protection strategy is designed to maximize the chance that schools can remain open for students five days a week for the duration of the school year.

Quarantining is required based on factors such as the nature of the exposure, other preventative measures that were in place (such as mask wearing or distance), vaccination status, and symptoms. To help students and parents understand the COVID-19 protocols recommended by the Health Department for K-12 education, CCHD has created a flow chart. Quarantine guidance may vary from the flow chart if a student is unable to comply with correct and consistent face mask use, such as young children and persons with a disability or medical condition that makes them unable to wear a mask. Additionally, a different set of quarantine guidance applies to students who play close-contact sports without masks.

While the CDC has recommended 14-day quarantine periods, its guidance allows for shorter periods at the determination of local health officials based on local circumstances. The Caroline County Health Department currently recommends a 10-day quarantine period with testing and careful monitoring based on the following factors:

  • Maryland is requiring masks to be worn in school, which is highly effective at preventing spread if worn properly;

  • Caroline County teachers and staff have a relatively high rate of vaccination; and

  • Free testing to confirm COVID status after exposure is widely available.

The Health Department has recommended against a shorter 7-day quarantine period for the following reasons:

  • Caroline County currently has a high rate of community transmission of COVID-19, which is determined based on positivity rate and case rate;

  • The far more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 is present in Caroline County;

  • Children under age 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated making them especially vulnerable; and

  • A relatively low number of eligible students ages 12-18 are fully vaccinated.

The Caroline County Health Department monitors COVID-19 data daily and is in contact with CCPS health leadership several times a week. The Health Department’s quarantine guidance may change over time – either shorter or longer – based on local data and circumstances. If that happens, new versions of the Caroline County Quarantine Protocol Flow Chart for K-12 Schools will be published here on our COVID-19 website.

Student Quarantine Flow Chart

Download a Printable PDF

Student Athlete / Sports Quarantine Flow Chart

Download a Printable PDF

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