Richardson ISD announced Dec. 16 that it has shortened its required quarantine period in accordance with the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In early December, the CDC issued new guidelines for people who have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. Most notably, the centers showed support for shortening the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days.

The CDC recommended school districts consult with local public health authorities to determine the best way to move forward. Following direction from the CDC and Dallas County Health and Human Services, RISD is now in the process of implementing two new quarantine options.

“The new quarantine options apply to those who have been exposed but are not symptomatic or have not tested positive,” Richardson ISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone said during a Dec.16 video message.

Updates include the following:

  1. For exposed students and staff with no symptoms, quarantine can end after 10 days, meaning students and staff can return to school or work on the 11th day after exposure.

  2. School district employees may choose to return after seven days of quarantine as long as they do not exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms during the seven-day period. Employees may also return to work after receiving a negative PCR test administered on the fifth, sixth or seventh day after exposure.

Public health officials were clear that the second option is only available to district employees, who are considered essential workers, Stone said.

Additionally, any person who returns to school or work under the revised quarantine options must continue monitor symptoms daily through Day 14, strictly adhere to RISD’s social distancing and infection mitigation strategies, avoid in-person school activities if symptoms develop, and immediately report any symptoms to the school nurse or their supervisor, Stone said.

“These updated quarantine options for exposed, asymptomatic people are optional,” Stone said. “The CDC continues to say that a 14-day qurantine is the most cautious approach if a person has been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19. Accordingly, under the updated guidelines, RISD parents and employees may choose for their quarantine period to remain at 14 days if they desire.”

More information can be found on RISD’s website.