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A Message from the Superintendent (1-10-2022) - Revised COVID-19 Protocol

 

Dear Richland One Staff and Families,

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) issued updated COVID-19 guidance to school districts yesterday (January 9, 2022). The revised document includes updated vaccinated definitions; quarantine simplification; household close contact clarification; updates to at-home testing guidance; and the addition of an at-home attestation form. We have made changes to our protocols to reflect the latest guidance from SCDHEC.

Quarantine days for persons who are considered close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be reduced to 5 days for students and staff, as recommended by SCDHEC. Isolation days for persons who test positive for COVID-19 will remain 5 days (from the start of symptoms) for students and staff. If a student or staff member is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and tests negative, they do not have to isolate and can return to school/work. NOTE: In cases where COVID transmission is high, the 5 days of quarantine may be changed to 10 days, per SCDHEC.

Students and staff should stay at home if they are not feeling well.

The new protocol is outlined below:

Definition of Fully Vaccinated (Ages 5-17)

You are considered fully vaccinated if you have completed your primary vaccine series (two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson and Johnson vaccine), including an additional dose if immunocompromised, with at least two weeks since your last dose.

Definition of Maximally Vaccinated (18 years and older)

You are considered maximally vaccinated if you have completed your primary vaccine series, including an additional dose if immunocompromised, and you have had a booster shot if eligible.

Close Contacts: Vaccinated

If you are considered fully/maximally vaccinated and you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you may remain at school/work as long as you are asymptomatic. You are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test 5 days from the last day of contact with the positive person.

NOTE: Rapid tests are acceptable if you are symptomatic, and PCR tests are for persons who are asymptomatic and close contacts. Per SCDHEC, at-home tests are not accepted.

Close Contacts: Not Vaccinated

If you are considered not fully/maximally vaccinated and you have been identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must quarantine and will be able to return to school/work after day 5 (i.e. you would return on day 6). You are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test no earlier than day 4 of quarantine.

NOTE: Rapid tests are acceptable if you are symptomatic, and PCR tests are for persons who are asymptomatic and close contacts. Per SCDHEC, at-home tests are not accepted.

Symptoms of COVID-19: Regardless of Vaccination Status 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you will need to isolate for 5 days from the onset of symptoms. If you do not take a COVID-19 test, you can return to school/work after the 5 days of isolation, if your symptoms are significantly improving and you have not had a fever in 24 hours. If you do take a COVID-19 test and it is negative, or if you have an alternate diagnosis, you can return to school/work. If you continue to have symptoms, you should stay at home.

Positive COVID-19 Cases: Regardless of Vaccination Status

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will isolate for 5 days and you will be able to return to school/work after completion of your isolation period, as long as your symptoms are significantly improving and you have not had a fever in 24 hours.

At-Home Testing: At-home testing will be accepted, per recommendation by SCDHEC. If the test is not proctored by a health care provider, the individual (or parent/guardian) will be required to complete and submit the completed “At-Home Rapid Test Result Attestation Form in order for the results to be allowed to qualify an individual for isolation. Students and staff will follow the same isolation policy if the results are positive. They will be instructed to contact their health care provider for follow-up from the at-home test.

Mask Requirement

In all cases, students and staff will be required to wear masks when returning to school/work.

Our revised 2021-2022 COVID-19 Mitigation and Safety Protocols one-page summary is posted on our home page and our Restart Strong landing page.

Sincerely,

Craig Witherspoon, Ed.D.

Superintendent