Today we received new guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Education following a news conference by Governor Reynolds. Under the new guidance students and staff will not have to go into quarantine IF masks are being worn by both individuals during exposure or potential exposure situations. Previous guidance had stated that quarantine was required regardless of masks if an individual was exposed to a person who was positive or potentially positive within six feet for more than fifteen minutes.
The guidance went on to explain examples of when quarantines would still be necessary. When face shields are worn instead of fabric masks exposed individuals would still be required to quarantine. Household close contacts would still need to quarantine. An individual who is symptomatic or who tests positive would still need to quarantine. Additionally, in any setting where masks are not utilized quarantine would still be required. Examples IDPH gave may include chorus, band, lunch, sports, busing, etc.
Since students and staff are required to wear masks during the school day, the latest guidance should result in fewer student quarantines and less time spent contact tracing going forward, provided everyone wears masks when they cannot be six feet apart. Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding as we work through the challenges of this school year. We will do our best to keep you updated as guidance changes.
Have a great day!