MCPS Updates Quarantine Guidelines 

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has updated its COVID-19 quarantine guidelines.

To summarize, in most situations, close contacts of symptomatic students will no longer be required to quarantine unless that student tests positive for COVID-19 or had a known exposure to someone with the virus, said Heather Dublinske, MCPS Coordinator for Student Welfare and Compliance.

Effective this week, students displaying COVID-19 symptoms in school will be assessed by a health professional and given an on-site rapid antigen test with parental/guardian consent, Dublinske said during a briefing in front of the county council Tuesday. If negative, close contacts of the symptomatic person can stay in school and the symptomatic student will be advised to take a follow-up PCR test.

If the rapid test is positive, unvaccinated close contacts will be directed to quarantine for 10 days. If there is no rapid test, unvaccinated close contacts do not have to quarantine if the symptomatic student had no known exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Rapid tests have been delivered to all MCPS schools as of Monday. County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff will administer tests in school health rooms.

Previously, unvaccinated close contacts of symptomatic students were required to quarantine until that student received a negative COVID-19 test result. Since Aug. 30, 121 MCPS students have tested positive, resulting in 1,661 close contacts required to officially quarantine. That is an average of 14 identified close contacts per positive case, Dublinske said.

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Maryam Shahzad

About Maryam Shahzad

Maryam is a reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Previously, she was an intern with MCM. She can be reached at mshahzad@mymcmedia.org or on Twitter @maryam_mcm.

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