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Message from the Superintendent – New CDC and RCPS Guidance on COVID-19 Mitigation Measures
Posted on 08/12/2022
Photo of RCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry OattsAugust 12, 2022

As you know, I have consistently maintained that the safety and security of our students and staff are our top priorities in RCPS. From public health to public safety, RCPS remains committed to the safety and well-being of our students and staff. On the public health front, the CDC recently released new guidance on COVID-19 mitigation measures. After a careful review of this new guidance and in consultation with our regional public health officials, I have decided that RCPS will adopt the new CDC guidance effective immediately.

Specifically, the new guidance recommends deemphasizing social distancing, quarantining, and contact tracing. The rationale provided for this new guidance is the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic to endemic status as impacted by more individuals being vaccinated, boosted, and/or naturally immunized to some extent by way of prior infection. The focus, according to the CDC, should now be on reducing the severity of illness associated with COVID-19.

What has not changed is the recommendation of 5 days of isolation if infected, testing particularly if symptomatic, getting vaccinated and boosted as eligible, and wearing masks indoors in high transmission communities which we will continue to do as a district.

By adopting the new CDC guidance effective immediately, this means that social distancing is an ideal as opposed to an imperative, quarantining of individuals exposed to COVID-19 will not be required regardless of their vaccination status, and contact tracing will be relegated to our contact tracers merely internally documenting positive cases for purposes of advising parents on return dates and maintaining optimal attendance records to inform instructional support while students are in isolation.

As has been the case throughout this public health challenge, I will continue to monitor public health data locally and regionally in consultation with our local and regional public health partners, and I will be prepared to enact any adjustments in the future that I deem necessary and appropriate in response to any new or recurrent challenges that may dictate a return to more restrictive mitigation measures such as CDC is now deemphasizing.

Students and Staff currently on quarantine due to being a close contact may return to school Monday, August 15, 2022.

Those with a positive COVID-19 test and those who have any symptoms must stay home.