WILLIAMSBURG-JAMES CITY COUNTY — Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (WJCC) has announced that, effective Monday, Jan. 10, the division will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) recently-updated guidance on isolation and quarantine.
In a Friday, Jan. 7 release, WJCC said that, per the CDC and VDH’s latest isolation and quarantine guidance, students and staff must isolate for five days if they have tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.
This means that Day 0 for an individual experiencing symptoms is considered the first day. Day 0 for someone who is asymptomatic is the date of their positive test.
The individual is able to return to school on Day 6 if they have not experienced any symptoms for over the past 24 hours or symptoms are improving, and if they wear a face mask.
Students and staff who have been in close contact those who test positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for five days after exposure. Quarantine can be shortened or eliminated, depending on an individual’s specific circumstances.
WJCC noted that students participating in athletics or conditioning may not participate in those activities during the 10 days following the onset of symptoms or 10 days following their last close contact exposure due to their inability to wear a mask during play.
The division added that household contacts may need to quarantine or isolate for a period longer than five days, and staff will continue to work with families to identify the appropriate quarantine or isolation length.
Additionally, if a student or staff member has already been given a date to return to school or work, it may now be reduced by five days by counting back five days on the calendar.
WJCC stated that guidance for early childhood programs currently remains the same and will continue as it has since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.
“While we know that in-person instruction is best for our students, and we continue to be committed to keeping our schools open five days a week, we also understand the concern as COVID-19 cases surge in our area and across the nation,” WJCC stated.
The division noted that state law no longer allows school divisions to move to virtual learning as a whole, and are limited to making the decisions on a school-by-school or class-by-class basis.
“That said, our focus continues to be on keeping schools open and keeping our students and staff as safe as possible while they are in our buildings,” WJCC added. “As we continue to learn about the transmissibility of COVID-19, we will rely on the CDC, VDH, and our Health Advisory Team to guide us in protecting the health and safety of our community.”