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The original item was published from 12/16/2021 1:53:22 PM to 7/2/2022 12:00:08 AM.

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Posted on: December 16, 2021


Regardless of vaccination status, students and staff identified as close contacts of a positive case in schools with outbreaks must quarantine, symptoms or not.

Largo, MD – Due to the recent increase of reported COVID-19 cases among students and staff at schools in Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland, the County Health Department today modified its quarantine guidance for individuals who are close contacts of positive cases in schools identified as experiencing case outbreaks.

The increase in the number of school outbreaks and quarantines is impacting the ability of Prince George’s County Public Schools to deliver instruction at various schools leading schools CEO Dr. Monica Goldson today to close three school buildings. To help slow down the spread of COVID-19 in school settings and keep students and staff as safe and as healthy as possible, the department recommends close contacts of positive cases quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated (two weeks after their second dose) and even if they do not feel symptoms. Prior guidance allowed fully vaccinated students and staff identified as close contacts to remain in school as long as they did not have symptoms.

Quarantine for close contacts, fully vaccinated or not, can end after ten days if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring. A 7-day quarantine (return to school on day 8) for the close contact is also accepted if their COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test (collected on day 5 or later) returns negative and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation, but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after day 7.

The modified quarantine guidance only applies to close contacts identified in schools with outbreaks, which the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) defines as:

Classroom/cohort outbreak:

  • At least two confirmed COVID-19 cases among students/teachers/staff within a 14-day period and who are epidemiologically linked, but not household contacts

Schoolwide outbreak:

  • Three or more classrooms or cohorts with cases from separate households that meet the classroom/cohort outbreak definition that occurs within 14 days;


  • Five percent or more unrelated students/teachers/staff have confirmed COVID-19 within a 14-day period (minimum of 10 unrelated cases of students/teachers/staff) 

For more information and the latest data, please visit MDH’s website.


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