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2022 Updated Metro Health Covid Guidelines

January 03, 2022
By Mara Mauze, PhD, ABPP

Dear Acorn Families & Staff,

Happy New Year!  We hope you had a restful break and are getting back into the swing of things.  We have had a lot of questions about the changing policies regarding Covid exposure and quarantine.  We spoke with Metro Health, the epidemiology department specifically, at length today and this is what we were advised:

·If your child tests positive for Covid, they must isolate for 5 days and be tested for Covid after day 5.  Metro Health Department advises a PCR test rather than a rapid test.  If this test is negative and symptoms have resolved, they may return to school IF they wear a mask for the next 5 days. If they are not able to wear a mask consistently or don’t wear a mask, the health department has advised us they should remain home for an additional 5 days (10 days total).

·If a family member tests positive for Covid, they must isolate away from the child for 5 days, and test for Covid after day 5, then wear a mask in public for 5 days. If continued interaction with the child occurs (cooking meals, reading together, or interacting), the clock starts over each time they interact.  If a family member interacts with a child while the family member is positive, then the 5 days would start counting from the day after a family member’s negative test.  Each interaction with a positive family member is considered an exposure according to Metro Health Department.

·Adults who are vaccinated AND boosted and exposed to Covid, do not have to isolate or quarantine but must wear a mask in public for 10 days and should test after day 5 of exposure.

·Adults who are vaccinated BUT NOT boosted and exposed to Covid must isolate for 5 days, get tested after day 5 and then mask in public for another 5 days if test is negative.

·Children who are vaccinated BUT NOT boosted and exposed to Covid must quarantine at home, be tested on day 5, and then mask in public for another 5 days if test is negative.

·The last day of exposure or the day symptoms begin counts as day 0.

We know this is confusing and different even from more recent information. These guidelines are based on the extreme transmissibility of Omicron and the new CDC guidelines.  When in doubt remember the rule of 5: isolate for 5 days, test after day 5 (PCR test), if negative, mask for 5 more days. If your child cannot or does not consistently wear a mask, the health department advises remaining home for the full 10 days.  We will continue to call and seek guidance as there are so many things to consider in each scenario.  We will update you with any new information.  

Thank you for your support, and we wish you all a Happy, Healthy 2022!