CDPH releases new guidance for schools in response to BA.2 COVID-19 variant

Posted at 8:12 AM, Apr 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-17 13:23:14-04

BA.2 is, so far, the most transmissible variant of COVID-19.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently released new guidelines for schools in response to the variant.

One of the biggest changes relates to quarantining. It's now only a recommendation, specifically for students, if exposed.

Earlier this month, the CDPH released new guidance where schools may allow students who were exposed to COVID-19 back on campus without quarantining.

"We send in notice exposure to the classroom when there's a positive case and then we recommend testing after days three to five and monitor for symptoms," said Anna-Liza Pacaoan, lead nurse for the Lucia Mar Unified School District.

Schools can allow students who were exposed to continue school activities unless they develop symptoms or test positive.

"The reason why the quarantine recommendation that was changed was because with the new variant, the incubation period, which is the time from which one is exposed to when one develops symptoms, is quite a bit shorter."

Pacaoan says with BA.2, they found the time from which someone is exposed to when they develop symptoms is shorter - two to three days.

For staff members, the district follows Cal/OSHA guidelines, so this new recommendation only apply to students.

"For positive cases, we follow the state and local guidance, so the individual, the positive individual, is to self isolate for a minimum of five days and can test on day five or after, and if negative, can be released from isolation,” Pacaoan said.

Anyone exposed to COVID-19 is advised to take a test within three to five days of their last exposure to the virus.

Employees do not need to quarantine if they test negative on day five after exposure, but it changes if they develop symptoms.