PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — If your child is at home under quarantine because of possible COVID-19 exposure, you are probably waiting for when they can go back to school.
The School District of Palm Beach County adopted its stay-at-home policy this week in line with state guidelines that all school districts should be following. And if you are fully vaccinated, you can get back to the classroom much faster.
If a student is exposed to a COVID-positive case and they are asymptomatic, they can return to school after receiving a negative COVID-19 test at least four days after the date of exposure, or if the student is asymptomatic and seven days have passed since the date of exposure.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic following exposure to an infected individual, they can return to school after the student receives a negative COVID test and is asymptomatic, or 10 days have passed since the symptom onset or the positive test result, the student has had no fever for 24 hours, and the student's other symptoms are improving, or the student has received written permission from a health care provider to return to school.
The policy will also allow students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as those who have had a prior COVID-19 infection (tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 90 days and not showing symptoms) to return to class immediately.
"If students are vaccinated with no symptoms, we're able to get them right back into class," said Superintendent Michael Burke. "So that's a good incentive I think for our families to consider and helping us to avoid any further disruption."
Burke added the school district is making sure the procedures are clear to all school leaders.
"There's lots of different scenarios that can play out," Burke said. "So we've kind of got all of our principals now on the same page and we're working closely with Dr. Alonso and her team, putting additional resources into contact tracing. And I think you're going to see that smooth out in the days ahead."
The school district will be the one to notify you of the possible COVID-19 exposure and that your child needs to stay home. Then the Florida Department of Health should get in touch with you for the contact tracing process to see how long your child may need to quarantine.
According to the latest numbers from the School District of Palm Beach County, there have been 1,161 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Aug. 10, including 1,025 students and 136 employees. As of Thursday, at least 4,498 students have been told to stay home because of possible COVID-19 exposure.