DC schools relaxing COVID-19 protocols ahead of student return

·2 min read

The Washington, D.C., public school system announced Thursday evening during a town hall that it would relax COVID-19 measures ahead of the 2022-2023 school year.

D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) announced that it will no longer be conducting daily health screenings on students upon arrival to school. However, DCPS is asking parents to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms every day before sending them to the classroom.

The district will also no longer require students and staff to quarantine following a COVID-19 exposure — unless they are exhibiting symptoms, which is DCPS’s biggest change from last school year’s guidance. The latest guidance has been updated in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations.

Asymptomatic weekly testing from the prior school year will now be discontinued at schools, except for at the start of the school year when “test to return” will be conducted.

Each school in the DCPS system will distribute COVID-19 tests for each student to take the day before the first day of school.

DCPS is also asking parents that if a child is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, they are kept home from school and a medical professional is contacted, and if the child does test positive for COVID-19, the school is notified.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will still be required to isolate for five days, and parents will receive a notice in writing or in an email if someone in the child’s class tests positive.

Masks will remain optional in the classrooms, though students who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to wear a mask until day 10 following their positive test after the end of their five-day isolation period.

Additionally, students ages 12 and older will be required to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination on the first day of school, alongside other DCPS immunization requirements.

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