GREEN BAY - The Green Bay School Board voted Monday to end quarantines for vaccinated students who show no symptoms of COVID-19 and reduce the quarantine period for unvaccinated students.
The board voted 6-1 on Monday night in favor of the changes.
Unvaccinated staff and students who have had somebody test positive in their household but show no symptoms themselves will now have to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days, instead of 20 under the previous guidelines.
Fully vaccinated, asymptomatic staff and students can stay in school and do not need to quarantine after a close contact in or outside the household. Previously, if the close contact was somebody in their household, they had to quarantine.
If fully vaccinated staff and students have symptoms, they should quarantine for five days and can come back to school after a negative COVID-19 test.
Unvaccinated, asymptomatic students and teachers may need to quarantine up to 15 days if someone in their home tested positive, but they can get tested on day 10 and come back to school once they get a negative result.
If they came into contact with someone who tested positive outside of their home, they do not have to quarantine. Unvaccinated people with symptoms need to quarantine for 16 days even if their test comes back negative before the 16 days.
The board updated the district's isolation policy earlier this month, reducing the requirement to five days, with five days of masking when the student or teachers returns to school.
The number of new cases in the district peaked on Jan. 11 at 159 and was down to 33 on Monday, the district's COVID-19 dashboard shows. About 1,320 students and staff members were still in isolation or quarantining as of Monday.
School board member Andrew Becker said the reductions did not go far enough, because the quarantine period for asymptomatic students who had someone test positive within their household was longer than the five-day period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While people could test out on day 10 under the new policy, that might take longer, depending on when the result was ready, he said.
The school board also voted 7-0 to require all Head Start staff, contractors and volunteers to get vaccinated by Jan. 31.
The Oshkosh Area School District announced Monday that it would be reducing its quarantine and isolation from 10 to five days in certain situations.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Green Bay schools change COVID-19 quarantine policies