Under the direction of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and in alignment with the Maryland State Department of Health and the Maryland State Department of Education, MCPS has updated guidelines regarding the quarantine of unvaccinated students. Below are the new guidelines:
- Unvaccinated students who have been in close contact with an individual who is displaying any single symptom of COVID-19 will be sent home.
- Students who are sent home because they have been in close contact with an individual with symptoms may return if the individual with symptoms tests negative, or has an alternate diagnosis from a medical provider.
- In the absence of a negative COVID-19 test or alternate medical diagnosis of that individual, all students who were in close contact with the individual are required to quarantine for 10 days.
As a result of this guidance from the county, MCPS will quarantine:
- An individual who tests positive
- Those who are unvaccinated and in close contact to an individual who tests positive or has one or more COVID-19 symptoms
- An individual with one or more COVID-19 symptoms
Close contact is:
- Being 3 feet or less away in the classroom for 15 or more minutes during a 24-hour period, regardless of mask use.
- Being 6 feet or less away while eating or outdoors for 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period, regardless of mask use.
COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- New onset of severe headache
- New onset of loss of taste or smell
If a Student is Quarantined
MCPS will minimize learning disruption when students are in isolation or quarantine. At the elementary level, individual students in isolation or quarantine will receive live, virtual instruction from a teacher on a separate schedule from their peers; if an entire class is in quarantine, the teacher will provide virtual instruction for the class. At the secondary level, students in isolation or quarantine will have opportunities to connect with their teachers for live check-ins.
Tips to keep our community safe
- Practice proper mask wearing and remind your child to wear their mask when outdoors. Masks are required inside the BE building, and MCPS strongly recommends students wear masks outside for students who are not yet eligible for vaccination. Outdoor mask use is in alignment with CDC recommendations for unvaccinated people when in settings where physical distancing is not possible.
- Ensure your child is opted-in to COVID-19 testing (LINK to sign up). Covid screenings will begin the week of Sept 13. Surveillance testing can help augment other non-pharmaceutical interventions to decrease COVID-19 outbreaks in the school setting to help us maximize the number of in-person days for our student community. Help keep your fellow students safe by helping BE achieve high opt-in rates. Link to form (English) Link to form (Spanish)
- Check your child for common COVID-19 systems every school day prior to sending them off to school. MCPS guidance is if a child is showing any possible COVID-19 symptoms, parents and/or guardians must keep the child at home and contact their medical provider. Students who have been exposed to COVID-19 positive cases must also quarantine at home and report any exposures or positive COVID-19 tests to school administration. View local testing sites here: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/Resources/Files/testing/COVID-19%20Testing%20Facilities.pdf
- Get Vaccinated – BE family members who are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 are strongly recommended to do so to help keep our unvaccinated elementary school students safer while we await authorization for their age group. Thank you to all who have been vaccinated!
For more information, visit the MCPS COVID-19 Dashboard: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/dashboard/