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Updated COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines

Updated COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines

Dear RPS Students, Families and Staff,

On December 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their COVID-19 quarantine guidelines. The new guidelines provide details on when and how long an individual should quarantine after being in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier today, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) notified school districts that they will be aligning their recommendations with the CDC and will have updated materials later this week.

Following these new recommendations, effective immediately, individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 and are NOT up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations need to quarantine for at least five days and take added precautions for 10 days. Individuals who are up-to-date with vaccinations OR had confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days do not need to quarantine but should take added precautions for 10 days.*

Included in this update is information on isolating if you test positive for COVID-19. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, need to isolate for at least five days. Individuals in this situation can return to school after five days of isolation if they have been fever-free for 24 hours and any other symptoms are improving.

The CDC website has additional details on each of these situations and we have added it to our District’s COVID-19 web page as well. 

Other key highlights from the CDC’s new guidance include:

  • Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction continues to be a priority.
  • Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (ages 2 years and older), staff, teachers and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Health screening, COVID-19 testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are all important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
  • Students, teachers and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
  • This guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies to protect students, teachers, staff, visitors and other members of their households and support in-person learning.

In addition to these changes, school staff will no longer be conducting contact tracing. This important mitigation effort will continue to be handled by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). If your child tests positive for COVID-19, it is important that you continue to notify the school as well as your healthcare provider. You can learn more about contact tracing from MDH on their website.

As a reminder, we will be providing all students and staff with a set of free at-home COVID-19 test kits. Look for a separate email about the distribution of the kits soon.

As always, student and staff safety during this ongoing health crisis continues to be a priority and we are doing everything we can to provide layered protection in all our buildings—from updated HVAC systems to enhanced cleaning. We take the health of our community very seriously.

Together, we will get through this.


Superintendent Steven Unowsky


* If you are currently in a 10-day quarantine or isolation, you may return to school if it has been at least five days and you are fever-free without medication and your symptoms have significantly improved. Refer to the guidelines on our COVID-19 page for more details on quarantine and isolation. If you have further questions about returning to school, please contact your school’s health services office.

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