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Local schools update quarantine guidelines following CDC recommendation

Killeen ISD is hoping molding online lesson plans to fits certain students needs may mitigate...
Killeen ISD is hoping molding online lesson plans to fits certain students needs may mitigate learning loss.(Michael Cantu, KWTX)
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:37 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - As students head back to the classroom, many school districts are adjusting their procedures when it comes to how long students and staff should quarantine.

Marlin ISD resumed classes Monday after extending winter break for an extra five days due to rising COVID cases in the district, and saw high attendance after the pause.

“Seeing our attendance rate at 97% lets us know that we made the best decision for our community,” Superintendent Dr. Henson explained Monday.

The Texas Education Agency no longer offers districts days to close due to COVID, but Henson says Marlin had enough days in the calendar to allow the pause, without having to make-up days.

Moving forward, when additional students test positive, he says they’ll be following the new CDC guidelines of 5 days of quarantine.

“We will have a 5 day quarantine or period of isolation depending on exposure or a positive confirmed COVID case,” Henson said.

In Bell county, however, districts met with the public health district for guidance. Following the meeting Killeen, Temple and Belton ISD’s all decided to require a 10-day quarantine for students and staff.

In a letter sent to parents in Temple ISD Friday, the district says the 10 day quarantine has proven to be an effective strategy allowing schools to stay open since the pandemic started.

Belton ISD says it will keep a 10 day quarantine as well, but that they’ll continue to monitor the situation.

The TEA has suggested 10-days of quarantine in accordance with previous CDC guidelines, but Friday announced teachers could return after five days without symptoms.

Killeen ISD says, however, it is continuing to recommend 10 days for teachers and staff as well because of the case numbers in Bell County.

In Killeen ISD if a student is a close contact to COVID-19, is not vaccinated and was not in a mask during exposure, students have the option to return after seven days if they test negative with a PCR lab-confirmed test taken five days into isolation. Test results must be submitted to campus nurse.

Students who come in contact with the virus but are vaccinated or were wearing a mask do not need to quarantine in Killeen ISD.

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