Baltimore City Public Schools shorten quarantine period for students and staff with COVID-19, update testing protocols

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Baltimore City College. Photo by Will/Flickr.

Baltimore City Public Schools yesterday announced that students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 will only have to quarantine for five days instead of ten, effective Jan. 18.

For asymptomatic students and staff, the first day of quarantine is the day after a positive test.

Those experiencing symptoms begin quarantine the day after symptoms begin.

Students and staff must be fever-free for 24 hours and their symptoms must be improving to return to school after five days.

The school system also implemented a “Test to Stay” protocol.

Under the new protocol, elementary and middle school students and staff who were exposed to COVID can receive a rapid test at their school campus on the following school day.

If they test negative, they can stay in school. Those who test positive must begin a five day quarantine.

Unvaccinated students and staff who are exposed to COVID must quarantine, unless they participate in Test to Stay.

Test to Stay will begin at high schools at a later date.

The changes align with recent guidance from the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health. The changes were also reviewed with the Baltimore City Health Department, the school system said.

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