Shortening Isolation and Quarantine Periods from 10 to 5 Days

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APS Community:

In alignment with Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) guidance, we are shortening isolation and quarantine periods from 10 days to 5 days. This means that if you tested positive and are isolating at home or if you are unvaccinated and quarantining after being exposed to someone who tested positive, you are eligible to return to school and work after 5 days rather than 10 days. This only applies to those who no longer have symptoms and those whose symptoms are resolving (having no fever for 24 hours without the help of a fever-reducing medication) after 5 days. We are officially transitioning to this new guidance starting tomorrow (Monday, January 10, 2022). 

Please note that after isolation or quarantine ends, those who are returning to school and work will be required to wear masks at all times when around others for the following five days. Of course, masks are required at all APS schools and district sites.

We would like to emphasize that if you or your student is still experiencing significant symptoms after 5 days in isolation or quarantine, you or your student should continue to stay home. If you or your student are unvaccinated and in quarantine after exposure, we would also encourage you to get tested. As a reminder, free testing is available through COVIDCheck Colorado. APS staff members can click here to sign up for testing at the PLCC. APS students and families can sign up to get tested by clicking here.

If an APS student or staff member is currently in isolation or quarantine and meet the following criteria, they are eligible to return to school or work starting tomorrow (Monday, January 10, 2022):

  • 5 days have passed since symptom onset
  • Symptoms have resolved or are resolving (They have not had a fever for the past 24 hours and they have not taken any fever-reducing medication.)
  • This does not include students who are in quarantine due to a family member who tested positive in their household and are unable to isolate away from the positive individual.
  • Please note: Mask wearing will be required at all times when around others for at least 5 additional days.

As always, we will notify those who have been exposed and need to quarantine. We will specify that the quarantine period is 5 days. Parents and guardians, please continue to check your phones and emails regularly for notifications. Please note that in special circumstances, TCHD may require extending isolation and quarantine periods. We will notify staff, parents and guardians with appropriate isolation and quarantine dates as quickly as possible. If you have additional questions about your individual isolation or quarantine period, please talk to your healthcare provider, school nurse or supervisor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this change in guidance is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness. Typically with the Omicron variant, which is now the dominant variant in the United States, transmission generally occurs in the 1-2 days prior to symptom onset and the 2-3 days after.

Reminder about Late-Start Mondays
As we shared with you previously, we are implementing late-start Mondays beginning tomorrow, Jan. 10, for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. 

As a result of staffing shortages our teachers have not been able to engage in necessary instructional planning and development.  By giving our teachers more planning and professional development time, this proactive step is intended to allow us to keep our learning environments intact and minimize disruption to our schools. Late-start Mondays mean that most APS students will report to school one hour later than normal on Mondays. Start times for all other days of the week will remain the same and dismissal times will remain the same. Please review our bell schedules here to confirm that your school follows Late-start Mondays.

Please note that if your student rides an APS bus to school, APS transportation will pick up students from their bus stops one hour later than normal on Mondays.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. We will continue to provide you with important updates via phone, email and our website aurorak12.org.

- Superintendent Rico Munn