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Community Update 12/17/2021: Revised COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines



December 17, 2021


Dear Springfield Public Schools Community,

On Wednesday, December 15th, The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) updated the COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools. The updates can be found on the NJDOH website at Department of Health | Communicable Disease Service | COVID-19: Information for Schools.

The NJDOH has now advised that in the school setting, excluded individuals who are close contacts of staff or students who tested positive for COVID-19 and who are asymptomatic may use a reduced exclusion period of 10 days (or 7 days with negative test results collected at 5-7 days) but should continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure.

Exposure Guidance:

  • Individuals that are fully vaccinated and/or who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days are not required to quarantine following exposure or travel.  Individuals that are vaccinated are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, as they may indicate a breakthrough case.
  • Individuals that are not fully vaccinated, but who are identified as a close contact, will be excluded from school for 7 or 10 days
    • A student identified as a “close contact” that remains asymptomatic after exposure, and who receives a negative PCR test on day 5,6, or 7, following the exposure, may return to school on the 8th day following exposure.
      • The results of the PCR test must be submitted to the school nurse prior to the return.
    • A student that remains asymptomatic after exposure, but does not participate in a PCR test, may return to school after the 10th day following exposure.

If you are currently quarantining due to an exposure, remain asymptomatic and have tested negative between days 5-7, then you can return to school on day 8.

During moderate and high transmission levels, individuals with COVID-19 compatible symptoms and no known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the last 14 days, regardless of vaccination status, may follow the NJ School Exclusion List to determine when they may return to school only if they have an alternative diagnosis from a physician (i.e., strep  throat, influenza, worsening of chronic illness) and supported by clinical evaluation. 

As the holidays are upon us, we would like to provide some reminders related to COVID-19. The district is doing its best to try to keep our schools open and our students and staff healthy.

Some general reminders include:

  • As more students become vaccinated, please remember that they are only fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose. 
  • If a student is fully vaccinated, they do not need to quarantine for exposure. If they have an exposure, and in turn, become symptomatic, they should test and wait for negative results prior to re-entering school.
  • As a reminder, you have attested to the fact that it is your responsibility to monitor your child for COVID-like symptoms on a daily basis.  Please do not send your child to school if they are feeling ill.
  • Contact tracing is a time-consuming process, it might not be feasible for instant notification.  Please be understanding as our nurses and administrators are working tirelessly to make sure all exposed parties are notified as timely as possible. 

As always, please remain vigilant in tracking any symptoms within your home and do not send symptomatic students to school.  Together we can keep our community safe. 

Warm Regards,

Mrs. Tiffany Boehm
Director of Student Support Services