Changes in Isolation and Quarantine Policies: an Interview With Dr. Theroux

Changes in Isolation and Quarantine Policies: an Interview With Dr. Theroux

By Muhammed Khan

We have struggled to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic throughout all of 2020. Hopefully, the pandemic will soon come to an end. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is planning to make changes to their guidelines. The 14-day quarantines may be reduced to 7-10 days in some situations. If the community has a good amount of testing resources, if the person tests negative within 6-7 days they can end their quarantine on the 7th day. The person can also end their quarantine without a test in 10 days if they have no symptoms. The CDC has also planned to change their guidance for testing before and after traveling. Now, people are recommended to get tested 1-3 days before traveling and 3-5 days after they return. 

In Butler County, changes are also being made. Officials have stated that they will make changes to quarantine guidelines. They have decided to use the shortened quarantine times that were announced by the CDC. They have three options for quarantining: 14 days, 10 days with no testing, and 7 days with a negative test at the end. 

The following is an interview with our superintendent, Dr. Theroux, about the changes in isolation and quarantine policies at THS: 

Q: What will be Talawanda’s isolation and quarantine policies for students moving forward given the Governor’s new coronavirus quarantine rules?

A: “The health department is the only entity that can quarantine or isolate.  We work with the BCHD.  We assist with contact tracing.  The new orders and guidance from the Governor and BCHD only applies to most classrooms.  Our current procedures are in alignment with the recommendations by the Governor and BCHD.”

Q:  Will these policies be the same for students, staff, and student-athletes? 

A: “The new orders and guidance from the Governor and BCHD does not apply to extracurricular activities, sports, lunch, recess, classes such as choir or band where there is high risk due to the course and lack of ability to distance and wear masks, and transportation.  We are currently using the same procedures as we have been.”

Q:  What will constitute an “exposure” at school or athletic events?  

A: “Students and staff that have been in contact with another individual who has tested positive, lives with someone who has tested positive and is quarantined, and/or exhibited possible COVID19 symptoms and there is less than 6 feet of distance, lack of wearing of masks, 15 minutes of contact or more (does not have to be consecutive time), not following procedures and protocols including hygiene and cleaning, and or other exposure or direct contact as determined through contact tracing.  We work with BCHD every day.”

We are currently set to go back in person for school on January 19th. The new isolation and quarantining guidelines will hopefully help us stay in person by preventing a shortage of staff. It will also help keep students in school. Hopefully, the pandemic will be over soon and will no longer have to worry about these precautions. For now, remember to stay safe and wear a mask!