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District Announces Change in COVID Close Contact Quarantine Period

(La Grande) – The La Grande School District, in partnership with the Center for Human Development, is announcing a shorter quarantine period for COVID-19 close contacts in the district. Previously, someone who was a close contact had to quarantine for 14 days, but the period is now shortened to 10 days. Students and staff who are identified as a close contact are able to return to school after 10 days if they have no COVID-19 symptoms during their quarantine period and they submit to a visual screening and temperature check at the main office on their return date before returning to classrooms.

What is the reason for this change? The local public health authority determines the length of quarantine and exclusion periods based on guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and on local context. Local factors for determining COVID-19 risk continue to be hospitalization rates, medical provider capacity, case counts, vaccination rates and overall community health. During the COVID-19 Delta surge, case counts and hospitalizations peaked in Union County. Current data is indicating that local context is improving and so quarantine lengths are being relaxed for schools. If there is another spike in COVID-19 cases, these rules would likely change again in direct response to increased case counts and other local factors.

LGSD Superintendent George Mendoza said the change is good news for schools, families and staff, as less time out of school benefits student learning and social-emotional health, plus improves connection between students, teachers and paraeducators. “We know students need consistent, quality classroom instruction for optimal learning, and teachers and staff need time with students. We know quarantines are going to happen, but reducing that by four days is helpful,” Mendoza said.

Students who are vaccinated and not exhibiting symptoms or are confirmed COVID-19 cases within the last 90 days are not required to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact. The La Grande School District also reminds all students and families that individuals should not come to school if they are experiencing any COVID-19, flu, or cold-like symptoms.

For the complete information about the shortened Close Contact Quarantine Period, please see our district website. For specific questions about your student’s quarantine period, please contact office staff at your student’s school.