AACA Updated Covid19 Guidance March 16, 2022



On 3/11/2022 the LADPHS updated their Covid19 guidance for our sector. The following is a summary of the updates:


• Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is aligning with updated guidance from California Department of Public Health for K-12 Schools in California on isolation and quarantine recommendations in school settings. These updates went into effect on March 12, 2022.


• Students with COVID-19 who are released early from isolation are strongly recommended to wear a highly protective mask around others for 10 days after the positive test. Per Cal/OSHA COVID19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards, staff with COVID-19 who are released early from isolation continue to be required to wear a highly protective mask in the workplace around others for 10 days after the positive test.


• Group tracing is the recommended approach for responding to school exposures over individual contact tracing to minimize disruptions to in-person education.


• Students with an exposure are strongly recommended to wear a highly protective mask around others for 10 days after the last exposure date. Per Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards, staff with an exposure continue to be required to wear a highly protective mask in the workplace around others for 10 days after the last exposure date.


• Students with an exposure are strongly recommended to test within 3-5 days after the last exposure date. The exception is students with a COVID-19 positive test in the past 90 days.


• The surge protocol is deactivated and removed from the TK-12 School Exposure Management


Further details of the new guidance are as follows:


Seating charts are now recommended and not required. Regardless of when isolation ends, students and staff with COVID-19 are strongly recommended to wear a highly protective mask around others, except when eating or drinking, for 10 days after the positive test. Staff with COVID-19 are required to wear a highly protective mask in the workplace around others, except when eating or drinking, for 10 days after the positive test. See COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan in TK-12 Schools Revised 3/11/2022 Page 3 of 9 ph.lacounty.gov/masks for more information.


• NOTE: For staff, per Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), testing that is required for employees shall be provided by AACA free of charge and during work hours; these tests may not be self-administered or self-read unless they are observed by the employer or an authorized telehealth proctor. Additionally, staff may request masks and respirators from AACA at no cost to staff. See Wear a Mask and Know your Rights for more information.



Exposure and Contact Tracing:


Required: All individuals with a known exposure (identified through individual contact tracing) or groups with a potential exposure (identified through group tracing) to a COVID-19 positive case at school are notified by the School Compliance Officer of the exposure.


• Group tracing is an approach that allows for a quick and broad response to cases identified in school settings through prompt notification of groups who were potentially exposed to a known COVID-19 positive case. Potentially exposed groups are permitted to remain in school, with strong recommendations for testing and masking. Group tracing is the preferred approach for responding to exposures over individual contact tracing as it will minimize disruptions to in-person learning.


Schools may apply group tracing for groups of students who spent more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes within a 24-hour period in a shared indoor airspace at school (including classrooms, locker rooms, shared transportation, etc.) with a known COVID-19 positive case during their infectious period.


• Under this approach, notification will occur to all members of relevant groups in which exposure occurred (e.g., classmates, teammates, cohorts), informing them of a potential exposure and required actions. AACA will send a group notification letter to all members of the affected group.


• All students in the identified ‘exposed group’ may remain in school and participate in all school activities during the quarantine period provided they are asymptomatic and meet the following requirements: Students in the group are strongly recommended to test once in the 10 days after the last exposure date, preferably between days 3 and 5 where possible. The exception is students who had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 90 days; these students are exempt from testing. Students in the group, regardless of vaccination status or previous infection, are strongly recommended to remain fully masked indoors and outdoors, unless actively eating or drinking, when around others through day 10 after their last exposure date. Eating and drinking should happen distanced from others.








Individual contact tracing (applicable to students and staff):


• Individual contact tracing is the traditional approach for managing exposures at school and remains as an option for schools that can identify and notify individuals who had close contact to a known COVID-19 positive case during their infectious period.


• In this approach individual students and staff who spent more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes over 24 hours within 6 feet of a known positive case at school during their infectious period are identified as close contacts to the infected person.


• Schools notify close contacts of the required action for them to take during the quarantine period, including an option for students to participate in modified quarantine if criteria are met (details provided below).


AACA will send out a notification of exposure letter to the affected individual.


• DPH will coordinate with the school to contact persons who are identified as having had close contact with the school-associated case(s) to gather additional information and provide guidance on testing and quarantine. Action for close contacts who are required to quarantine:


The following close contacts are required to quarantine: Students and staff who are not fully vaccinated

▪ Staff who are fully vaccinated but not boosted, if eligible


Asymptomatic students and staff close contacts who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 within the last 90 days are not required to quarantine and are exempt from testing regardless of vaccination status.


Asymptomatic fully vaccinated staff who are close contacts and not boosted (if eligible) may remain on site at the workplace (school) during the quarantine period, however they are required to test once within 3-5 days after the last exposure date.


Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), testing that is required for employees will continue to be provided by AACA free of charge and during work hours; these tests may not be self-administered or self-read unless they are observed by the employer or an authorized telehealth proctor.


Regardless of when quarantine ends, student close contacts must continue to monitor their health and are strongly recommended to wear a highly protective mask around others, except when eating or drinking, for 10 days after the last date of exposure.







Staff close contacts are required to wear a highly protective mask in the workplace around others, except when eating or drinking, for 10 days after the last date of exposure. See ph.lacounty.gov/masks for more information.


The Modified quarantine option for students who are not fully vaccinated: Schools have the option of permitting student close contacts who are not fully vaccinated and had a mask-on-mask exposure at school to continue to take part in all school activities, including sports and extracurricular activities, if the specific criteria below are met. If these criteria cannot be met, then the exposed student must remain in home quarantine.


(1)The exposure was to a person with a COVID-19 diagnosis in any school setting where students are supervised by school staff (indoors, outdoors, or on school buses).

(2) The exposed student remains asymptomatic.

(3) The exposed student AND the person with a COVID-19 diagnosis MUST have each worn a mask consistently and correctly during the entire exposure period.

This COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan in TK-12 Schools Revised 3/11/2022 Page 6 of 9 includes any outdoor exposures. Prior to applying modified quarantine, verification is required of mask-to-mask exposure between the person with a COVID-19 diagnosis and the exposed student. School Administrators must keep records of this verification and provide to Public Health upon request.

(4) In school outbreak sites, students with an outbreak exposure who are not fully vaccinated may, at the direction of the Department of Public Health, be required to fully quarantine at home. They may be released after Day 5, if they have a negative viral test result from a specimen collected on Day 5 from the date of last exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case in the outbreak, provided they remain without symptoms. Note: in outbreak sites, the quarantine period may be extended by Public Health for additional days to help control transmission risk.

(5) Students under modified quarantine are still subject to the Health Officer Quarantine Order and must stay at home for the duration of quarantine, except for in-person instruction.








(6) Students under modified quarantine are strongly recommended to wear a mask indoors and outdoors and on school buses, while at school. The exception is for eating and drinking, where they must be at least 6 feet away from other students and preferably outdoors.

(7) Students under modified quarantine are strongly recommended to be tested at least once weekly, preferably on or around Day 5. Whenever possible, these students should be tested twice weekly using an FDA-authorized viral COVID-19 test (e.g., PCR or Antigen) in a healthcare setting or certified testing site or an FDAauthorized Over-the-Counter test. When possible, the first test specimen should be collected immediately after notification of exposure and the second test specimen be collected on or after Day 5 from the date of last exposure. Students may be released from quarantine after Day 5 from the date of last exposure if a test specimen is collected on Day 5, the test is negative, and the student remains without symptoms. Even if released from quarantine after Day 5, exposed students must continue to monitor their health and mask at all times (indoors, outdoors, and on school buses) for 10 days from the date of last exposure. If symptoms develop, the student should test using an FDA-authorized viral COVID-19 test and stay home. If the test is positive, follow Home Isolation Instructions for COVID-19


Action for identified close contacts who are not required to quarantine:


The following close contacts are not required to quarantine provided they remain asymptomatic:


▪ Students who are fully vaccinated


▪ Staff who are fully vaccinated and not eligible for a booster


▪ Staff who are fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible


*Asymptomatic students and staff close contacts who were previously infected with SARSCoV-2 within the last 90 days are not required to quarantine and exempt from testing, regardless of vaccination status.


Close contacts who are not required to quarantine may remain in school provided they monitor for symptoms. It is strongly recommended that they wear a highly protective mask around others, except when eating or drinking, for 10 days after the last date of exposure. Staff close contacts are required to wear a highly protective mask in the workplace around others, except when eating or drinking, for 10 days after the last date of exposure.








See ph.lacounty.gov/masks for more information. Staff may request masks and respirators from their employer at no cost to staff. See Wear a Mask and Know your Rights for more information. If symptoms develop, test using an FDA-authorized viral COVID-19 test and stay home. If the test is positive.


If testing resources are available, close contacts who are not required to quarantine can be tested with an FDA-authorized viral COVID-19 test (e.g., PCR or Antigen test, including at home tests) at least once during the 10-day period after the last date of exposure. Note: exposed staff who are fully vaccinated and not boosted (if eligible) are required to test between Days 3 and 5 of their last exposure to remain in school. Per Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), testing that is required for employees to return to work must be provided free of charge and during work hours; these tests may not be self-administered or self-read unless they are observed by the employer or an authorized medical professional.

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