Updated Guidance 1/4/2022
At this time, AACA requires testing for all staff and students who are close contacts and who remain in school after exposure, including those who are fully up to date on vaccination and booster doses, as well as those students not up to date but permitted to continue to participate in their academic activities per modified quarantine.
While full compliance with this directive is expected to occur no later than two weeks after the post-holiday reopening date of the school or district (January 18, 2022), AACA has been acting in accordance with these testing guidelines for some time now.
• In addition, AACA has a strategy for periodic testing for asymptomatic individuals with no known exposure. In times of high rates of community transmission, LA County recommends that periodic testing include fully vaccinated individuals where resources allow. Note at this time given the dynamics of the current pandemic surge and the increased infectivity of the omicron variant, screening testing has become increasingly important as a mitigation strategy to limit in-school transmission. Universal screening testing is still not required in this protocol but is strongly recommended as a strategy to prioritize. AACA offers testing to all of its students upon parent request and appropriate consent.
Positive test results must be reported to the department of health. Privacy is strictly adhered to in the reporting of positive cases.
• Please note: Screening testing is not recommended for persons who have recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days and are asymptomatic.
Masking is required for anyone entering school buildings or transports (school buses as well as school buildings) who has contact with others (students, parents, or other employees).
• Employees who have contact with others are offered, at no cost, an appropriate face mask that covers the nose and mouth. The mask must be worn by the employee at all times during the workday and is in contact or likely to come into contact with others. Employees who have been instructed by their medical provider that they should not wear a face mask must wear a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it. A drape that is form fitting under the chin is preferred. Masks with one-way valves must not be used.
• Employees who are exempt from wearing a mask must undergo COVID-19 testing at least twice per week, unless the employee provides proof of full vaccination status against COVID-19 and proof of receipt of booster dose once they become eligible. In times of high rates of community transmission, LA County recommends that this periodic testing also include fully vaccinated individuals with or without booster doses where resources allow.
• Requirement to provide upgraded masks to all school employees: At this time, all school employees, as defined above, must wear surgical-grade masks (also referred to as medical procedure masks) or higher-level PPE (e.g., KN95 or N95 respirator masks). For those wearing surgical masks, double masking, with a cloth face covering worn over the surgical mask, is recommended for enhanced protection. Cloth face coverings alone are no longer acceptable, as they do not provide the same level of source control or personal protection as a proper surgical mask or higher-level PPE. Full compliance with this directive is expected to occur no later than two weeks after the post-holiday reopening date of the school or district
• Employers are required to provide, upon request, respirators to any unvaccinated employee along with instructions on how to ensure the mask fits appropriately.
• All staff must wear a face mask at all times when indoors, except: when working alone in private offices with closed doors; when they are the only individual present in a larger open workspace for multiple employees; or when eating or drinking.
• All staff are also required to wear masks outdoors on school campuses, except when eating or drinking, when in crowded outdoor settings where distancing cannot be easily and reliably maintained.
• it is strongly recommended but not required that students wear upgraded masks which at a minimum are well-fitting, non-cloth mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire. Nothing in this protocol requires that the school provide upgraded masks to its general student population and parental preference should be respected as to the level of PPE the student wears. However, universal masking with some appropriate type of face covering is still currently required for both indoor and outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible.
A case is considered to be infectious from 2 days before their symptoms first appeared until the time they are no longer required to be isolated (i.e., no fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of medicine that reduce fevers AND other symptoms have improved AND at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared). A person with a positive COVID-19 test but no symptoms is considered infectious from 2 days before their test was taken until 10 days after their test.
• Close Contact: A person is considered to have been exposed to a case during the infectious period if at least one of the following criteria are met: - Being within 6 feet of the infected person for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. - Having had unprotected contact with the infected person’s body fluids and/or secretions of a person with confirmed COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, sharing utensils or saliva, or providing care without using appropriate protective equipment).
• Individuals in the classroom or school group should NOT be considered a close contact unless the program is reasonably sure that they meet the above definition of a close contact. Individuals should NOT be considered a close contact solely because they were in the same classroom or school group as a person with confirmed COVID-19. If the program cannot determine who is a close contact to a person with confirmed COVID-19 at school, they should contact Public Health immediately for technical assistance.
The following close contacts are required to quarantine:
o Persons who are not fully vaccinated*; OR
o Persons who are fully vaccinated and booster-eligible but have NOT yet received their booster dose.
*Includes persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, including within the last 90 days. o Close contacts who are required to quarantine must self-quarantine (stay in their home or another residence, separate from others) and monitor for symptoms as outlined in Quarantine and Other Instructions for Close Contacts.
As long as symptoms of COVID-19 are not present they may end quarantine either:
o After 10 full days have passed from their last known contact to the infectious case (as defined above). Activities may resume starting on Day 11 provided they are asymptomatic.
o After 5 full days have passed from their last known contact to the infectious case if they have a negative viral test result from a specimen collected on Day 5 from the date of last exposure to the case. Activities may resume starting on Day 6. The test must be an FDA-authorized viral COVID-19 test (e.g., NAAT or Antigen test); use of an FDAauthorized Over-the-Counter test is acceptable for testing out of quarantine. If the test is positive, follow Home Isolation Instructions for COVID-19 (ph.lacounty.gov/covidisolation).
Exposed persons who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 within the past 90 days should test using an Antigen test.
o Regardless of when quarantine ends, close contacts must continue to monitor their COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER COVID-19
Exposure Management Plan in TK-12 Schools Revised 12/31/21 Page 4 of 8 Health and Upgrade exposed persons should upgrade their masks for 10 days from the date of last exposure: adults should wear a surgical grade (also referred to as medical procedure) mask or higher level personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a KN95 of N95 respirator mask; children should wear a non-cloth mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.
Masks must be worn at all times when around others both indoors and outdoors. Refer to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Masks page for latest guidance on masking. If symptoms develop, test using an FDA-authorized viral COVID19 test and stay home. If the test is positive, follow Home Isolation Instructions for COVID-19 (ph.lacounty.gov/covidisolation). Note: exposed persons who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 within the past 90 days should test with an Antigen test.
• Requirements for close contacts who are exempt from quarantine
The following close contacts are not required to quarantine provided they remain asymptomatic:
o Persons who are boosted; OR
o Persons who are fully vaccinated but not yet booster-eligible
In order to remain in school, close contacts who are exempt from quarantine are required to test. At a minimum, the test specimen must be collected on Day 5 after the date of last exposure.
However twice a week testing is strongly recommended, with the first test specimen collected immediately after being notified of the exposure and the second test specimen collected on Day 5 after the date of last exposure. The test must be an FDA-authorized viral COVID-19 test (e.g., NAAT or Antigen test); use of an FDA authorized Over-the-Counter test is acceptable for this testing requirement.
o In addition, they must monitor for symptoms and upgrade their masks for 10 days from the date of last exposure: adults should wear a surgical grade (also referred to as medical procedure) mask or higher level PPE such as a KN95 of N95 respirator mask; children should wear a non-cloth mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire. Masks must be worn at all times when around others both indoors and outdoors. Refer to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Masks page for latest guidance on masking. If symptoms develop, test using an FDAauthorized viral COVID-19 test and stay home. If the test is positive, follow Home Isolation Instructions for COVID-19 (ph.lacounty.gov/covidisolation).
• Employees with a campus exposure should follow guidance outlined in Cal/OSHA COVID19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). However if an employee’s quarantine period ends before they meet Cal/OSHA’s criteria for return-to-work, they may return to the Worksite(s) as soon as they have cleared quarantine per the Health Officer Quarantine Order. A summary of requirements is provided in the Public Health guidance document on Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace.
• Schools are required to have a plan to facilitate COVID-19 response testing for persons who have an exposure at school. Staff and students who are tested must inform the school of the
Optional Modified Quarantine for TK-12 Students:
Modified quarantine allows asymptomatic students, under self-quarantine orders, who were exposed to a person with diagnosed COVID19 in any school setting where students are supervised by school staff (indoors, outdoors, or on a school buses) to continue in-person academic activities that are part of the regular school curriculum and provided during school hours.
As a reminder, persons who are fully vaccinated and/or have recovered from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days do NOT need to self-quarantine. An asymptomatic student under self-quarantine orders may be approved for modified quarantine if specific criteria outlined below are met. If these criteria cannot be met, then the exposed student must remain in home quarantine as outlined above.
(1) The exposure was to a person with a COVID-19 diagnoses 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 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) The exposed student is not part of a TK-12 outbreak. Due to the high rate of secondary transmission in outbreaks, students with an outbreak exposure must 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 required 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 must be tested twice a week using an FDA authorized viral COVID-19 test (e.g., PCR or Antigen) in a healthcare setting or certified testing site or an FDA-authorized Over-the-Counter test. It is strongly recommended that the first test specimen be collected immediately after being notified of the exposure and the second test specimen be collected on 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 CDC quarantine guidelines.
It is strongly recommended that unvaccinated, asymptomatic individuals who are NOT identified as close contacts but who were present in a school classroom or school activity with a confirmed case be tested weekly for two weeks (14 days) following the date of last exposure in the classroom/activity. If capacity allows, consider also testing asymptomatic, fully vaccinated individuals that were present in the school classroom/activity with a confirmed case but were not close contacts.