The Pierre School District released new COVID-19 guidelines on Wednesday, shortening the isolation period for infected students from 10 days to five, mirroring the CDC’s Dec. 27 announcement regarding isolation.
Under the revised district guidelines, students who test positive for COVID-19 are asked to report their positive test to their school nurse and isolate at home for at least five days from the start of symptoms or five days from the date of a positive test if asymptomatic.
"If symptoms are improving after 5 days, (the student) may leave isolation and return to school on day 6 as long as he or she is fever free for the previous 24 hours without the aid of a fever reducing agent," the release read.
Infected students are also asked to mask around others through day 10 and families can report any close contacts to the South Dakota Department of Health.
Vaccinated students — defined as those who received a booster or received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the past six months or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the past two months — who are considered close contacts to someone infected can stay at school as long as they are asymptomatic but should be tested after five days if possible and continue to monitor for symptoms through day 10. Masking is recommended through this period.
The five-day isolation rule applies to unvaccinated students who are close contacts, with recommended masking through 10 days after last exposure and testing on day five if possible.
"Close contacts who have had a positive antibody test within the 90 days prior to exposure or immediately after and remain without symptoms, do not need to quarantine, but should monitor for symptoms for 10 days with masking recommended," the release read. "Close contacts who have had COVID-19 illness or tested positive for COVID-19 within the 90 days prior to exposure, have recovered, and remain without symptoms, do not need to quarantine, but should monitor for symptoms for 10 days with masking recommended."
The release specifically states that school staff are not conducting contact tracing.
Home COVID-19 tests are available by request through a link on the Pierre School District home webpage.