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New Region 1 Covid protocols detailed

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FALLS VILLAGE—The Connecticut Department of Public Health has issued a memo updating respiratory virus guidance. The DPH memo recommends changing school guidelines with respect to return to school for those who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. 

Based on a March 1 communication from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this updated guidance is believed to protect those at most risk. Evidence indicates that it will not significantly increase severe disease related to COVID-19 or other respiratory viruses. Please click on this link to read the communication sent from the CT DPH.

In an announcement sent to staff, parents and caregivers, Lisa B. Carter, superintendent of Region 1 schools, said that starting immediately individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate from others based on their symptoms and can return to school when the individual is fever-free (100.4 or less) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications (e.g. ibuprofen, acetaminophen) and whose symptoms are improving and full participation in the school/work day is possible. 

There is no requirement to isolate for five days unless fever and symptoms persist for that length of time or longer. For example, if COVID-19 symptoms and fever only last for two days, the individual may return to school as long as symptoms are improving and they are fever free.

Upon return to normal activities, individuals should take added precautions over the next five days, such as taking additional steps for hygiene and/or testing when they will be around other people indoors. If the individual develops a fever or starts to feel worse after they returning to school, they should isolate again until the conditions to return to normal activities are met. 

The CDC website provides additional guidance with respect to isolation and recommended post-illness protections to prevent the virus from spreading to others. Region 1 cannot mandate wearing masks or testing, but it is hoped that everyone will follow these recommendations to keep students and staff safe and in school.

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