Outdated CDC guidance may lead to a fourth year of disrupted schooling in some districts

Anthony LaMesa
4 min readJul 29, 2022

The agency still recommends close contact testing and quarantines

With many children having experienced catastrophic learning loss during the pandemic, it is essential that the upcoming school year be as smooth as possible, but some districts will continue to apply CDC close contact testing and quarantine guidance that could lead to healthy children missing weeks of classroom instruction. One of those districts is metro Atlanta’s City Schools of Decatur.

City Schools of Decatur 2022–2023 Covid-19 Mitigation Plan

According to the CSD mitigation plan, which links to CDC guidance, “individuals who are not up to date on Covid-19 vaccinations will be required to quarantine as directed by the CDC guidance [see below] if identified as a close contact.”

CDC K-12 Close Contact and Quarantine Guidance

This means unvaccinated or unboosted students or staff will have to do the following if identified as a “close contact” (i.e. exposed to confirmed or suspected Covid-19 case for 15 minutes indoors) at school. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been previously infected.

A student will be forced to “quarantine for at least 5 days from the date of last close contact” and “get tested at least 5 days after the last close contact.” And, with most students having now returned to classroom instruction, it’s unlikely the exposed student will enjoy robust remote instruction while quarantining.

It’s not just Decatur doing this, however. The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending schools throughout Illinois enforce CDC’s close contact testing and quarantine guidance. Look at this, which was last updated on July 27, 2022, and your head will spin.

Illinois Department of Public Health Covid-19 Interim Guidance for Schools

Quarantine, testing, and masking for asymptomatic close contacts exposed to…

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Anthony LaMesa

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