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News Release: PGCPS Announces New Quarantine Guidelines

September 30, 2021
For Immediate Release

Office of Communications

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – In an effort to provide the safest possible environment for in-person learning, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) today shared updated guidance from the Prince George’s County Health Department on quarantine and testing rules for schools. 

“Each day, we are making the best decisions possible with the best information available to help keep our students, staff and families safe,” said Dr. Monica Goldson, Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to urge all eligible individuals to get vaccinated as the best protection against COVID-19.” 

This week, schools started random pool testing of students regardless of symptoms and vaccination status. Parents and guardians are required to provide consent prior to testing. Additionally, proof of vaccination for all student-athletes over age 12 will be required for participation in all sports. Unvaccinated individuals will be required to undergo weekly testing starting the week of October 18.

Updated Guidance on Quarantine and Testing

The Prince George’s County Health Department’s recommendations are based on recent guidelines from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and Maryland Department of Health (MDH). The full recommendations are on the PGCPS website.

Quarantine is required for (1) any individual who tests positive for COVID-19, (2) displays symptoms and (3) unvaccinated students and employees in close contact. 

Unvaccinated students and employees may return to school after seven days with a negative test and no symptoms. Proof of a negative PCR test by the fifth day of quarantine or later is required. Daily symptom monitoring by parents/guardians is required for 14 days after the initial exposure. Otherwise, they may return in 10 days without testing if they have no symptoms.

Fully vaccinated students and employees without symptoms do not need to quarantine unless they test positive. They should get tested five days after exposure regardless of symptoms and wear a mask for 14 days.

Learning in Quarantine

Students who need to quarantine as a result of direct exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will continue to have access to Google Classroom or Canvas. 

If an entire class is quarantined, students would move to virtual learning taught by their regular instructor or a substitute educator. If the teacher is sick and another educator is not available, the class will have access to asynchronous (self-paced) instruction, such as videos, assignments, presentations and online texts, and other grade and content-specific online learning platforms.