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DHEC updates teacher quarantine guidance to align with healthcare workers

Officials say the action is being taken to alleviate school staff shortages in communities with significant outbreaks.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Sunday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) updated its official guidance for the quarantining of teachers and other school staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 but who show no symptoms of the virus when the school is in a crisis staffing condition.

School teachers and staff who are not maximally vaccinated (initial series plus booster when eligible) and who have been exposed to COVID-19 but have no symptoms do not need to quarantine, as long as they have a negative test on day 5 after their exposure and wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.

Officials say the action is being taken to alleviate school staff shortages in communities with significant outbreaks and is in keeping with the latest understanding and analysis of the risks and benefits. 

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Today, DHEC announced it was updating its official guidance for the quarantining of teachers and other school staff who...

Posted by SC DHEC on Sunday, January 16, 2022

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The change will allow more schools to continue providing in-person education for students when they otherwise could not maintain operations due to staffing and would have to close.

State health officials continue to urge all eligible South Carolinians to get maximally vaccinated against COVID-19, wear masks when indoors in public places or large outdoor gatherings and socially distance where possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the potential severity of the virus if contracted.

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