COVID-19 Quarantine Procedures

A Reminder About COVID-19 Quarantine Procedures
Posted on 04/01/2021

Dear South Washington County Schools Family,

School health staff and principals are receiving phone calls questioning the 14-day COVID-19 quarantine procedures that have been in place since the beginning of the school year. The majority of the phone calls have been described as disrespectful. We acknowledge that families may be frustrated, but we ask that our staff be treated with respect. They cannot change a student’s quarantine period.

The recent increase in quarantine cases has been the result of behaviors outside of school, including during spring break. We ask that the community continue to follow health and safety procedures to ensure students can remain in school through the end of the year.

A 14-day quarantine remains the safest recommendation from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for the greatest protection against spreading the virus. Though there is optional guidance for a shortened quarantine period, there are several requirements that make it impossible for a school to follow. For example, shortened quarantine periods are only possible if students are able to maintain social distancing of six feet or more. Our in-person learning model makes that requirement impossible.

Like most metro school districts, South Washington County Schools will continue to follow the safest recommendation of 14-day quarantines. We work closely with MDH and will make adjustments only if the guidance is updated and it’s safe to do so. 

The 14-day quarantine period will remain in place. If staff or students had close contact with an infected person, they will need to remain out of school for a minimum of 14 days. 

  • The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines call for a 14-day quarantine as the safest option to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • A negative COVID-19 test does not allow students to return from quarantine early.
  • Shortened quarantine periods are not possible, in part, due to social distancing requirements that cannot be met in the school environment.
  • Individuals who have previously contracted COVID-19 and recovered within the last 90 days or have received their final dose of a vaccine series, should contact their school to provide documentation before they are allowed to return.

For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please call the MDH hotline from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-833-431-2053.

Thank you for your partnership.