Should Schools Have Changed To A 5 Day Quarantine?


Yesenia Ruiz, Staff Writer

The CDC recently announced they were updating their COVID-19 protocols to include a 5-day quarantine. This is shortened from their 10-day quarantine and their previous 14-day quarantine. This action has been criticized because it happened amongst the Omnicron surge that started in late December, and is still going on. While the CDC backs up their claims by saying people are most contagious 2 days before developing symptoms, and 3 days after, many still felt uncomfortable with the change. Many voiced their opinions specifically with school starting up after winter break. School districts waited for guidance from the Departments of Health and the CDC and were then all were grappled with the question: Should schools go to 5-day quarantine? 


On January 11th, Warren decided to shorten their quarantine to a 5 day period including unvaccinated students and staff, and unboosted students and staff. The updated quarantine protocols also include vaccinated individuals who were close contacts to not even have to quarantine afterward (if they are over 18 without a booster they must still quarantine). They are supposed to adhere to strict mask-wearing afterward, and stay 6 feet away from others when mask-wearing is not possible, such as at lunch. However, this is a tough thing to enforce and will have to come down to personal policing. Teachers and students who contract COVID-19 during this 5 day period are faced with tough choices after. Even when they still have symptoms but are improved, they are allowed to come back to school. Many struggle with the questions of whether they should come back and what they’ll miss if they don’t come back.  

With all these questions surrounding the 5 day quarantine, some districts near Warren have decided to not update to the 5-day quarantine. Should all schools have adhered to this, or is a 5 day quarantine safe?  Or should they have gone an alternative route, like Chicago Public School District, and waited until February 1st to enact updated quarantine protocols? Let us know your thoughts below.