Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, WGEL shared a story with information from the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health about options to reduce quarantine for asymptomatic individuals who were exposed to someone that was positive for COVID-19.
That guidance stated that a negative rapid antigen test or a negative RT-PCR test could allow an asymptomatic, exposed individual out of quarantine after day 7.
In a quick turnaround, on Thursday, the rapid antigen test was disallowed by the CDC and IDPH due to the higher chance for a false negative result. If a RT-PCR test is performed, the likelihood of receiving the result before day 10 is slim, as these are analyzed in a laboratory and the turnaround time is typically several days.
Therefore, the Bond County Health Department has announced their adherence to the following protocol for release from quarantine:
Ideally, an asymptomatic person who has had exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual should quarantine for 14 days from the date of last exposure. However, an asymptomatic person who has had exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual CAN end their quarantine after day 10 of their last exposure to a COVID-19 positive person. If a person chooses to do so, they are still responsible for self-monitoring for symptoms, social distancing, masking, frequent hand washing, and all recommended precautions.
At this time, the Bond County Health Department will not allow release from quarantine based on any negative COVID-19 test.
Following that announcement Thursday, Bond County Unit 2 Superintendent Wes Olson issued a memo to parents noting that the district would also adhere to the aforementioned guidance. As of December 10, Olson said the district will no longer allow students or staff to return from quarantine after 7 days with a negative test. The district will allow asymptomatic individuals to return after day 10 of their last exposure, providing they follow the guidance of self-monitoring and other recommended precautions.
For questions pertaining to the Bond County Unit 2 School District, call the district office at 664-0170. Any other COVID-related questions can be directed to the Bond County Health Department at 664-1442 or to your personal physician.