IDPH updates COVID-19 guidelines for schools, child care settings

Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) issued a letter to schools, child care providers and local health departments regarding updated COVID-19 guidelines.

According to a letter from IDPH Director Kelly Garcia, the department is revising COVID-19 guidance for school and child care settings, including quarantine guidance, to recommend that while COVID-19 positive and symptomatic children should be excluded, exposed children should no longer be required to stay home, regardless of mask usage.

The department said when there is a positive case, parents should be given information around exposure to COVID-19 in order to make their own informed decisions regarding risk. The IDPH acknowledges some parents may want their child to continue to wear a cloth face covering for reasons that make sense for their family or that child’s individual health condition and urge schools and child care settings to provide parents and students with the option to make their own decision about mask usage.

On Thursday, the CDC announced fully vaccinated people can ditch masks indoors. The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues, even removing the need for masks or social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.

The IDPH’s criteria of when children should be excluded from going to school or a child care setting. The IDPH recommends that if a child is diagnosed with COVID-19, they can return to 10 days after symptoms start and 24 hours with no fever and improved symptoms, or 10 days after a positive test with no symptoms.

The IDPH’s revised criteria can be viewed here.

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