Shortened Student Quarantine Period with Negative PCR Test

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) continue to recommend that close contacts quarantine for 14 days as best practice, ACPS recognizes that a 14-day quarantine can cause loss of learning and undue hardship on our families. With the support of the School Board, ACPS is shortening the length of quarantine for close contacts to seven days after the date of last exposure if families provide documentation to the school of a negative COVID PCR test that is administered on day five, six, or seven. The earliest return date is day eight.

Students returning to school on the eighth day after the date of last exposure will be required to provide their negative COVID PCR test result to the school. The test must be a PCR test. Families should email their student’s negative COVID PCR test results to their school’s general email address.

If a family does not choose to have their student tested, the student will be quarantined for 10 days, with a return on day 11. The student must be asymptomatic.

For students who have been directed to quarantine over the last few weeks, please note the new upcoming quarantine dates based upon the student’s date of last exposure to COVID-19:

Date of Last Exposure First Date of Quarantine Day 7 of Quarantine Date Student Can Return to School with Negative PCR Test on Day 5, 6, or 7 after 7-Day Quarantine Date Student Can Return to School After 10-Day Quarantine
November 9 November 10 November 16 November 17 November 29
November 10 November 11 November 17 November 18 November 29
November 11 November 12 November 18 November 19 November 29

As a reminder, fully-vaccinated students do not need to quarantine if they are symptom-free. An individual is considered fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks since their final dose of an approved vaccine. Families are strongly encouraged to seek vaccinations for students ages five and above, and upload proof of vaccination status through the ACPS Student COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation Form. Also, any student who has had COVID-19 in the last 90 days is not required to quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. Free COVID-19 testing can be found in the City of Alexandria.

Isolation is still required for students who have a positive COVID-19 test. Individuals with a positive COVID-19 test must be isolated for 10 days, and can only return to school if free from COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Please remember the quarantine guidance only applies to unvaccinated individuals. Fully-vaccinated individuals identified as close contact are not required to quarantine if they have no symptoms.

ACPS health and safety protocols help keep our schools, students and staff safe. Thank you for all you are doing to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our schools.