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 Monitoring of school quarantines in the Central Utah Health District from August through early December has shown less than 0.5% of individuals in mask-to-mask exposures testing positive for COVID-19. Due to this data, along with numerous studies showing the efficacy of proper mask wearing in significantly reducing the spread of COVID-19, we feel there is precedence for adjusting school quarantine protocols.


The recommended procedures are as follows:

  1. Positive case is identified and reported to the school POC.

  2. School POC initiates contact tracing to assess potential school exposures. Time and distance (15 minutes of contact within 6 feet) are assessed for potential exposures to the positive case and recorded. For those who are considered exposed, mask wearing is evaluated.

    1. If the exposure was mask-to-mask (both the positive case and the exposed individual were following proper mask protocols), the exposures is considered low-risk. The exposed individual is not quarantined, but the individual/parent is notified of the exposure and advised to watch for the development of symptoms.

    2. If the exposure was not mask-to-mask, or if masks were not worn properly, then the exposure is considered higher-risk. The exposed individual is quarantined for 10 days without testing, but has the option to test at 7-days and return to school if not symptomatic. The individual/parent is notified of the exposure and the quarantine protocol.

    3. Exposures due to a positive COVID-19 case in the same household will still be required to meet the full 10-day quarantine due to the high-risk nature of the exposure.

  3. In either case, the school POC should be documenting exposed individuals and whether they were quarantined in the contact tracing sheet of the school tracking documents.

As we are operating according to the data that has been gathered, it is critical that the current mitigating measures that have been implemented in the school setting continue to be observed. This quarantine procedure and changes will only be applicable if current guidelines on limiting gathering, maintaining as much distance as possible between students, and limiting length of exposures in classroom settings continue to be maintained.

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