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Message from Ohio Department of Health re: New Quarantine Requirements

Ohio high school superintendents and athletic directors,

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has issued an updated health order for quarantine requirements following exposure to COVID-19. Ohio students participating in sports or extra-curricular activities will not have to quarantine from those activities following exposure if they are fully vaccinated and show no symptoms.

Previously, students who had close contact with someone outside the classroom who tested positive for COVID-19 were required to quarantine either seven or 10 days, depending on testing status. Now, they will not have to quarantine or get tested if they are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic. As detailed below, those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to follow quarantine guidance.

An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth ages 16-17 are eligible to receive the vaccine with parental/guardian consent, and can receive the Pfizer two-dose product, which is currently the only vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in individuals younger than 18.

Here is a summary of quarantine guidance for students:

Students who are fully vaccinated

  • Youth participating in sports and/or extracurricular activities who have been exposed to COVID-19 outside the classroom are not required to quarantine from those activities if they have been fully vaccinated and have no symptoms of COVID-19.

Students who are not fully vaccinated

  • Students who had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with an infected person or who had direct physical contact with the person (e.g., coughed on or sneezed on by the infected person) outside the classroom and who remain asymptomatic are required to quarantine and must follow specific quarantine orders from their local health department:

  • Quarantine may end after day 10 (since exposure) without testing.

  • Quarantine may end after day seven, if receiving a negative test result. (Test must occur on day five or later.)

  • Youth who are not required to quarantine after exposure occurring in a classroom setting are still permitted to participate in organized sports activities and extracurricular activities if they remain symptom free and follow applicable guidance. For school-based exposure guidance, see “Guidelines for Quarantine After Exposure in a K-12 School Setting.”

Note: The CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days for athletes and students involved in extracurricular activities if they were exposed to possible COVID-19 outside classroom setting.

Vaccination partnerships

High schools are encouraged to partner with COVID-19 vaccine providers in their communities to set up vaccination clinics for eligible students ages 16-17.

Students ages 16 and 17 who are not emancipated must have parental or legal guardian consent for any vaccine. A parent or legal guardian generally should accompany the minor to receive the vaccine, unless the administration of the vaccine occurs in a physician’s office, school-based or school-associated clinic setting, or similar setting. In those cases, parents/legal guardians will be asked to provide consent in advance of the vaccination. Visit coronavirus.ohio.gov for a list of providers interested in creating partnerships for vaccination clinics in their communities. Sincerely, Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccination Provider Relations Team

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