By Katie Lannan
A Tuesday update to the COVID-19 guidance for schools revises protocols for responding to exposure to someone who has tested positive in classrooms or on a school bus.
Under the updated version, close contacts exposed to a COVID-positive individual in a classroom or on a bus while both individuals wore masks do not have to quarantine unless they were within three feet of that individual for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period.
The close contacts still need to quarantine if masks were not worn by both persons during the exposure, or if someone is identified as a close contact in other settings like sports, extracurricular activities or lunch.
Close contacts who are fully vaccinated also do not need to quarantine as long as they do not have symptoms.
During the week from April 8-14, 1,095 new student cases of COVID-19 and 184 new staff cases were reported by Massachusetts schools.