In a Monday email to the principals of Jackson County Public Schools, administration laid out an updated COVID-19 policy to share with students and parents. The message also went out via the schools’ weekly ConnectEd call.

The email is printed below in its entirety:

JCPS has updated isolation and quarantine procedures based on the information in the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit which aligns with recommendations from the CDC for students and staff who test positive or are exposed to COVID-19. This information can also be found on our website at www.jcpsnc.org/covid.

Staff and students who have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should get tested and isolate from others while awaiting results.

Staff and students who test positive (regardless of vaccination status) should isolate as follows:

• If no symptoms are present, the person should isolate from others for five days and wear a mask at all school events for five additional days.

• If symptoms are present, the person should isolate from others until fever-free and symptoms are improving, and should isolate for a minimum of five days after the first symptoms and should wear a mask at all school events for five additional days.

• For staff and students who are exposed to someone with COVID-19, the quarantine requirements are as follows:

• For those not vaccinated and those who are vaccinated and eligible for a booster but have not yet received the booster dose, the requirement is to quarantine for five days, have a COVID-19 test five days after exposure and if the test is negative return to school.

• For those who are vaccinated, and have either received a booster or are not yet eligible for a booster – individuals do not need to quarantine following exposure.

Information that has not changed but should be noted:

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated after close contact in a classroom or other school setting if masks were being worn appropriately and consistently by both the person with COVID-19 and the potentially exposed person do not need to quarantine.

Jackson County Public Schools will continue to require masks during the school day.

Masks are strongly encouraged at all after school events, but are not required.

We are pleased to offer free voluntary COVID-19 testing weekly for students and staff. Regular testing helps us control virus outbreaks and make informed decisions that prioritize the safety of our school community, visit www.jcpsnc.org/covidtest to register a student to participate.