Sioux Falls School District changes isolation rules to follow CDC guidelines

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Students in the Sioux Falls School District were back in class today after the winter break. Just before kids returned, the district announced it would be following the new CDC guidelines for COVID-19 isolation and quarantining.

Last week, the CDC reduced the isolation period for people with COVID-19. Anyone who tests positive for the virus needs to isolate for five days now instead of ten. If they don’t have symptoms or haven’t had a fever for 24 hours, they should then wear a mask for another five days when around others.

“One of the things we’re seeing, especially with Omicron, is that it tends to come on quicker and the period that you spread it is usually right before you even know that you have it,” Dr. David Basel with Avera Medical Group said. “And then two or three days after you know that you have it and so it’s those first few periods where it’s the most infectious.”

The Sioux Falls School District is adding the CDC’s new quarantine guideline into its Continue to Learn Plan.
The CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all students, staff, teachers and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. In Sioux Falls schools, they are encouraged but not required.

“Those of you, like me, that have kids in school know that that’s a kind of personal decision and there’s a lot of things that go into that. But still, the official CDC guidelines is masking in school,” Basel said.

Basel says the Omicron variant spreads easily and quickly so he recommends these steps for families.

“Get everybody in the household vaccinated and boosted that can be so that it’s not being spread around the household because that’s the best way to protect them if at all possible,” Basel said. “Number two, if anybody in the family is going to wear a mask, probably those younger-aged range that can’t be immunized.”

The Sioux Falls School District declined to do an interview about the changes to the Continue to Learn Plan, but we did receive an email saying they still encourage people to stay home when sick.

This comes as the FDA authorizes Pfizer booster shots for 12 to 15-year-olds.
Five to eleven year old’s who are immuno-compromised can also receive a third shot.

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