The Georgia Department of Public Health issued an updated isolation and quarantine executive order Wednesday, allowing teachers and school staff to return to work after exposure to Covid-19 or testing positive for the coronavirus, regardless of vaccination status, as long as they maintain Asymptomatic and wearing a mask at work.
“Students, parents and educators have made it clear to us that they want to be in the classroom, and we are looking at multiple ways to continue safe in-person learning – including updating quarantine and isolation protocols, reducing contact tracing requirements, and increasing testing opportunities,” said the letter from Kemp and Toomey.
Under the order, local school districts can still develop and follow their own quarantine and isolation requirements.
Under the updated agency order, positive cases of Covid-19 still need to be reported to state health departments, but contact tracing will no longer be mandatory for schools.
“We know that contact tracing has become more challenging as cases increase in schools and the wider community,” the letter said. “While contact tracing is a ‘best practice’, especially for high-risk groups, But we know this may not be feasible in all circumstances, so it can be considered an optional service for schools at this time.”
Georgia’s seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases was 16,072 as of Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The state recorded a seven-day average of 8,442 new Covid-19 cases this time last year, the data showed.
CNN has reached out to the Georgia Educators Association for comment on the updated order.
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