TEA updates COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for school staff

The Texas Education Agency has updated its COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for school staff this week.

Officials now say teachers and other staff can go back to school five days after their symptoms began as long as they don't have a fever and their symptoms have improved. Asymptomatic staff can go back five days after they tested positive. 

Meanwhile, staff who come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 do not need to stay at home at all if they're fully vaccinated and boosted or if they had COVID-19 within the last 90 days. 

The TEA says these changes come as a result of updated guidance from the CDC. In late December, the CDC cut isolation restrictions for Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days, and similarly shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine.

CDC officials said the guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop. The CDC also says the recommendations "reflect the societal impact" including "critical infrastructure and staffing shortages".

At this point, no changes have been made to the quarantine period for students.

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