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Duval elementary schools no longer shifting to online instruction for COVID-19 exposure

Declining numbers of COVID-19 cases within Duval Schools, along with new quarantine guidelines from the Florida DOH, led the district to change its policy.
Credit: DCPS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Duval County Public Schools policy of shifting elementary classrooms to online learning after COVID-19 exposure is ending, the district announced Monday.

Declining numbers of COVID-19 cases within Duval Schools, along with new quarantine guidelines from the Florida Department of Health, led the district to change its practices, the district's website says.

In August, DCPS said it would begin shifting elementary classrooms to online learning when two or more cases of COVID-19 are reported in the class in a seven-day span.

Now, the district will rely on DOH's continued contact tracing and case investigations for all reported COVID-19 cases impacting schools. 

"When the Department of Health identifies a student who is a close contact, the student will only be required to quarantine if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19," the DCPS site says. "Students who are close contacts but not exhibiting symptoms may quarantine or attend school at their parent or guardian’s discretion."

If a case impacts an elementary school, families of students in the class of the infected individual will still receive a letter informing them of the case, according to the district's site. The letter is not an order to quarantine or stay home from school, but simply information for families of the increased possibility that their student may have been in close contact to a presumed positive case of COVID-19, the site says.

The district's policy on face masks has not changed. Masks are required for all students, staff and visitors. Students may only opt out with a properly completed medical opt-out form in place, the district's site says.

RELATED: Classroom at Neptune Beach Elementary sent home due to COVID-19

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