Update to OHA’s Investigative Guidelines and Clarification on CDC Quarantine & Isolation Guidance  

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

To: Superintendents, Charter School Leaders, Private School Leaders, Principals, School Nurses, Reopening Advisors 
From: Colt Gill, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction and Dean Sidelinger, Deputy State Health Officer
Date: January 4, 2022 
RE: Update to OHA’s Investigative Guidelines and Clarification on CDC Quarantine & Isolation Guidance  

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your consistent resolve in providing safe learning environments for students across Oregon. We are writing today to share the Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) update to their COVID-19 investigative guidelines and offer clarification around the recent CDC isolation and quarantine press release. On December 29, OHA updated their investigative guidelines to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s December 27 update to general population isolation and quarantine. The OHA update included:

  • Immediate adoption of a 5-day isolation period for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Immediate adoption of a 5-day quarantine for individuals who are not up-to date for their COVID vaccinations.
    • Being up to date means having completed a primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months or finished a primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months AND having received a booster dose of vaccine.
  • The CDC has not provided guidance materials on these updates at this time.

OHA and ODE still await this detailed guidance from the CDC describing how these changes will affect schools before we are able to update the RSSL Resiliency Framework, Planning for COVID-19 Scenarios in Schools or OHA’s School Testing Guidance. These documents will be out of alignment with CDC until the CDC releases additional information and it can be reviewed by OHA, hopefully in the coming week.

OHA anticipates the December 27 update is the first of several updates forthcoming from CDC. Since the investigative guidelines direct Local Public Health Authority (LPHA) work, and the LPHA has the authority to determine isolation and quarantine, please continue to work closely with your LPHA and follow their guidance on isolation and quarantine lengths. At their discretion, LPHAs may direct school districts to adopt the 5-day general population recommendation or to continue using existing isolation and quarantine school guidance until further notice.

We anticipate that the school documents and investigative guidelines will be in alignment over the course of the coming weeks and ask for your continued patience.

If you have any questions about this update, please contact the ODE COVID-19 inbox at ODECOVID19@ode.state.or.us. Thank you!