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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – The Ohio Department of Health held a press conference Monday to update COVID-19 school quarantine guidance.

The new guidelines are aimed to keep asymptomatic children at school.

Classrooms have to opt-in.

People who are exposed at school who had direct contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 may remain in the classroom if:

  • They wear a mask for 14 days after last date of exposure
  • Self-monitor for symptoms
  • Isolate if there are symptoms of COVID-19
  • Rules can end after 7 days if they test negative between days 5 and 7

Guidance for asymptomatic athletes who have been exposed:

  • Wear a mask when possible (not during play)
  • After direct contact, get a test
  • Test second time between days 5 and 7
  • Negative after 2nd test means quarantine can end

Tests can be PCR or Antigen tests, but not over the counter, according to new guidance.

Kids exposed outside of schools should follow standard quarantine guidelines, according to Dr. Vanderhoff.

Many school districts have had large numbers of students quarantined due to exposure.

The state began testing a program in September in Warren County that gave families the option to quarantine but also offered the option of allowing exposed students to get tested twice and mask instead of staying home.

The new state guidelines follow that pilot program.

People who wear a mask or are fully vaccinated can remain in class with a mask, which is according to a policy that has already been in place.

ODH says the guidance is simply guidance, and schools will have to make their own decisions about policy.


  • Dr. Vanderhoff says 100% of children 12 and older hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated
  • “Our cases are still very high, including among our children.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • “An average of 64 Ohioans died of COVID-19 in September every day.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • FDA likely to approve vaccines for kids 5 to 11 next week – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • “Vaccines save lives. They’ve protected us for years from diseases that are now incredibly rare, like polio and mumps.” – Dr. Vanderhoff