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Some schools opting out of ‘screen and stay,’ citing omicron

December 22, 2021 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Some Connecticut school districts have decided to discontinue the state’s “screen and stay” policy that was designed to keep kids in school even if they’d had close contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19.

The voluntary policy was introduced by Gov. Ned Lamont in early November and calls for children exposed to the virus, even if they are not vaccinated, to remain in school as long as they wear masks and do not develop COVID-19 symptoms.

But some schools have decided to end that policy because of the recent surge in cases, which have been linked to the highly transmissible omicron variant of the virus.

West Hartford school officials announced Monday they were scrapping the program. That same day, they announced 13 people in the district tested positive for COVID-19.

“West Hartford and Bloomfield have rescinded because of the number of cases that we’ve been seeing,’′ Aimee Krauss, director of the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District, told The Hartford Courant.

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Other towns, including East Windsor and Bristol, have also opted out, the newspaper reported.

West Hartford schools have returned to earlier COVID-19 protocols, which requires unvaccinated pre-school children who have been exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine for 10 days and unvaccinated older school-age children to quarantine for seven days, provided they remain symptom-free and provide the results of a negative test.

Vaccinated children do not need to quarantine as long as they remain symptom-free and test negative for the virus.