Philadelphia health department issues new COVID-19 guidance for city schools

COVID-19 case counts will no longer be used as a metric to determine if a school will switch to virtual learning.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The health department issued new COVID-19 guidance for Philadelphia schools during a briefing on Wednesday.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said a modified version of current CDC guidance will be used for students returning to class after a COVID-19 infection.

Students will be allowed to return to class with strict masking five days after testing positive in schools that can adhere to strict mitigation measures established by the health department.

These layers include: ventilation, contact tracing for high-risk exposures, an area where students, teachers, and staff can eat while removing their mask from days six-10 that is separated from others, screening testing, and strict masking, according to the department's website.

All other students will be required to maintain a 10-day isolation period.

For teachers and other staff members, the new guidance allows for return after five days if a rapid test is negative.

COVID-19 case counts will no longer be used as a metric to determine if a school will switch to virtual learning. Instead, that decision will be based on staff availability, Bettigole said.

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