Wichita Public Schools revises quarantine guidelines, warns parents to prepare for temporary closures

The district's COVID report from after the holiday break shows 400 staff members out due to quarantine, the largest spike since August.
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 7:01 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 11:01 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita Public Schools has amended its quarantine guidelines. The district posted the updated guidance on its website on Tuesday.

The district said it will now follow the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and reduce the isolation period for students and staff with a confirmed COVID case from 10 days to 5 days.

  • If the positive individual is fever-free for 24 hours without medication, and if the positive individual has improving symptoms, then the individual can return to work/school as early as day 6 (day 0 is the first day of symptoms).
  • If a student or staff member is not fever-free for 24 hours without medication and feeling better by day 5, then the individual must continue to remain at home until they have met the 24 hours of being fever-free with resolving symptoms.

The district said it is also suspending its “test to stay” testing at the guidance of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. This comes as rapid testing supplies become scarce across Kansas and across the country.

USD 259 said the KDHE advised that students and staff stay in class, wear masks and only tests if they become symptomatic.

“We have seen a spike, we haven’t escaped that,” said Sean Hudspeth, Chief Human Resources Officer for Wichita Public Schools.

Lastly, the district warned parents of possible school closures as a result of a staffing shortage created by the community spread of COVID following the holidays.

Parents of Wichita Public Schools students are asked to have a childcare plan in place now in the event that data indicators cause the district to send students home for several days. The district said it hopes to give parents 2-3 days of notice before making the transition.

“If you’re not feeling good, you need to stay home. That’s the key right there,” said Hudspeth.

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