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Students in Loudoun County will not have to stay at home for quite as long if they are exposed to COVID-19.

Loudoun County Public Schools announced unvaccinated students who are exposed to the virus will now only have to quarantine for 10 days, instead of the original 14 days.

Superintendent Scott Ziegler made the announcement late last week, and said the low number of infected students led them to change the policy.

“Based on the extremely low number of student cases, we will continue to follow the Virginia Department of Health guidance, which allows for shorter quarantine durations as acceptable alternatives in K-12 schools to allow prioritization of school attendance,” Ziegler said in a statement.

“For a lot of children and their families, quarantining for 14 days is a hardship, economically and in regard to their mental health. This is especially true in grades kindergarten through six, where students are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.”

Since school started, 59 Loudoun students have contracted COVID-19, and 259 close contacts of those students have had to quarantine. Loudoun County serves around 82,000 students, meaning cases account for .07% of the student population and students exposed account for .32%.

The change in policy also allows students who are currently quarantining to stay at home for just 11 days total.

Fully vaccinated students who have no COVID-19 symptoms will not need to quarantine.

The superintendent said in the future they may lower the period to seven days with proof of a negative coronavirus test after day five.

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