Atlanta schools urge tests, quarantine after spring break trips

Atlanta Public Schools wants employees and families who travel during spring break to take COVID-19 tests and self-quarantine upon their return. AJC FILE PHOTO/Alyssa Pointer

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Atlanta Public Schools wants employees and families who travel during spring break to take COVID-19 tests and self-quarantine upon their return. AJC FILE PHOTO/Alyssa Pointer

Atlanta Public Schools is urging employees and students who travel during spring break to get tested for COVID-19 when they return and follow other health guidelines.

Superintendent Lisa Herring sent letters to APS families and employees recently announcing the district would switch to online-only learning for April 12-16, the week after spring break. The precautionary step is intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus in schools since many employees indicated in a district survey that they planned to travel over the break.

Herring urged families and employees who take off for spring break to get tested three to five days after they return and also quarantine for seven days after their trip.

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Travelers should quarantine for a full week even if their test is negative, she said, citing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected. If you don’t get tested, you are encouraged to stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel,” Herring wrote.

In her letter to employees, Herring said that if they travel over spring break they should quarantine and get tested during the week of April 12.

When school buildings reopen for in-person learning on April 19, Herring said employees “will need to pass the worksite health screening questionnaire and are strongly encouraged to participate in surveillance testing.”

The district reported 532 cases of COVID-19 among staff and students since late August.