To help WDMCS students, families, and staff understand what to do if they are exposed to COVID-19 and/or if they test positive, we updated our COVID-19 exposure flowchart for the 2021-22 school year and again for second semester. These guidelines reference current federal, state, and local health agency recommendations. These guidelines must also follow any state laws passed related to COVID-19 and public school districts. We appreciate the partnership of our WDMCS families as we work together to limit the spread of COVID-19.
When you can return to school/work depends on whether or not you are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now use these definitions:
- Fully vaccinated: two weeks or more after receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna OR two weeks or more after receiving the single dose of Johnson and Johnson.
- Up-to-date with vaccinations: have received ALL recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster doses when eligible
WDMCS encourages staff and students to obtain all recommended COVID-19 vaccinations when available. We base recommended quarantine dates on whether individuals are UP-TO-DATE or NOT UP-TO-DATE with vaccinations.
Illness at School and When to Keep Your Child At Home
School nurses play a critical role in maintaining the health and safety of schools. West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) collaborates with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Polk County Public Health Department (PCHD), and local health care professionals to provide guidelines that identify when it is safe for children to attend school.
COVID-19 Guidelines — UP-TO-DATE WITH VACCINATIONS
COVID-19 Guidelines — NOT UP-TO-DATE WITH VACCINATIONS
Quarantine and Isolation
Quarantine if you were exposed
- Stay home and monitor symptoms.
- If you can, stay away from other people at home.
- If possible, wear a well-fitted mask when around others at home.
Isolate if you are sick or test positive
- Stay home and away from others, even if you don’t have symptoms.
- Stay in a specific “sick room” and use a separate bathroom if available.
- Wear a well-fitting mask when you need to be around others.
How Long to Quarantine or Isolate
Quarantine — at least 5 days
- Day 0: day of exposure
- Day 1: first full day AFTER exposure
- Day 5: fifth full day AFTER exposure
Isolation — at least 10 days
- Day 0: first day of symptoms or day of positive test result
- Day 1: first full day AFTER symptoms start/positive test result
- Day 10: 10th full day AFTER symptoms start/positive test result