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The PCWS COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan for 2022-2023 reflects the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH)

PCWS supports COVID-19 prevention measures that are tied to community COVID-19  levels. At this time, COVID-19 community levels in Alexandria, VA are “low.” See  COVID-19 community levels in the U.S. by county. The PCWS plan may be  adjusted according to shifts in the pandemic, including possible changes in COVID-19  community levels. 

Key Prevention

  1. Stay home if sick - If a student or staff member becomes sick at home, they  should stay home until their symptoms resolve and they have NOT had a fever for at  least 24 hours. (See below for steps to take if symptoms of COVID-19 arise.)  

  2. Face Masks – Face masks are optional except when returning to school after  isolation or exposure (see below). Any person who wishes to wear a mask should be  supported to do so. 

  3. Ventilation and Hygiene – PCWS will continue to prioritize ventilation, (including  safely opening windows and doors and using portable air cleaners with HEPA  filters), proper hand washing, and maintaining a clean school environment

Response Measures:  Guidance for Isolation and Quarantine

  1. If symptomatic, students or staff should begin isolation at home and undergo testing if recommended by a healthcare provider. Day “0” is the day when symptoms begin. 

  2. 5-Day Isolation: Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate for at least 5 days.  If they are asymptomatic or symptoms resolve AND they have been fever-free  for 24 hours, they may return to school after Day 5.

  3. After 5-Day Isolation 
    If they can mask, they should do so through Day 10.  (Note: if they plan  to mask, testing is not required to determine the end date of isolation).  If unable or unwilling to mask, they should: 
              1. Isolate for 10 days, or 
              2. Follow CDC’s “test-based strategy:”  

                           - 2 negative antigen tests after 5 days of isolation (the first on Day 6; the second test 48 hours after the first test), 

                           - AND, they should be free from fever for 24 hours

                           - AND with other symptoms resolved.

NOTE: Parents/guardians of the COVID-positive child and COVID-positive PCWS  staff should inform the PCWS COVID Committee PRIOR to a return to school by email at


4.  In the event of a recent, confirmed or suspected exposure to an infected  person, (understanding exposure risks), regardless of vaccination status: 

a. Quarantine is no longer recommended for asymptomatic K-12 students or  staff after exposure to COVID-19 infected people. Such students/staff may  continue to attend programming as long as they remain asymptomatic. 

b. PCWS asks that parents/guardians of the exposed child and PCWS staff inform the PCWS COVID Committee PRIOR to a return to school by email at 

c. Masks – COVID-19-exposed students/staff should wear a mask – indoors -- during 10 days after exposure. (Date of last COVID exposure=Day “O”). 

d. Testing – Persons exposed MAY consider testing for COVID-19 five (5) days after exposure (or sooner if they are symptomatic), irrespective of vaccination status.  

e. Test-to-stay (screening testing) is no longer routinely recommended.


5.  Vaccination - PCWS recommends vaccination as an important prevention measure  for students and staff. Information  about how to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations is available from the CDC; from the Virginia Department of Health; and from Alexandria Health Department


6.  Outbreaks - PCWS will work with AHD and/or VDH professionals to determine next steps in the event of a school-wide outbreak of COVID-19. In such a case, more  traditional measures such as quarantine and isolation may be applied.  


7.  Other infectious diseases - In the event of other illnesses, PCWS still asks that  parents keep sick children at home until their symptoms resolve AND they are fever free for at least 24 hours. Review information from the VDH about infectious disease  prevention, vaccination and care for children and detailed information about Monkeypox and K-12 schools

The PCWS COVID-19 Committee welcomes questions from the PCWS community.

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