Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shortened its recommended quarantine period for individuals infected with COVID-19 to five days, Temple ISD will return to a required 10-day quarantine period next week.

This revision followed a superintendents meeting with the Bell County Public Health District on Friday — officials who initially recommended that Temple ISD follow the CDC’s latest guidelines.

“After much collaboration and discussion, Temple ISD will return to the 10-day required quarantine period … even with the recent CDC updated guidance,” Ott said in a letter to families on Friday. “Remaining health and safety procedures and reporting processes will remain unchanged at this time as they have proven to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses.”

The fourth-year superintendent emphasized how the 10-day quarantine period has proven to be an effective mitigation strategy in Temple ISD — a claim that can be backed by the district’s repeatedly low case counts during the pandemic.

“Further, keeping this strategy intact supports overall community wellness and can help reduce potential staffing shortages among classroom teachers, substitute teachers and all other school districts,” Ott said.

Temple ISD also will continue to closely monitor case counts — both lab-confirmed and probable — across the district, and will release further information if future changes are made to the district’s active protocols and procedures, according to Temple ISD.

“The campus nurse will continue to serve as a resource for student quarantine procedures and return-to-school guidelines if you have any questions,” Ott said. “Thank you for your cooperation and support implementing our healthy habits.”

In his previous letter to families on Monday, Ott reminded families about one of the most proven mitigation strategies.

“We … also continue to strongly encourage that individuals wear a face covering to further prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Ott said.

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