Students, staff will be able to remain in school despite close contact with COVID-19 cases

Gov. Ned Lamont Thursday announced the rollout of the Screen and Stay initiative for Connecticut schools that choose to participate.
Under the initiative, students and staff identified as close contacts to a known COVID-19 case but who are not yet fully vaccinated will be able to remain in school if they are wearing masks and don’t develop symptoms.
Students who test positive will still have to go home and quarantine and do not qualify for the program.
The initiative is aimed at bringing immediate relief to the frequent and repeated quarantines that continue to impact student learning and place a burden on working families.
"It has been a tough 18 months for people to repeatedly have to quarantine," said Connecticut Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani.
The policy will aid school districts through the remainder of the fall, officials said in a release.
Lamont said this is one more success in Connecticut's battle with COVID-19.
"We've got to do everything we can to bring people along, so that people feel they can get back into the classroom safely," Lamont said.
He said if there are any changes on masks they won't come until the end of the year.
The state says Screen and Stay has already been a success in other states.
Juthani said the initiative will be optional for schools and optional for families, if they decide that it works for them.
Meantime, the CIAC said this is also important for student athletes, but they are still urging them all to get vaccinated.
The CIAC will host a vaccination clinic at the state soccer championships.