MEADOW BRIDGE, WV (WVNS) – New COVID-19 guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mean more adjustments for local schools.

Students returned to Meadow Bridge High School Tuesday, January 4, 2022, after the holiday break, amidst rising concern over the most recent COVID surge.  The CDC released new guidelines over the holiday break that include shorter quarantines and less strict contact tracing rules.

Fayette County Superintendent Gary Hough said teaching during the pandemic is a constant battle to keep up with the latest science.

“The COVID situation’s been an ever-changing situation,” said Hough. “So, to tell you that we feel confident on every move we make… I think we’re basing it on the best health guidance that we receive at that time.”

Recent changes to the CDC guidelines mean students who test positive are now eligible to return to school after five days of self-isolation. Another change is schools that have a universal mask policy, like Meadow Bridge High, do not have to quarantine students who interact with someone who tests positive through contact tracing as long as they had their masks on.

“If they’re masked, during the time they’re masked you don’t have to contact trace,” Hough explained. “The only time our students are unmasked is when they’re eating. You know, then we look at their close contacts and we move them into the quarantine mode.”

With another round of new COVID rules in schools, Hough said the most important things students, parents and staff can do is just to have patience, and follow the advice of medical professionals as closely as possible.

“We’re trying to keep things as normal as possible within the school setting. We don’t control the quarantine issue. We don’t get to control the guidelines we receive, those come from the health officials. So please, if they change, it’s not that Fayette County wants to just change to change. It’s because we’re getting current guidance from our health officials,” said Hough.