2021-12-17-NEW NJDOH Guidance

Dear Bridgewater Raritan Regional School District Community,

Yesterday the New Jersey Department of Health updated quarantine recommendations for schools and the general public. These recommendations align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

While guidance continues to recommend the optimal quarantine of 14 days for those who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive, the revision allows for a shortened quarantine timeframe. Effective immediately, quarantine can end after day seven with a negative COVID-19 test result collected between five and seven days of quarantine, or after day 10 if testing has not been performed.  Asymptomatic, individuals who are identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19 may use a reduced exclusion period of 10 days (or 7 days with negative test results collected at 5-7 days) but must continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure. In addition, the updated recommendations discontinue the use of regional transmission risk levels to determine quarantine timeframes.

How does the change in quarantine timeframe affect students who are quarantining today?


  • Students on Day 10 or higher of quarantine may return to school Monday 12/20/21, with no test required.
  • Students on Day 7 of quarantine or higher may return to school with a negative test, or they can return after Day 10 of quarantine without a test.
  •  Students on Day 5 or Day 6 of quarantine can get tested and can return with a negative test after Day 7 of quarantine, or they can return after Day 10 of quarantine without a test.
  • Students on Day 1-4 of quarantine can get tested on Day 5, Day 6 or Day 7 of quarantine and can return to school with a negative test after Day 7 of quarantine, or they can return after Day 10 of quarantine without a test.

In schools during times of moderate and high community transmission levels, individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and no known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the last 14 days, regardless of vaccination status, may follow the NJDOH School Exclusion List to determine when they may return to school only if they have an alternative diagnosis such as strep throat, influenza, or allergies supported by an evaluation by a medical provider. Testing is still recommended for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms. 

Evaluation by a health care provider is necessary to confirm a diagnosis of COVID-19, establish an alternative diagnosis, and to determine the need for COVID-19 testing. Clinical evaluation and/or testing for COVID-19 may be considered for ANY COVID-19 compatible symptoms, depending on suspicion of illness from a health care provider. Testing is strongly recommended, especially when there are multiple unlinked cases in the school and during periods of moderate and high levels of community transmission.

To view the full guidance, visit: https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/covid2019_schools.shtml.  To view the updated quarantine timeframes, visit: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_professionals.shtml