BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s health department has loosened its coronavirus quarantine guidance for schools and workplaces to match the latest recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The guidelines suggest people who've come in close contact with someone infected with the coronavirus can resume normal activity after 10 days if no symptoms have emerged, or seven days if they test negative. That's down from 14 days.

The state Department of Education is giving school systems the green light to follow the relaxed quarantine rules immediately. But the health department is sticking to a 14-day recommendation for prisons and nursing homes where people live together in tight quarters. 

State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley released the following statement via press release:

We support the decision of the Louisiana Department of Health to align guidance with the updated recommendations made by the CDC. It's important that our schools are open and functioning properly.
The LDOE and our school leaders will continue to work alongside health officials to mitigate the spread of the virus. Thanks to the work of our educators, we have been able to avoid widespread closures. Our schools have not been found to be "super spreaders" of this virus and we're thankful for this. We believe continued adherence to our mitigation efforts such as group sizes, face coverings, physical distancing, and hand washing are critically important. We must remain vigilant until this pandemic ends - especially now during the holiday season. 
I also want to share my continued appreciation to the entire team at the Louisiana Department of Health for supporting the LDOE and our 1,700 schools through this global pandemic. I believe our work and our collaboration could be a model for the rest of the country."
The Louisiana Department of Education is working with the Louisiana Department of Health and other medical professionals to update guidance that will be available online at louisianabelieves.com.

(Story written by Melinda Deslatte/AP)