Bad news for students and teachers: Florida no longer requires COVID-exposed students to quarantine.
“A day after assuming his job, Florida’s newly appointed surgeon general on Wednesday signed new protocols allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they are asymptomatic after being exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The new guidelines signed by Dr. Joseph Ladapo also tweaked the state’s prohibition against school mask mandates, prompting an administrative law judge to dismiss a lawsuit against the old rule that had been filed by various school boards.
In terms of quarantine rules, Ladapo eliminated previous mandates requiring students to quarantine for at least four days off-campus if they’ve been exposed. Under the new guidelines, students who have been exposed can continue going to campus, “without restrictions or disparate treatment,” provided they are asymptomatic. They can also quarantine, but no longer than seven days, provided they do not get sick.
‘Quarantining healthy students is incredibly damaging for their educational advancement,’ Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday at a news conference in Kissimmee. ‘It’s also disruptive for families. We are going to be following a symptoms-based approach.’
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who get infected can spread the virus starting from two days before they have any symptoms. The CDC recommends that a student should quarantine for 14 days if they are unvaccinated. They can shorten the quarantine to seven days by testing negative, according to the CDC.
The president of a statewide teachers’ union said school districts need all the tools necessary to keep children safe.
‘Limiting districts’ options and blocking them from following CDC guidelines is not in the best interest of the health of our students, employees or families,’ said Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association.”
For the rest of the story, visit NPR here.