New DOH guidelines: Students are not required to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 6:46 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - New guidelines from the Florida Department of Health say students are not required to quarantine if they are asymptomatic after being exposed to COVID-19.

Previous rules required students to quarantine for at least four days after exposure, but now the decision will be left up to parents.

Governor DeSantis said this will help maximize students’ time spent in school, but many worry it will increase the spread of COVID in the classroom.

There are parents on both sides of the issue.

Some weren’t bothered by these new rules, and said they support parent’s being able to choose. But others are concerned this will put their children’s health at risk.

The new guidelines also push back on local school district’s efforts to impose mask mandates, and say opting out of mask-wearing should be quote, “At the parent or legal guardian’s sole discretion.”

Leon County Schools do have a mask mandate, and previously only allowed medical opt-outs.

Many worry about how these relaxed rules will impact COVID spread in the community.

“Scary, stressful. You know, very concerned, not even alone about my kids but other kids as well. Not just kids. Older people. Everybody in general would be affected by it,” said parent Crystal James.

Under the new rules, if a student is exposed to COVID, parents can either send them back to school if they are asymptomatic or choose to quarantine them for up to seven days.

As of Thursday, Superintendent Rocky Hanna was not available for comment.

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