PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County students return to school on Friday, and school administrators hope that students continue to follow guidelines implemented in the fall semester.

“If you got a fever you definitely need to stay home and stay away from people,” Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt said. “This new variant of COVID is extremely contagious, it’s running rapidly through the world.”

School administrators also plan to continue social distancing when possible and emphasize that students and staff wash their hands regularly. 

Those rules have allowed some parents to feel more comfortable sending their children back to school.

“I feel like he’s protected, he’s about as protected as he’s going to be and I feel good about sending him back tomorrow,” Irene Hazelrig, a parent of a Bay District Schools student said.

While COVID-19 ‘sick-outs’ have become prevalent across the country, Bay District Schools hopes new CDC guidelines minimize the chances. Staff that tests positive for the virus but is asymptomatic can return to school after quarantining for five days if they do not have a fever for 24 hours. 

“We have to follow state rules and laws that students will have to either stay out for 10 days or get a negative test or written permission from a provider,” Lyndsey Jackson, BDS supervisory school nurse said. “Staff on the other hand can follow the five-day rule that came out from the CDC.”