Florida changes COVID-19 policy for exposed students in schools

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Florida has changed its COVID-19 policy for students who are asymptomatic after being exposed to someone who is positive with COVID-19. 

Parents can now send their students back to school after exposure, without quarantining. Those students can also attend school-sponsored activities throughout the state. 

Parents also have the choice to continue to quarantine their students if they were exposed. However, after seven days of quarantine, the student is required to return back to school. 

“Schools shall allow parents or legal guardians the authority to choose how their child receives education after having direct contact for an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19,” Lyndsey Jackson, Bay District Schools Supervisory school nurse said.

Governor Ron DeSantis believes that the change in state policy will positively impact children’s learning.

“A parent has a right to have a healthy kid in school,” DeSantis said. “What are you going to say, you pass someone in the hall and so you’ve got to sit there for 10 days or 14 days. That has a huge cost on kids upbringing.”

For students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, the policy has not changed. They must quarantine for 10 days after the positive test, show a negative test, and express no symptoms, or provide a doctor’s note clearing them to return to school.

“Again this guidance has not changed anything that impacts students that have tested positive for COVID-19 or show symptoms of COVID-19,” Jackson said. “They still need to find that previous guidance.”

Jackson said that the new policy will take some time to take effect after over a year of making exposed students quarantine. 

“At this time we’re working to determine how this will impact our contact tracing and notification efforts,” Jackson said. “We will still notify parents and guardians every time there is a confirmed COVID-19 case that impacts their student.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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