PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District School Board members are making some important pandemic policy changes.
They’ve voted to relax some of the COVID-19 quarantine guidelines.
Bay District Superintendent Bill Husfelt asked board members to change the distance between students that are currently considered ‘close contact’
“If a student is 3 feet or more away from another student in a classroom, they will not have to quarantine if that other student is positive. The old policy was that they had to be at least 6 feet away, now we’re saying they only have to be 3 feet away. So we’ve cut that distance down.” said Superintendent of Schools, Bill Husfelt.
With over 5,000 quarantines since August, school board members are hoping that adjusting these quarantine protocols will lead to fewer absences in the classroom.
District officials say only 3.2% of teachers and students have actually tested positive for COVID-19.
“Were putting students at home for 10 days without the education they really need. They’re getting frustrated, they’re getting depressed,” said Husfelt.
Bay High Freshman, Garrison Morris agrees that many of the quarantines have been unnecessary.
“I’ve had personal experience with being quarantined twice, and the mental toll it takes, and also on your grades. I really just wanted to advocate for our school and for students in general,” said Morris.
Many students and parents have also encouraged the decision. Hoping the new guidelines will lead to better success in school.
“It’s really going to help kids stay in school more, be in the classroom physically more and grades will stay up too hopefully,” said Morris.
This new protocol will apply to in-classroom interaction and school buses, and these changes are effective immediately.