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Students in this state don’t have to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure

Parents can now decide if they want their children to quarantine from the coronavirus

Students arrive for the first day of school in Florida.
Students, some wearing protective masks, arrive for the first day of school at Sessums Elementary School in Riverview, Fla.
Chris O’Meara, Associated Press

Florida students do not have to quarantine after they are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, leaving the decision up to individual families.

Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the newly-appointed surgeon general for Florida, signed new protocols for the state that allows parents to decide whether their children should quarantine after COVID-19 exposure or stay in school, according to NPR.

  • Ladapo eliminated mandates that required students to quarantine for four days after they were exposed.
  • The new guidelines allow for students to attend school “without restrictions or disparate treatment,” as long as they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that quarantining students isn’t good for their well-being.

  • “Quarantining healthy students is incredibly damaging for their educational advancement,” he said, per NPR. “It’s also disruptive for families. We are going to be following a symptoms-based approach.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its guidelines that fully vaccinated students don’t necessarily need to quarantine at home after exposure.

  • Unvaccinated students “should quarantine at home for 14 days after exposure,” according to the CDC.
  • However, that number should be lower if someone tests negative for COVID-19 within that timeframe.

The CDC recommends students, staff and faculty members wear masks in school, too.