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Governor says school students will no longer be required to quarantine if exposed to the virus at school

Updated: Jan. 2, 2021 at 10:22 PM EST
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AVON LAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s office is encouraging schools not to require students to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 in the classroom.

Up until now quarantines have been required as part of the protocol and CDC guidelines if they’re exposed to COVID-19 at school.

Avon Lake City Schools Superintendent Bob Scott tells 19 News, that while the health and safety of students, teachers and school staff is always the first priority, COVID-19 quarantines from school have become problematic.

“There were places where if you had a positive test they were quarantining the whole classroom for 14 days,” he said.

At the start of the pandemic, every school district was dealing with many unknowns when it came to the coronavirus, Scott said.

“The quarantine part became really our toughest issue. And it really started as we got later in the year especially when the winter sports started,” he said. “When we have a whole basketball team suddenly out for 14 days.”

His district devised a plan that worked, he said, but it required putting more staff on quarantine patrol, making sure students forced to stay home kept up on their assignments.

“When we started back in August, we had just a couple of teachers assigned to quarantine kids, and up until the middle of November that worked fine,” Scott said. “We went from having two people to having now five, and that’s all they do. They work with kids that are quarantined.”

But just like the governor, school administrators say they believe that school is one of the safest places for children to be. That’s because the districts have not experienced a super-spreader issue - at least not yet. That’s why they feel not requiring students who follow all the other safety protocols to quarantine will still keep students safe and focused on their education.

“I think it’s a good decision and I think it’s a piece where the Governor keeps trying to clarify the rules that are changing constantly, in a situation changing constantly,” said Scott.

Several school districts tell 19 News they are waiting on more information from the governor’s office. The change in protocol does not apply to extracurricular activities, including sports.

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