Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that Florida parents will be allowed to choose whether their children quarantine after in-school COVID exposure, as long as the child does not have COVID symptoms, according to a revised rule from the state’s new surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo.
“Parents have a right to have their healthy kids in school,” DeSantis commented at a press conference Wednesday.
Empowering Florida Families to Keep Healthy Kids in School.
Watch Now: https://t.co/rQ62VOwvw6
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 22, 2021
DeSantis said that schools previously forced students to quarantine despite showing no symptoms after being exposed to a COVID-positive classmate. In addition to learning loss for students, he explained, the policy meant that working parents had to miss work to stay at home with healthy children at a moment’s notice.
“Quarantining healthy students is incredibly damaging for their educational advancements. It’s also incredibly disruptive for families all throughout the state of Florida.” (RELATED: One Of The Wealthiest School Districts In US Reallocates COVID-19 Relief Funds Toward ‘Equity’ Programs)
Across the country, strict quarantine rules have resulted in school districts forcing hundreds of students at a time to stay home. For example, more than 800 Carroll County, Maryland students and school faculty were in quarantine on September 17.
“We’ve been looking at this for a long time. The European CDC always advised against healthy quarantines. They advised a symptom-based approach last year…if someone is sick, they stay home. But anyone who may have been in contact without symptoms should be able to stay in school; they can be monitored, the parents can be notified,” DeSantis said during the press conference. (RELATED: Florida Court Temporarily Blocks Vaccine Mandate)
The Florida Board Of Education (BOE) ruled in early August that parents can use vouchers to take their kids out of school’s that impose mask mandates.