Emergency rule: students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine
The Florida Department of Health has released a new emergency rule stating that parents now have the option of quarantining a child who has been exposed to COVID-19 and is symptom-free. Quarantine is no longer mandatory.
Additionally, in a display of growing tension between the federal government and the state of Florida, the US Department of Education has begun providing funding to state-penalized school districts as part of an initiative called Project SAFE. The funds are intended to protect districts that impose protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but are penalized by Florida for doing so.
The emergency rule announced by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday states, “Due to the importance of face-to-face learning for educational, social, emotional and mental health and well-being, students are withdrawing from the classroom. class for long quarantines should be limited. Under Florida law, parents and legal guardians have the fundamental right to direct the education, education, health care, and mental health of their minor children, and have the right to make decisions about matters. health care for their minor children.
The Monroe County School District issued a response to the rule on Friday: “The MCSD will comply with the emergency rule, signed by State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo. The district urges all parents, especially those whose students are known to have been exposed to COVID-19, to continue to monitor these students closely for symptoms of COVID-19 and to keep them at home if they are have any symptoms. ”
“Our primary goal is to protect students and school staff from illness so they can continue to attend school every day,” said Superintendent Theresa Axford. “We need everyone to work together to achieve this goal. We encourage everyone to continue to wear masks indoors, practice safe distance, cleanliness, and get vaccinated if eligible. These are the actions we know that will help us achieve our goal of keeping our schools healthy and functioning at their full potential. “
School board member Sue Woltanski, who has continually expressed concern about COVID-19 rates in Monroe County and advocated for the wearing of masks in schools in accordance with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, expressed his thoughts on the state of state emergency.
“The new rule came out yesterday, and all schools were notified today and parents were notified by robocalls,” she said. “We rely on parents to keep children at home if they show symptoms of COVID and to continue to encourage people to wear masks. My advice to people is that this is another reason why children should wear masks in schools as COVID rates are high in the community. “
School board president John Dick agrees with the state of emergency.
“I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “I think parents can have more control over what happens with their child. They can take their temperature and keep the child at home if they have a mild fever or symptoms of the flu. Because since the quarantine last year, we have found that there really is no spread among children. ”
The full emergency rule can be found at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/64DER21-15.pdf.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Education announced Thursday, September 23, that he had “Provided the Alachua County School Board with funding of $ 147,719 through the new Project to Support America’s Families and Educators (Project SAFE) grant program.
This is the top prize under the SAFE Project, and the funding will support the Florida School District’s efforts to protect students as they return to safe, in-person learning despite state actions to ban implementing strategies to limit the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with scientific advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Project SAFE program was announcement under President Biden COVID-19 action plan to fight COVID-19 and safely reopen schools for in-person learning.
As part of the program, school districts were able to ask the Department of Education to restore funding withheld by state officials, such as salaries for school board members or superintendents whose salaries were cut, when a school district has implemented strategies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools. ”