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Parents react to Gov. DeSantis’ new stance on student quarantine periods

When it comes to quarantine rules following a positive COVID-19 test, some parents in Broward County believe the governor has the right idea.
When it comes to quarantine rules following a positive COVID-19 test, some parents in Broward County believe the governor has the right idea.

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – When it comes to quarantine rules following a positive COVID-19 test, some parents in Broward County believe the governor has the right idea.

“I’m glad that the governor gives us certain options,” says parent Audrey Foy who supports Governor Ron DeSantis’ new quarantine stance.

“If that child is not showing any symptoms of any sickness, that child should be able to go to school,” added Foy.

Foy has two kids who attend Broward schools, and she is on board with DeSantis’ take.

On Wednesday, DeSantis said quarantine for school-aged children is damaging to their educational advancement.

Florida’s new surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, signed the new protocols on Wednesday, allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they show no symptoms after being exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

For many parents, this comes as a relief, since quarantining children for many parents requires last-minute child care, and, for many, missing work entirely to stay home with their children during their quarantine.

“We have to give us some lead way, because we don’t all have the options to keep our children home for up to 10 days,” added Foy. “So, we just need some wiggle room in all of this.”

In Broward County schools, if you’re vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine as long as you don’t have symptoms.

However, if you are not vaccinated and are exposed to someone with COVID-19, but have no symptoms, you’ll have to quarantine for five days and show a negative COVID test to come back to school.

Despite some parents expressing their relief, the governor’s latest rule is still causing concern in the classroom, especially among teachers who have lost colleagues to COVID-19.

“It’s really hard because we were friends over 22 years,” says Broward Schools teacher Katrina Whittaker who lost her colleague Janice Wright in the middle of August to the virus.

“He’s playing Russian Roulette with our lives because I think it shouldn’t be up to the parents,” added Whittaker.

She, like many others, believes lives are at stake, and quarantines help stop the spread, especially in a school system already facing teacher shortages, partly, because of COVID-19.


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.