The districts are working with the Warren County Combined Health District to devise a plan to limit quarantining throughout the school year. They say the pilot program will work by offering families more options.
Scott Marshall, communications coordinator for Springboro School District, said, “If a student has had close contact [with a person who tested positive for COVID-19], they have the option of a traditional quarantine. If the student is vaccinated and maybe wasn’t wearing a mask, then that student can remain in school but wear a mask. And then the other part of it is a testing component, which is optional.”
The aim of the program, which has already been proposed to the governor, is to protect students’ mental health, mitigate disruptions to education and bolster trust and economic impact in the community.
“We’re finding that the number of students who’ve been in close contact that end up having [been] quarantined, at least in our district — you’re seeing roughly 80 to 85 percent [of them] put on quarantine who are healthy and end up showing no symptoms,” explained Marshall.
If the pilot is approved, those asymptomatic students can still attend school, wearing a mask for a 10 days following exposure. On day 5, they will have the option to take a rapid test at school, then continue following their school’s masking policies if it comes back negative. The districts sent the proposal to the governor a week ago, and it is still being assessed.
“Obviously we’re talking weekly with the Warren County districts and the Health District and the State of Ohio. So things are constantly being reviewed and discussed and this is just a fluid situation,” said Marshall.
As of now, a date has not been decided regarding if and when the pilot program will go into effect.