BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor DeWine announced modified school quarantine guidance to keep more students and teachers in the classrooms. One superintendent says this is great change, after hundreds of students had to quarantine in the fall.
“We’ve had kids that have multiple quarantines, two and three quarantines, we know those kids are not getting sick,” Beavercreek City Schools Superintendent Paul Otten said.
Otten said during the district’s worst week in the fall, more than 400 students had to quarantine.
“It’s difficult for our families and it’s difficult for our staff to really support those kids that go out on quarantines, and if they have more than one quarantine, it’s even more difficult,” Otten said.
Recognizing this problem across the state, DeWine announced K-12 students and staff exposed to a COVID patient won’t have to quarantine for 14 days, as long as it happened in a classroom with masks on and social distancing guidelines being follows.
“Schools have done a phenomenal job and students have done a phenomenal job and teachers have about masking, and that’s why we’re not seeing the spread directly in our schools, and definitely not in our classrooms,” DeWine said.
The changes follow an Ohio study finding no noticeable difference in risk of catching COVID-19 from a close contact in the classroom, compared to students who were farther away.
The announcement also marks the first time Ohio is not following the CDC’s quarantine protocol.
Otten says this change will hopefully allow more students and teachers stay in the building throughout the rest of the school year.
“This will help us tremendously not only keep our kids in school, but really have more continuity for our kids,” Otten said.
Quarantines will still be required if masking or distancing protocols weren’t followed. The updated guidelines do not apply to after school activities and sports.