Breaking News: School Board votes to do away with mandatory quarantine for “close contact” students and employees

MANY, La – The Sabine School Board unanimously voted to implement the Quarantine Option for students and employees who are considered close contacts (met guideline for close contact of a student or employee who has tested positive for Covid-19) in the Covid-19 Guidance, at the October 18th board meeting.

The new guidelines came directly from the Louisiana Department of Education, State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley, September 29, 2021, and are posted on the School Board website. Presently, if a student is considered to be a close contact, the parents will have the option to quarantine or opt out of the quarantine as long as the student is symptom free. Employees will have the same option. Those who opt out will report to the nurse every morning, first thing, to be checked for symptoms, including temperature. As long as no symptoms are present, students and employees will be allowed to stay at school.

“The School Board is happy to have the opportunity to offer an option that allows parents to keep students in school and employees working,” commented Mr. Terrell Snelling, Board President. 

“We can no longer ignore the unintended academic consequences of our students unnecessarily missing school,” said Dr. Cade Brumley, State Superintendent of Education. “This new, common-sense option empowers parents and local communities with the authority to make health-related decisions for their students.”

Close contacts in a school setting
Quarantines for close contacts at school or on the bus are no longer mandatory. Following contact tracing, as previously completed, the parent/guardian will be notified that their child was identified as a close contact in a school setting. The parent/guardian will be given the option to have their child quarantine according to our current guidelines or return to school. Parents/guardians will be asked to monitor the child for symptoms, and school personnel will check the temperature of such students upon their arrival at school each day during that period of time during which the students would have been subject to quarantine. If a parent decides that they prefer for their child to quarantine, the student will follow existing Louisiana Department of Health guidelines. This change also applies to employees. Both employees and parents/guardians of students will be able to opt out of the quarantine period when notified by executing the necessary documents.

Close contacts in a home setting
Quarantine guidelines for a student/employee being a close contact to a parent, spouse, or sibling in a
household or social gathering will continue to follow existing Louisiana Department of Health guidelines. The new quarantine guideline changes only apply to close contacts in a school setting.

Close contacts during contact sports
The guidelines have changed for students who are identified as close contacts during the course of any
contact sport. Students athletes shall be quarantined in accordance with the same guidelines as govern all
other students.

Close contacts during extracurricular activities
These newly adopted guidelines apply to students who are identified as close contacts during extracurricular activities and non-contact sports. If the student is considered a close contact, the parent/guardian will be notified and given the choice to quarantine their child.

Symptomatic/positive cases
The parent choice option does not alter the process of a positive COVID-19 case. If a student/employee
develops symptoms or tests positive, they must isolate until they recover and are no longer infectious.

Implementation of mitigation responses during spike/breakout                                                    Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, the Superintendent is authorized to reinstate or to implement quarantine, masking, and other mitigation efforts in the event of a rise in cases in a particular
school, grade, or classroom.

The Quarantine Choice Plan directly from the School Board website can be seen below. 

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