Health

Asymptomatic children in Florida can go back to school after exposed to Covid-positive kids

Florida’s Surgeon General says asymptomatic children can go back to school rather than quarantine after being exposed to COVID-positive kids

  • Florida’s new Surgeon General Dr Joseph Ladapo announced on Wednesday new rules for students who are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19
  • Asymptomatic children will be allowed to continue classes as long as they don’t develop symptoms and don’t have to quarantine at home for four days
  • Parents can choose to keep their children at home if they wish, but for no more than seven days
  • Ladapo said the new rules are based on studies that  have shown the harms of keeping kids out of school
  • The new rules are at odds with those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which suggests a 14-day quarantine  


Asymptomatic children in Florida will no longer be forced to quarantine after being exposed to a Covid-positive kid and will instead be allowed to go back to school.

The updated rules were announced at a press briefing on Wednesday by the state’s new Surgeon General Dr Joseph Ladapo, who was sworn in this week by Gov Ron DeSantis.

Previously, students who were close contacts of COVID-19 patients were required to quarantine at home for at least four days. 

But, under the new guidance, kids will be allowed to continue classes as long as they don’t develop symptoms, such as cough, fever or shortness of breath.

Parents can choose to keep their children at home if they wish, but for no more than seven days.  

The new rules are at odds with those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but Ladapo says he trust parents to make decisions that are best for them and their families. 

It is the latest in a series of controversial moves by the new Surgeon General who  has previously called COVID-19 vaccines ‘nothing special.’

Florida’s new Surgeon General Dr Joseph Ladapo announced on Wednesday (above) new rules for students who are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 

Asymptomatic children will be allowed to continue classes as long as they don't develop symptoms and don't have to quarantine at home for four days. Pictured: Students sit in an algebra class at Barbara Coleman Senior High School  in Miami Lakes, Florida, August 2021

Asymptomatic children will be allowed to continue classes as long as they don’t develop symptoms and don’t have to quarantine at home for four days. Pictured: Students sit in an algebra class at Barbara Coleman Senior High School  in Miami Lakes, Florida, August 2021

Currently, the CDC recommends that students who are unvaccinated but exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 to gest tested and quarantine for 14 days.

Fully vaccinated students don’t need to quarantine but are still recommended to get tested, the agency states.

However, at the press briefing, Ladapo described Florida’s new rules as a result of health officials performing a cost-benefit analysis.

‘If you look at the data, if we talk about the data about what the benefits are of taking healthy children who’ve happened to be exposed to another child or adult who’s tested positive for COVID-19 and taking that a child out of school for a week or longer than the quarantine, well what are the data about benefits?’ he said. 

‘So basically, there is no high-quality data about benefits and we’re about 18 months into this pandemic.’

Several studies have shown that when schools closed and children were forced into remote learning last year, it came with several harms. 

For many kids – including those didn’t have access to phones, computers or even WiFi to participate in virtual learning – this meant limited or no education at all, increasing the risk of falling behind their peers. 

One analysis from Harvard University and Brown University found that progress in math in March 2020 – and again in December 2020 – fell by half in schools in low-income ZIP codes and by one-third in middle-income ZIP codes compared to not all in high-income ZIP codes.

Another paper from Brown University found that students entering the new school year were expected to have lost one-third of the expected progress in reading and half of the expected progress in math from not being in classrooms.  

‘There’s a policy in place in many parts of this country that basically has no provable benefit but demonstrable and considerable harm to children not to even mention the parents and the disruption that creates when they have got to figure out to sort of reorganize things,’ Ladapo said.

He added that the new guidance would also respect the rights of parents and allow for them to send their kids to school or keep them home based on level of comfort.

DeSantis echoed Ladapo’s comments at the briefing and said that keeping kids in schools was important to their social and emotional development.

‘I trust parents and families, and I don’t think they are going to go around lying,’ he said.

‘Parents have the right to have their healthy kids in school. In-person education is important for a students’ wellbeing, their educational advancement, and their social development.

‘The idea that schools are somehow a big problem when it comes to spread of the virus has been refuted yet again.’  

Advertisement

Share this news on your Fb,Twitter and Whatsapp

File source

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button