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Arkansas students to spend more time in school, less time in quarantine, Gov. Hutchinson presents new quarantine policy

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With the Delta wave in place combined with the school districts’ inability to enforce mask mandate in schools at the start of the school year, many children were forced to quarantine while a decent number of them got infected with Covid-19.

With the current guidelines in place, students had to go in quarantine for 10 days and attend virtual learning if they got in contact with a positive person causing thousands of students to go home.

In an effort to keep students more time at school instead of virtual learning, Gov. Hutchinson presented a new quarantine policy that would lessen or take away the quarantine period altogether.

Hutchinson outlined three scenarios where quarantine periods would be shortened:

  • If a student or staff member is vaccinated or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and was wearing a mask at the time of exposure, no quarantine is needed
  • If a school has 70% or more of its students and staff vaccinated, people at that school do not have to quarantine.
  • Students and staff who were wearing a mask at the time of exposure and can provide a negative rapid test do not have to quarantine

“If it’s the day after exposure, the chances of it being a false negative are too high for my liking,” Little Rock parent Hannah Volger said.

Volger has a four-year-old at home. She says the new protocols make her uneasy when looking at the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

However, other parents think that the most recent quarantine policy announced by the governor are much better compared to the previous ones. This way, parents are not under such high pressure since not all of them are able to stay home from work.

In such situation is Bethany and this is what she had to say:

“My husband and I both work, we don’t have the option or the convenience to just be easy to quarantine,” Blake said.

Hutchinson says the protocols are not in place yet but does have a few school districts wanting to test the new guidelines out.

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