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Sedgwick County announces modified quarantine guidelines for K-12 students

Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 12:11 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Sedgwick County Local Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns announced modified guidelines for students who are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Under the new guidelines, students who are exposed where there is social distancing and mask wearing are now considered low-risk close contacts. That means, the student would be allowed to remain in school, at their parents’ discretion, and would not have to quarantine at home.

If there is no mask-wearing, such as, eating or drinking, or close physical contact, that student is considered to be a high-risk close contact and should follow the recommendations of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In most districts, that means a 7-day quarantine with a test on the sixth day and 8-10 days without.

Dr. Minns said the low case count in Sedgwick County, along with recent studies that show transmission is low in schools, led to the decision. He and commissioners said the goal is still to help keep students safe and in the classroom. The modification does not apply to teachers.

School leaders say this will help to cut down on students being out of the classroom. Andover Public Schools Superintendent Brett White said this is a game changer.

“What we were finding (with) the quarantines, (students) are just out of school. They are feeling good, they are not coming positive (for COVID-19), and that’s very challenging for parents and educators,” Maize Public Schools Superintendent Chad Higgins said.

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