Oklahoma establishes new quarantine guidelines

Presley Sanders, Academics Reporter

Art students work on painting their pottery in Shelly Farrar’s class. (Presley Sanders)

Last week, the quarantine rules and protocols were changed. Many alterations were made to help kids stay in school and not have to worry about quarantining.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt worked with a small group to establish these changes, although Joy Hoffmeister, state superintendent of public instruction, was not part of that conversation.

In this screenshot, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt thanks Duncan Superintendent Tom Deighan on installing the new quarantine guidelines. (Screenshot)

“We need to put our students first, and we need to get them back in school,”Stitt said.

Of all the school districts in Oklahoma, Duncan Public Schools is the only one following the new quarantine protocol.

As students and teachers move forward toward the end of this school year, things will be different.

Students and teachers will now have the option of staying at school instead of being quarantined at home. If students choose to not quarantine, parents will have to sign a waiver saying that they are OK with it. But it all depends on whether the students were wearing masks while in close proximity.

This rule will apply when the exposure takes place in the school classrooms. If the student or teacher chooses to stay at home, that is their call.

The State of Oklahoma will not force students to quarantine at home unless they want to, or are showing symptoms. 

Of course, there are still some restrictions to this rule.

If students were not following protocols such as social distancing or wearing their masks, they will indeed still have to be quarantined at home. This rule is only applied to the classroom exposure, not sports or extracurricular activities.

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Unfortunately, if exposure happens at a sport practice students will still have to quarantine no matter what.

Stitt’s goal with this rule was to keep kids in school and help the student’s grades rise.

Many recent studies have shown that more kids are failing because they have to be at home. So, if this rule can keep kids in school the overall grades should rise.