Oklahoma Rolls Out New Covid Policy for Schools: Waive Quarantines

Schools in Oklahoma no longer need to quarantine teachers and students exposed to the virus so long as they have strict mask and Covid-19 safety protocols in place according to a January 13th article from The Oklahoman. In it they say:

“Going forward, schools with a mask requirement and COVID-19 safety protocols will not have to quarantine students and teachers exposed to the virus. The Oklahoma State Department of Health and Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the new guidelines in a news conference Tuesday. Students and staff wouldn’t have to quarantine for two weeks unless they show symptoms of illness, as long as their exposure to the virus was in a classroom environment where everyone was wearing a mask and distancing. The policy does not apply if the exposure occurred during an after-school activity, such as sports. Stitt said missing school would do greater harm to students academically and mentally.”

Not everyone is on board, including the Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent according to an Oklahoma News 4 article published on January 12th. In it they say:

“Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel issued a statement Tuesday night criticizing the data Gov. Kevin Stitt used while announcing his controversial new quarantine policy for Oklahoma schools. Stitt’s new policy states that those who are exposed to COVID-19 while at school will not have to isolate at home as long as everyone in the classroom was wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.”

It looks like Oklahoma leadership, school district, and likely also its medical professionals, are deeply divided on the new policy change.