BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) introduced a policy that lets parents decide whether or not their children must quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 at school, according to a press release from LDOE.
If a school system decides to implement the parent choice option, mandatory quarantines for students defined as “close contact” will no longer be required. Instead, the parent or legal guardian will be immediately notified of the exposure and given the option to quarantine their child or allow them to remain in school.
Additionally, at that time, parents will be given an opportunity for a no-cost COVID screening for their child.
“We can no longer ignore the unintended academic consequences of our students unnecessarily missing school,” said Dr. Cade Brumley, State Superintendent of Education. “This new, common-sense option empowers parents and local communities with the authority to make health-related decisions for their students.”
LDOE said that the parent choice option in no way alters the process school systems use to handle a student that tests positive for COVID. If a student develops symptoms of the virus or tests positive, the student should isolate until they have recovered and are determined to no longer be infectious.
In stark contrast, officials from New Orleans Public Schools strongly disagrees with the LDOE decision and released a statement Wednesday afternoon stating: “NOLA-PS will continue to follow the data and science-based guidance provided by leading health experts regarding all matters related to this pandemic, including quarantine guidelines.”