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Governor Makes Major Changes To School Quarantine Rules, Education Leaders Concerned


Governor Kevin Stitt made big changes to Oklahoma’s quarantine guidelines for students, with the goal of keeping more kids in the classroom, but other state leaders have voiced their concerns.

The changes come as the state surpasses 2,800 total deaths with the state reporting 29 new virus-related deaths Tuesday.

Related Story: Gov. Stitt Announces Changes To COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines For Oklahoma Schools

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is critical of the governor’s new guidelines, saying that while she agrees in-person school is critical, COVID-19 is still rampant in the state.

The Governor announced that going forward teachers or students who are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not have to quarantine as long as that exposure happened in a classroom setting and all protocols were being followed. Those protocols include wearing masks, social distancing, and maintaining recommended cleaning measures. The change does not apply if the exposure comes outside of the classroom setting.

Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist emphasized that the district is committed to using data and science to make their decisions. She issued the following statement in response to Governor Stitt’s guidelines:

Bixby Public Schools issued this statement in response to the changes,

Jenks Public Schools also issued a statement regarding the governor’s press conference, saying they will first review the guidance before making any changes.

Owasso Public Schools also issued a statement in response to the governor’s announcement; They said that they are “awaiting written guidance from the state before considering modifications to our current practices and procedures.”

The Oklahoma Education Association emphasized that the governor’s message was confusing.

“The governor and his team have many of the same values as the educators who make up the OEA. We want what’s best for kids. In-person learning is best for teachers and students. But the governor’s remarks are confusing,” the OEA said in a statement. “The governor says schools are safe, but what is he doing to ensure that? He calls for no quarantining when there is a mask policy but won’t demand strong mask policies. He cherry picks data instead of holistically tackling the pandemic. Even sources cited by the governor say that school buildings are no longer safe when community spread reaches dangerous levels.”

You can read the rest of the statement from OEA below.

State Representatives offered their statements in response to the Governor’s new changes.

This content was originally published here.

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