Mustang Public Schools will allow students exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine together in school.
The district appears to be the first in the state to participate in a program announced by Oklahoma’s Department of Health that allows students to quarantine together in school.
Students in the new quarantine pods must wear masks and be socially distanced.
The move, authorized by the Oklahoma Department of Health last week, comes after backlash to quarantining around the state. Some students weren’t staying home for 14-day periods after exposure.
CDC guidelines suggest quarantining at home for 14 days after being exposed to someone with the coronavirus. However, that will likely change and districts around the state have been bucking those rules.
Mustang has struggled with huge numbers of students quarantining throughout the semester. On Nov. 20, the most recent date with numbers available on the district’s dashboard, Mustang had more than 800 students in quarantine because of potential exposure.
The district is currently in distance learning through Dec. 4 because of case transmission rates in Canadian County.
In a letter to parents, the district said it’s had 3,548 people enter quarantine protocols during the school year. Only 44 of those people later tested positive, though the district acknowledged many people who were asymptomatic never got tested.
Participation in the program is optional. According to a news release from Mustang Schools, students who participate will:
- attend school in a socially distanced environment and away from contact with non-quarantined students/staff;
- remain in the space at all times during the school day except for breaks for restroom and outside time;
- maintain social distancing of AT LEAST 6 feet within the quarantine space;
- be required to wear masks at all times except when eating;
- will be tested repeatedly (at least on days 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, and 14 of quarantine) using the Binax Now rapid diagnostic test. This is the mid-nasal rapid test provided to the schools by the OSDH AND any student who tests positive for COVID-19 (either at school, or a different test performed by another qualified testing facility) shall immediately enter isolation and will no longer be permitted in the in-school quarantine program;
- not be permitted to participate in extracurricular activities; ride buses to or from school; attend after-school events; or be in any other situations where contact with non-quarantined persons is likely;
- be supervised by MPS staff members during their participation in the [in-school quarantine]
Support this vital local reporting with a donation to KOSU. Click here to give.