LIVE: Palm Beach County School Board to discuss COVID-19 student quarantines

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 2:26 PM EDT
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The Palm Beach County School Board on Wednesday evening will discuss its COVID-19 protocols for students, just hours after Florida's new surgeon general said any children exposed to the coronavirus don't have to quarantine from school if they're asymptomatic.

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According to the agenda, school board members will vote to approve the School District of Palm Beach County's COVID-19 policies for students.

Under the current guidelines, students who are exposed to COVID-19 must stay home until they are asymptomatic and receive a negative test "on day five after the date of last exposure to the COVID-19 positive individual," or "the student is asymptomatic and seven days have passed since the date of last exposure to the COVID-19 positive individual."

However, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo issued a new emergency rule on Wednesday which says if a student is exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 but is asymptomatic, their parent or guardian can decide "how their child receives education."

Students will be allowed to attend school, school-sponsored activities, or be on school property without restrictions "so long as the student remains asymptomatic."

If a parent or guardian desires, the student may quarantine at home for no more than seven days "from the date of last direct contact" with the infected person.

The emergency rule states that "direct contact" with a COVID-19 positive individual means exposure for at least 15 minutes within six feet.

RELATED: Florida students exposed to COVID-19 won't have to quarantine if asymptomatic, new emergency order says

There have been 5,493 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the School District of Palm Beach County -- including 4,736 students and 757 employees -- since the 2021/22 academic year started on Aug. 10.

As of Tuesday, 1,524 students have been told to stay home because of possible COVID-19 exposure.

The Palm Beach County School Board on Wednesday night approved a plan to expand coronavirus testing for asymptomatic students. Currently, only students showing symptoms of COVID-19 can receive a rapid antigen test inside Palm Beach County schools.

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