Pediatrician disapproves of Calcasieu schools’ quarantine guidelines

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Some parents are expressing concern about new quarantine guidelines passed by the Calcasieu Parish School Board earlier this week.

Parents now have the option to quarantine their children if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19.

“I understand why people would want to do it, but I don’t think it really gets to the point where we quarantine exposed individuals,” said pediatrician Dr. Albert Richert. “The point of the recommendation is to quarantine exposed children – is not really to protect the child, but to protect the other people at school to reduce the chance that that exposed child would further expose other children and it would spread among other children at school.”

According to the Calcasieu Parish School Board, only 5% of students found to be in close contact with someone with COVID tested positive afterward. Less than 2% of these had close contact at school.

School board member Eric Tarver voted for optional quarantine, saying it’s about putting power in the hands of parents.

“It’s about giving the parents the choice,” Tarver said. “As far as I can with all this COVID stuff, for me it’s all about putting choice and authority where it belongs with the parents.”

Some parents are concerned about the new policy, but Tarver gives them this advice.

“Look, guys, if you’re concerned, the school system will still notify you if there’s a kid in a class who tests positive for COVID,” Tarver said. “The parents are still informed and the parents who are concerned can keep their children at home.”

dr. Richart expects these new guidelines to result in a higher number of cases in schools.

“I’m not going to predict anything, but I do think the chances of children spreading it more have increased just a little bit,” said Dr. Richert.

The new parental quarantine guidelines will come into effect on October 13.

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