On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) issued updated quarantine protocols for Florida students under FDOH rule 64DER21-15. A notable change to the protocols is as follows:
Section 3 PROTOCOLS FOR STUDENTS WITH EXPOSURE TO COVID-19.
Schools shall allow parents or legal guardians the authority to choose how their child receives education after having direct contact with an individual that is positive for COVID-19:
(a) Parents or legal guardians of students who are known to have been in direct contact with an individual who received a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19 may choose one of the following options:
- Allow the student to attend school, school-sponsored activities, or be on school property, without restrictions or disparate treatment, so long as the student remains asymptomatic; or
- Quarantine the student for a period of time not to exceed seven days from the date of last direct contact with an individual that is positive for COVID-19.
In accordance with this updated regulation, the Martin County School District has updated its contact tracing and parent/caregiver notification processes:
1)Parents/caregivers will be notified if an FDOH-verified positive case is identified in any of their child's classes or school-related activities, including school bus transportation, meals or extracurriculars.
2)Parents/caregivers will be advised of the FDOH's updated rule and that as long as their child remains asymptomatic, it will be their choice to determine whether or not their child will quarantine.
3) As part of the notification process, the District will ask parents/caregivers to contact their child's school if they do plan to have their child quarantine so that the correct attendance designation is recorded in our Student Information System. Florida Department of Education Rule 6AER21-01 counts students' days in quarantine as an educational activity for the purpose of pupil attendance. Students whose parents elect to have them quarantine following potential exposure to a positive case will continue to have access to curriculum and instructional personnel in accordance with this rule. Additional information is available on our website.
4) The District will continue to remind parents/caregivers of the importance of monitoring their child's symptoms daily - our digital symptom screening tools (English and Spanish) remain available for this purpose. Symptomatic students will not be permitted to attend school and must follow the protocols outlined in subsection (2) of FDOH rule 64DER21-15. The District will continue to follow its established protocols for students experiencing symptoms of illness.
5) As the FDOH's rule took effect today, students who are currently quarantined and asymptomatic may return to school tomorrow, September 23, if desired.
6) Vaccination, testing and illness prevention resources will continue to be communicated to families and employees. The District will continue to follow its established risk mitigation protocols. Masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies continue to be available at all schools and facilities.