Pediatrician disapproves of Calcasieu schools’ quarantine guidelines

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Some parents are voicing their concerns about the 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 of why we quarantine exposed individuals,” Pediatrician Dr. Albert Richert said. “The point of the recommendation is to quarantine exposed kids – is not really to protect the kid, is to protect the other people at school to reduce the chance that that exposed child could further expose other kids and spread it to other kids in the schools.”

According to the Calcasieu Parish School Board, of students identified as having close contact with someone with COVID, only 5% tested positive after. Of those, less than 2% had close contact at school.

School board member Eric Tarver voted in favor of optional quarantine and said it’s about putting the power in the hands of parents.

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

Some parents are concerned about the new policy, but tarver offers them this advice.

“Look, guys, if you’re worried, the school system is still going to notify you if there’s a kid in a class that tests positive for COVID,” Tarver said. “The parents are still going to be notified and the parents that are worried can keep their kids home.”

Dr. Richart expects these new guidelines to result in a higher case count in schools.

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

The new parent choice quarantine guidelines are set to go into effect Oct. 13.

Written by Madison Glaser

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