New COVID-19 quarantine guidelines may get students back in classrooms sooner


LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Gov. Asa Hutchinson is rolling out new quarantine guidelines with hopes to get more students back in desks. 

Hutchinson announced the guidelines that would lessen or take away the quarantine period altogether earlier this week. 

Hutchinson outlined three scenarios where quarantine periods would be shortened:

  • If a student or staff member is vaccinated or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and was wearing a mask at the time of exposure, no quarantine is needed 
  • If a school has 70% or more of its students and staff vaccinated, people at that school do not have to quarantine. 
  • Students and staff who were wearing a mask at the time of exposure and can provide a negative rapid test do not have to quarantine 

“If it’s the day after exposure, the chances of it being a false negative are too high for my liking,” Little Rock parent Hannah Volger said. 

Volger has a four-year-old at home. She says the new protocols make her uneasy when looking at the number of COVID-19 cases in the state. 

“I think it’s a little premature,” Volger said. 

Bethany Blake is also a parent in Little Rock. She says she understands the importance of students going to school in person. She also says she understands the pressure put it puts on parents to keep their students home. 

“My husband and I both work, we don’t have the option or the convenience to just be easy to quarantine,” Blake said. 

Still, she says she’s not for the new guidelines. 

“I think that I would rather play it safe and inconvenience my work than potentially spread a very contagious illness,” Blake said. 

Hutchinson says the protocols are not in place yet but does have a few school districts wanting to test the new guidelines out. 

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