What to do if your student is asked to quarantine, CDC issues guidelines


LITTLE ROCK, Ark – The Center for Disease Control has put out quarantine guidelines for students and staff this year, easing some parent confusion in Little Rock. 

John Bodiak has a son in the Little Rock School District. He says he received a letter Thursday from the district saying his son had been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case and was being asked to quarantine. 

Bodiak said there was little information about how long the quarantine period would last. 

“It’s been very frustrating not getting a clear answer after 10 or 14 days, which is it?,” Bodiak said. 

Bodiak says this is a very critical time for his four-year-old who started Pre-K on Monday. He wants to get his son back in the classroom as soon as possible. 

Now that the vaccine is available, CDC recommendations for quarantining has changed. 

The guidelines are as follows:

• Students and staff should quarantine for 14 days after exposure 

• If you are unvaccinated and don’t show symptoms, a student should be able to go back to the classroom after 10 days 

• If you are unvaccinated and show a negative COVID-19 test, a student should be able to go back to the classroom after 7 days 

• Students and staff who are vaccinated shouldn’t have to quarantine but a COVID-19 test is encouraged three days after exposure

Bodiak says he wants to get his son tested Monday but is having trouble finding a PCR test for a four-year-old. 

“It’s more difficult that you would think,” said Bodiak. 

Bodiak says not every testing site offers tests for children under 5. 

Baptist Health is an option for parents. Its drive-through can test kids 2 years and older.

Arkansas Children’s also offers COVID-19 tests, but you have to get a letter from your primary care physician. 

Bodiak says he’s hoping at least for a negative test, so his son can get back to class. 

“Fourteen days is a long time,” Bodiak said.   

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