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State mandate requires schools quarantine for secondary symptoms too

In just the first two weeks of school, Davison Community Schools quarantined more than 70 students because they had or were exposed to someone with a primary or secondary symptom.
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 4:22 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (9/18/2020) - Many Mid-Michigan schools have completed their first full week back since the school year began.

And Friday night, Varsity football kicks off. That’s as one district is reporting three positive cases of COVID-19.

Davison Community School’s Superintendent explained the three students are okay and did not contract the virus at school.

They also didn’t show up to school, so the students and teachers were not exposed.

But, he said dozens of students have been quarantined for a different reason, “and really that’s, that’s the thing that’s causing us the biggest headache right now.”

Per the Governor’s executive order, for districts like Davison, with students learning face-to-face, if anyone in the building has a primary or secondary symptom of COVID-19, they and whoever they’ve come in close contact with are sent home to quarantine. And Superintendent Kevin Brown said those symptoms are common.

“You know, it’s allergy season. Kids come to school with a sore throat, and, you know, and the sniffles or runny nose and those are two secondary symptoms,” he explained.

Brown said when a student or teacher is going through something like that or a temperature over 100.4 degrees, an uncontrollable cough, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell, the district is required to find who they’ve come in contact with and send them home too.

In just the first two weeks of school, they’ve quarantined more than 70 students.

They could be out for up to 14 days. It all depends on when that first COVID-19 test result comes back.

“Two-thirds of those students came back rather quickly because the student that was symptomatic got an ulterior diagnosis from their doctor, or they tested negative for COVID-19,” Brown said.

The students sent home are with whatever work they’ll miss. Brown said he wants to give them each a Chromebook. The district just bought 2500 devices, but that’s another challenge. Because they’re in high demand, Brown said the shipment hasn’t arrived yet.

“It’s basically taken over our lives, quite honestly; and you know we’re spending the majority of our days working through these situations every day,” Brown added.

The district has about 5,700 students and 80-percent chose to learn in-person.

Brown said while staying on top of COVID-19 protocol has been time-consuming, having the kids back in school after 6 months away, has been worth it.

“Davison’s about 50% of our kids, our families are free and reduced lunch,” Brown explained. “So those kids suffer greatly from not having the opportunity to attend school. And so, I was, I was very adamant that we’re going to do whatever we can to provide a safe environment for our students to return to school, and that’s what we’re doing.”

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