Why Ron DeSantis' Decision On Covid-19 Quarantines For Schools Has Twitter Divided

After a ban on school mask mandates in Florida divided the nation, Governor Ron DeSantis has announced another controversial decision as it relates to kids and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (via Miami Herald). As People reports, school age children in the state will no longer be required to quarantine after being exposed to the virus. This measure comes as an effort to keep kids in school following 18 months of online learning and mandatory quarantining.

According to the CDC's guidance for K-12 institutions, in-person learning is beneficial for students. It's also recommended that an unvaccinated person who is exposed to Covid-19 be quarantined for 14 days, or for 10 days, or 7 with a negative test. 

As People notes, under the new Florida guidelines, parents will decide whether to quarantine their kids after an exposure — but only if the child has no symptoms. Symptomatic kids would be required to quarantine. This is a different strategy than schools in the state previously employed, with four days of quarantining being required for any child who was exposed to the virus.

People have strong opinions about the new Florida ruling

As DeSantis explained about the new guidelines, which further stipulated that a maximum quarantine of seven days for asymptomatic kids would be allowed, "Quarantining healthy students is incredibly damaging for their educational advancement. It's also disruptive for families. We are going to be following a symptoms-based approach" (via People).

Of course, the announcement was met with mixed reactions on Twitter, with some supporters in favor, and others staunchly opposed to the change. "Florida's revised rule about school quarantine is very simple: Students who are sick have to stay home until they recover. Students who are NOT sick, but had a positive contact, do not have to quarantine and miss out on essential in-person learning experiences," tweeted one person.

Someone else opined in part, "This directive contradicts widely held protocols around reducing the spread of disease." "Absolute insanity," said another Twitter user, while another went so far as to comment, "Ron DeSantis doesn't care about Florida's students."

But another supporter of the ruling noted, "From a medical/epidemiological standpoint, this is a correct course of action." Finally, plenty of Twitter users called for a quarantine of the entire state.