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EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Edmond Public Schools announced Wednesday it now has the authority to require students to quarantine if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

“We were already requiring them to isolate,” said Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Angela Grunewald. “We were not able to require quarantines, and that has changed.”

Grunewald told KFOR the district now has the power to require students to quarantine and is acting on behalf of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

“We received a letter from them last night that gives us that authority based on their health expertise under their law to require the quarantines. So, we were able to rewrite our procedures and send them out today,” the superintendent said.

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Edmond Public Schools

Now, only parents whose students have been within three to six feet of a student with COVID-19 will get a notification to quarantine their kids, instead of the entire classroom.

“Just because you’re in a classroom with a student that’s tested positive, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at risk,” said Grunewald.

According to the EPS Student COVID Protocols, the duration of the quarantine depends on whether the exposed student has been vaccinated. If the student has had the shot, the student is eligible for quarantine exemption, unless they’re showing symptoms. If the student is not vaccinated, they’re required to quarantine for 7 of 10 days.

“We really want students in school five days a week,” Grunewald said. “That is our goal.”

The district is hoping to reach that goal by strongly encouraging everyone to mask up.

The superintendent said EPS works off a tiered site-by-site system. A site could be a grade level or a classroom. If four percent of a site is COVID-19 positive or exposed, the masks will be required to stay on.

“We are not close to that percent yet. So, if we get to that percent, that’s when we would have to decide if we want to mandate without the law or not,” said the superintendent.

If the site reaches 5 percent, learning will go virtual.

“If they were to reach that percentage of cases we would realize they would need to close for 10 days until we could stop the spread there,” she said.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage