MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Mid-Del Schools students and staff members who test positive for COVID-19, as well as those with close exposure to them, are now required to go into quarantine.
The mandate is part of the school district’s newly announced quarantine procedures.
The policy goes into effect on Monday, Aug. 30.
“One of the defining characteristics of this community is that we look out for each other. As I’ve said many times, I’m going to wear a mask any time I’m in our schools. As far as I know, I’m well, but what if I’m wrong? I was a lot more comfortable with that risk in May, June, and July, when the rate of infection was relatively low. Well now it’s not. And I’m masking up again,” Dr. Rick Cobb, Mid-Del Superintendent, said. “If you want to keep people well, you will too. If you want to keep our kids in school for as many days as possible, you will too. If you want to see all of the athletics and fine arts seasons progress without interruption, you will too.”
Cobb issued a letter to parents, guardians and media, stating that any student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 must quarantine according to Oklahoma City-County Health Department guidelines.
Also, individuals who were within 6 feet of a person who tested positive, for a period of 15 minutes or more, must quarantine as well.
“If universal masking were in place, we would change this standard to within 3 feet,” Cobb said.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 658 into law in May, prohibiting school boards from requiring students and staff to wear face masks. However, Cobb urges face masks be worn at school to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He said masks are proven to work in the fight against the pandemic.
“Although state law still prohibits us from mandating that all students and staff wear masks in our schools, we know from experience that masks help. The difference between the spread of Covid-19 from last year to this year is stark. Masks keep people well. Masks will keep people from missing school and the activities that matter to them the most,” Cobb said.
Cobb stressed the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, asking adult family members of students to get vaccinated. He also asked that parents of students of eligible age –12 and up – consider getting the vaccine for those students.
“We also know that vaccines are important. If you are an adult who is reluctant to get vaccinated, please consider signing up for an appointment now. If you are a parent of an eligible child, and you have been waiting, please consider taking your student to get the shot,” Cobb said.
Mid-Del Schools will host a COVID-19 vaccination pod at Midwest City Elementary School on Tuesday, Sept. 7.
“But you don’t even have to wait that long. There are numerous opportunities [to get vaccinated] available in our community,” Cobb said.
Go to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s website, www.occhd.org/covid-19vaccine, to schedule an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine.