Confusion over student quarantines, differing protocol across Central Oklahoma counties


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As Edmond Public Schools comes out with a new protocol requiring quarantine after a COVID exposure, many other school districts are continuing with a strong recommendation to quarantine. This has many parents wondering why some schools can require quarantine and others can’t.

Oklahoma City-County Health Department Chief Operating Officer Phil Maytubby tells KFOR they are one of two departments in the state that can issue a quarantine order.

“We believe we do have the authority under the state statute, so, that may be the difference in the interpretation here,” Maytubby said. “[The statute] says county health officer, that’s what makes us different in Oklahoma City and Tulsa…and our county health officers represent our officers for the city for all our municipalities in the county.”

Sad illness child on home quarantine. Boy and his teddy bear both in protective medical masks sits on windowsill and looks out window. Virus protection, coronavirus pandemic, prevention epidemic.
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Maytubby is referring to a section in the state’s Public Health and Safety statute that states, “Whenever a local health officer determines or suspects that a person has been exposed to and may be incubating a communicable disease of public health concern, the local health officer may impose a quarantine upon such person and require such person to remain out of public contact and in the place or premises where such person usually stays.”

But Maytubby says the county only had to get two isolation and quarantine orders last year, and he doesn’t expect it to happen much, at least in his county, this year.

“I doubt we’ll even need to do it now,” he said, referring to enforcing quarantines. “But we’ll see what happens.”

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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