Hundreds of Oklahoma City metro area students in quarantine, concerns mounting among parents

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Hundreds of kids all over the metro, in several school districts, are at home in quarantine due to a COVID-19 exposure at school, just a few weeks into the school year.

“Yesterday, it had me so angry that I withdrew him from Mid-Del schools,” Matthew Barnhouse told KFOR News.

Barnhouse said he made that decision on Tuesday because of how the district is handling quarantine protocols.

“This is his third year going to the same school that his mom and dad attended, and now they’re doing this,” he said.

His son was exposed to COVID-19 earlier this week at school and is now home in quarantine.

“They had told us that there were a couple of other kids in the same classroom that had been sent to quarantine, but not all of the class. But if they’re all in there together, was my question, why are they not all in quarantine?” said Barnhouse. “The kids that are sitting directly across from him and next to him are still in school today.”

We checked with the district, and officials referred us to their website, which said, “Parents will be notified if their child is within six feet of a person who tests positive for COVID-19.

Officials told News 4 in an email, “That won’t always apply to the entire class.”

Currently, Mid-Del has 1601 students and staff out in recommended quarantine.

“They have not been able to give me any explanation as to why he was singled out,” Barnhouse said.

You might remember, News 4 spoke with another concerned parent over in Edmond on Tuesday.

“There are three entire classes, 5th grade classes, at the school, that are quarantined. That’s about 90 kids at just one school,” a Chisholm Elementary School parent told News 4.

District-wide, Edmond currently has 2,622 students and staff members in quarantine.

“I got a phone call from the principal, it was pre-recorded, but it was the principal,” Kristen Smith told News 4 on Wednesday. “Then I got an email after that stating that my child needed to be in quarantine and the exposure was believed to have started on 8/20, which yesterday was 8/24.”

Smith’s kids are in Putnam City schools.

“They can come back on day 8, if they’ve had both of their shots. So, then I’ve also spent the morning trying to figure out where, especially with children being on Sooner Care, where they can get a rapid test,” she said.

With masks not required at most metro schools, and so many kids now home in quarantine, these concerns are mounting among many parents.

“Talked to my boss yesterday and they said that they will pay for unforeseen circumstances. But I don’t know how many times because our kids can be quarantined so many times through the whole school year,” Smith said. “Even if you take your kids out and you do distance learning, you’re still missing work.”

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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