OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A local pediatrician weighs in on Gov. Kevin Stitt’s change in quarantine guidelines in schools.
Dr. Paul Darden, professor of pediatrics at OU Health Sciences Center and vice president of the Oklahoma chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says he thinks the change was “abrupt” and that schools should continue quarantining those who have been exposed.
“My recommendation would be to continue to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC’s guidelines,” he said.
He adds closing other places that my spread the virus, instead of schools, would’ve made more sense to him.
“This is crazy how we’re approaching this. We should be closing schools last. But it’s hard to justify,” Darden said.
Stitt said earlier in the week he thinks the change will encourage schools to add safeguards they don’t have in place.
“I believe that more school districts, even if they don’t have a mask mandate, will do it now since the quarantine rules have changed,” he said.
Darden says he thinks requiring masks in schools and across the state is a good idea.
He also says schools aren’t a driving factor of rising COVID-19 numbers, so people need to work on slowing community spread, so kids can get back into the academic and social setting of school.
“We should be expending a ton of effort at reducing community spread so that we can open schools. I think this is so important,” he said.