Okla. Gov. Kevin Stitt addresses new policy for schools when quarantining

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 10:55 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Governor Stitt announced a new plan for students and teachers when being exposed to COVID-19.

Stitt is encouraging local school districts to no longer quarantine students who have been exposed to the coronavirus, that’s as long as the school district is following other rules, like wearing a mask and social distancing.

“Schools that enforce the use of masks will not have to quarantine potential exposures unless they’re showing symptoms,” Stitt said.

Stitt said students and teachers exposed to COVID-19 don’t have to quarantine if the classroom was wearing masks and social distancing. Students and teachers will only have to quarantine if they start showing symptoms.

“Throughout the fall semester I continued to fight to get our kids back in school,” Stitt said.

Stitt said he supports each school district making their own decisions.

“Many districts innovated and brought their students and staff back safely. I’m so grateful for them and the thousands of Oklahoma parents are as well,” Stitt said.

In a press conference announcing the new guidance, Stitt claimed Oklahoma city public schools have 66%more high school students have an F in one of their classes compared to last year, and 59% of high school students are failing at least one class.

“We are seeing the consequences of these choices and it breaks my heart,” Stitt said.

But those failure rate numbers are disputed by Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel, who put out a statement saying that the data Stitt mentioned was wildly inaccurate and very misleading. He says his district won’t be following the Governor’s guidelines.

“We’ve seen very little spread of Covid-19 in school settings in part because our school districts are being diligent in their safety precautions for which we are very appreciative,” Oklahoma State Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said.

According to Frye, any person who tests positive still must quarantine at home.

“Decisions about schools should be made by parents at the dinner table not at a union hall by people with their own agenda,” Stitt said.

Governor Stitt has resisted a statewide mask mandate, saying he doesn’t believe one is enforceable, but has encouraged residents to wear masks in public.

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