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Knox County school board considers quarantine rules change

The Knox County Board of Education discussed changing the rules around quarantined during a regular session meeting Wednesday night.
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 8:53 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knox County Board of Education discussed changing the rules around quarantine during a regular session meeting Wednesday night. The quarantine period for students, according to the school system, is 14 days.

Board chair Susan Horn introduced the topic, saying that some parents were concerned that so many healthy students were being quarantined despite not being or appearing ill. She added that some students were “scared to death” of being quarantined.

“Now that we have more data,” Horn said it was time for the board to consider “whether we need to continue on the path we’re on or make a change.”

One board member said more than 5,000 students had been quarantined with 26 testing positive after the fact. However, board member Virginia Babb, 4th district, said they couldn’t be sure that all of those students were “fine," adding that some might have never been tested and might have been asymptomatic.

“I think it would be really irresponsible to take these numbers out of context and assume these students were not positive,” she added. She called the numbers anecdotal.

Dr. Martha Buchanan attended the meeting and spoke, saying now was not the time for a change in quarantine rules. “We’re not at a place where I believe we need to be changing things,” she told the board. Knox County, she said, is seeing higher numbers of cases and hospitalizations.

She said that “the full body of evidence” to adjust quarantine rules has not been presented yet. “When the evidence is there, we will happily support a change.”

Board members asked for more information on cases in schools.

You can watch the full meeting below:

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