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Quarantine for 10 days for a Tummy Ache? A Parent Story from Late November 2021

Healthy student required to quarantine until sibling with stomach bug receives negative COVID test?

"My son had a stomach bug that was going around. I called him out of school and told the office he wouldn't be attending, but didn't state the reason since I was afraid they'd try to quarantine him even though I knew he didn't have COVID. They asked me what his symptoms were and I told them it was nothing COVID related. Then I got this e-mail from them.

When I called to ask why since it was a stomach bug that was going around, they told me he had to be tested, get a doctors note or stay home for 10 days. Even though his brother wasn't sick, they told me over the phone I had to keep him home until the negative test result for his brother came in or quarantine him, too, if we decided not to test. They don't share a room, but they do share a bathroom which is why they said the younger brother had to test or quarantine also even though he wasn't sick.

I didn't want to get them tested since I knew it was just a stomach bug that several other people we knew had already gotten and the younger boy wasn't even sick, but I couldn't keep them home for 10 days either so I went ahead and had them tested. The younger one was getting a head cold so I figured I'd just get him tested then, too, so I wouldn't have to go back later and do it."

Remember when we talked about the color category changes here and here? This parent story occurred Nov 29, two weeks after we essentially entered the "old" yellow category (Nov 14 = 678 cases for Ada County that week and "old" yellow category upper limit = 674 cases per week, week of Nov 21 = 493 cases, but that was low because of no reporting due to Thanksgiving). Yet there was no grace or critical thinking on the part of the health staff regarding the likelihood of this child being infected with COVID. This school even added the extra step involving the healthy brother even though that doesn't appear on the illness decision tree at all.

Had this illness occurred last spring with similar case numbers, this would have been treated as a normal illness (come back 24hrs after symptoms improve) because we would have been in the "yellow" category. Why is there more strict quarantine policy in late November 2021 when the majority of older/vulnerable adults have been vaccinated (many with a booster), adults and teenagers have had the opportunity to be vaccinated for months, primary-school children had the opportunity to receive a vaccine and so many more people have natural immunity compared to mid-February 2021 when elderly vulnerable adults were just barely becoming eligible for a vaccine?


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