Sep 22, 2021 - COVID

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Florida Department of Health office in Viera, Florida, Sept. 1.

Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Of note: The order from State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, who was appointed Tuesday, also strengthen's the state's prohibition against school mask mandates.

  • This prompted a judge to dismiss a lawsuit against the old rule that had been filed by five Florida school districts, per the Washington Post.

What they're saying: "Quarantining healthy students is incredibly damaging for their educational advancement," the Republican governor said at a news conference in Kissimmee on Wednesday. "It's also disruptive for families. We are going to be following a symptoms-based approach."

  • Corcoran noted in a statement that he and DeSantis "share a similar vision of weighing the costs and benefits of public health policies."

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