Minneapolis Public Schools announced that they will be reducing the mandatory quarantine period following a petition from parents arguing that their policies were stricter than the surrounding districts. As of Sunday, the petition had been signed by over 600 parents.

The petition asked the Minneapolis Public Schools to consider following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance that allows for shorter quarantine periods of school children that would “support students staying in school and support families.”

The writers of the petition argue that forcing students to stay at home for 14 days can further inconvenience “families who lack the internet, lack literacy, safe environments, healthy food, and more.”

Per CDC guidelines, quarantine periods can end after 10 days without a COVID test if the person has been asymptomatic. Quarantine can end after the seventh day of isolation if the person can produce a negative COVID test.

Rosemary Harris, a signer of the petition, wrote that in her opinion, “14 days is excessive if they are testing negative repeatedly and have no symptoms.”

One parent, Laurel Chu, wrote that of the first fifteen school days this year, her children have only been in school for three total days. “This is madness,” Chu said. “They both tested negative but it does not matter.”

They said that research shows that reducing the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days only increases the risk of contagion by 1%.

In a memo to parents on Thursday, Minneapolis Public Schools said the mandatory quarantine period will shorten from 14 days to 10 days for “unvaccinated students or staff who are deemed to have been in ‘close contact’ with someone who tests positive for COVID.”

The memo from the school system said, “MPS is reducing the required quarantine to ensure as much in-person student learning as possible and is doing so after discussion with the health experts on our COVID Regional Support Team.”

Students who have been in “close contact” with a person who has COVID and are over the age of 12 and are vaccinated against COVID do not have to be quarantined if they do not have any COVID symptoms.

Unvaccinated staff will face the same 10 day quarantine period as unvaccinated students.

Minneapolis Public Schools mandate for the COVID vaccine began on Friday, which requires all school employees, contractors and volunteers to be vaccinated or have regular testing, Bring Me The News reported.

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to hayley@volente.biz.