Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) stated Monday in a press release that even children who test negative for the coronavirus must quarantine if exposed. The MDH’s “COVID-19 Attendance Guide for Parents and Families” explains these standards.
“Getting tested does not shorten the time that they must stay home. Your child must stay home for 14 days (quarantine) from the last contact they had with the person who tested positive for COVID-19, even if the child tests negative,” states the guide.
The guide also notes that some individuals don’t fall ill until the end of their quarantine – up to the 14th day from exposure. This could mean long-drawn quarantining for children and their families. Especially since reinfection is known to possibly occur.
Additionally, the guide doesn’t necessitate siblings or other children in the household to quarantine. This is only if they don’t qualify as close contacts to the infected person.
According to the MDH, pediatricians helped develop the guidance. The doctors assisting the project stated that these quarantine measures are necessary for public safety.
“We know it’s not easy for parents – or our students – who suddenly need to keep their children home for up to two weeks but it is a proven tool to help prevent the spread and keep all of us safe. This will be critical to keeping children with the opportunity to learn in-person in our schools.”
The Minnesota Sun asked the MDH about the necessity of testing children at all, the punishments families face for not quarantining, and any resources for working parents who might not have the option to care for their quarantined child. The MDH didn’t respond by press time.
Nearly 93% of Minnesota’s confirmed cases are recovered. Although the number of weekly tests in the state have increased from 10,000 in the beginning to 100,000 currently, the percentage of positive cases are nearly equal to the start of the pandemic.
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