Hamilton County schools dropping quarantine requirements

Action made to comply with new laws passed by the state legislature

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hamilton County School officials announce changes they are making in the aftermath of new laws passed by the Tennessee legislature in the recent special session on Covid protocols.

Generally speaking, the law takes decision making away from local authorities and puts it with the state.

Last week, Hamilton County schools dropped mask requirements.

Now they are dropping quarantine requirements.

They say the new law says only the Tennessee Commissioner of Health can require anyone to quarantine and isolate.

As always, we encourage all members of the community to stay home if you are feeling ill.”

The statement says the school system will continue to contact trace when information is available and recommend quarantining when you come into close contact with someone who has been positively confirmed to have Covid-19.  They will also continue to monitor Covid rates to see if they need to request a 14 day mask mandate from the state.

“As we navigate the ever-changing guidance and legislation on COVID-19, our main objective is to maintain a focus on the health, education, and overall wellbeing of HCS students,” said Dr. Nakia Towns, Hamilton County Schools Interim Superintendent. “The updates included in the Omnibus Bill shift all decision making power away from local leaders, to the hands of the State. HCS encourages anyone wishing to remark and have their voice heard to do so at the State level, where changes are determined and executed.”

This is their summary of changes created by the new laws:

·         Public School Districts are prohibited from mandating an individual receive a COVID-19 Vaccine.

·         Public School Districts are not able to mandate facial coverings unless multiple conditions are present, including a county wide rolling 14-day average of new COVID-19 infections exceeding 1,000 per 100,000 residents. 

·         A parent/guardian may request a reasonable accommodation under the American with Disabilities Act by submitting a written request. If the accommodation is granted, the school is required to place the person in an in-person educational setting with other individuals wearing a face mask. 

·         For purposes of COVID-19, a Public School District may no longer enforce an individual quarantine at any point. This authority will be left solely to the discretion of the Commissioner of Health.

Categories: COVID-19, Education, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News