Inconsistent quarantine guidelines confusing some Capital Region parents

Vaccinations are expected to reduce the number of quarantines in schools.

As it stands now, depending on where you live, your children might have to stay out of school for 10 days at a time if there’s a positive COVID case in their classroom. In other places, there are no quarantines at all. Parents are asking for consistency.

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Meredithe Mathias says her son, Harris, a 3rd grader at Tanglewood Elementary, does much better when he’s in school, instead of remote learning.

So when he and about 40 other kids, who wear masks and stay three feet apart, had to quarantine last month for 10 days because of a positive case in their after school program, it wasn’t good.

"Being home with a young child that needs school, that needs to learn, that needs socialization is devastating to them," said Mathias.
Mathias says equally frustrating is a lack of communication from the county or the school. There was no word from contact tracers until three days after the exposure, and no follow-up to let them know how many of the kids got COVID.

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South Glens Falls School Superintendent Kristine Orr shares parents’ frustration, and points out that counties, not schools decide quarantine rules and communicate with affected families.

"My goal is 100% of the students, 100% of the time in school," said Orr.

In Saratoga County, they’ve recently changed it so students can return to school in seven days if they have a negative test after the fifth day. However, finding a test for a kid who doesn’t have symptoms can be hard.

"A lot of pediatricians are not testing our healthy students," said Orr.

When there’s a positive case in a New York City classroom, schools are no longer making masked, distanced students quarantine. Leaving parents wondering why not here.

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Mathias is vaccinated and is eager for her son to get the shots. Until then, she’s hoping for consistency and common sense.

"We’re just trying to keep our kids in school, consistently, every day because they need to be," she said.

Saratoga County is apparently among the first in the state to allow students to test out of 10-day quarantines and return to school after just seven days.