NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Public Schools says students and staff who are exposed to COVID-19 will no longer be required to quarantine because of recently passed legislation, which limits how schools respond to the virus.
The district informed parents of the update via email, saying in part: “Under the new law, local health departments and school districts are no longer authorized to quarantine for COVID-19. The Court has not addressed the quarantine provisions of the law, which means that any student who is identified as a close contact will be notified of best practices but will not be required to quarantine.”
MNPS cites the legislation signed last week by Gov. Bill Lee, which will impact schools' ability to enforce COVID mandates.
However, Metro Schools said its universal masking requirement is still in effect after a federal judge halted the state from banning mask mandates in public schools. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight students, who said their disabilities put them at a higher risk to COVID-19.
MNPS said the district’s mask mandate will continue until that case is settled in court.
Read MNPS’ full email to parents:
"As previously communicated, the universal masking requirements will continue to be in effect until issues related to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act are settled in federal court.
Another mitigation protocol impacted by the recently passed legislation signed by Governor Bill Lee relates to quarantine protocols for students or staff who are close contacts of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Under the new law, local health departments and school districts are no longer authorized to quarantine for COVID-19. The Court has not addressed the quarantine provisions of the law, which means that any student who is identified as a close contact will be notified of best practices but will not be required to quarantine.
To be clear, this does not apply to students who test positive for COVID-19, who will still be excluded from school for 10 days upon the onset of symptoms. Students who show symptoms of COVID-19, or any illness, should remain at home until the symptoms subside.
Families of students who are found to be close contacts of a COVID-19 patient will be encouraged to take the following steps to protect themselves and the people around them:
- Get tested immediately for COVID-19.
- Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure.
- Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days and isolate if symptoms develop.
- Get tested again 5-7 days after close contact.
We will continue to update families and staff of any additional changes to the mitigation protocols and procedures adopted by Metro Schools to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our schools.
As a reminder, MNPS is partnering with the Metro Public Health Department on vaccine clinics at each of our zoned high schools. The four remaining clinics this week are:
Today, Wednesday, November 17, from 3 to 6:30 p.m.:
- Stratford STEM High, 1800 Stratford Ave., Nashville, TN 37216
- Antioch High, 1900 Hobson Pike, Antioch, TN 37013
Friday, November 19, from 3 to 6:30 p.m.:
- Whites Creek High, 7277 Old Hickory Blvd., Whites Creek, TN 37189
- Hillwood High, 400 Davidson Road, Nashville, TN 37205
Learn more at mnps.org/covid-19."