FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date and Time: August 19, 2021
Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz expresses concerns regarding RIDOH's quarantine protocol within the back to school plan
Dr. Muñoz has already taken positions on health and vaccine equity, and vaccine mandates. Most recently, Dr. Muñoz has taken a strong stance on mandatory school masking. Today, the administration responded to the education council's action on masking, by finally establishing a school masking mandate.
At today's press conference, RIDOH shared its new quarantine protocol for students exposed to covid-19 infected students. RIDOH wrote, "Our K-12 guidance this year includes a quarantining exemption for masked students. A K-12 student exposed to another K-12 student infected with #COVID19 will not need to quarantine if the exposure occurred in an indoor K-12 classroom." Dr. Muñoz is concerned that this protocol is limited, and increases health risks for students and teachers.
"The lack of clear guidance for surveillance and intentional asymptomatic testing, as element of this protocol, presents extraordinary risks for teachers and students. This seems to create a scenario where outbreak reports will be delayed at best, until an arbitrary threshold of symptomatic students, teachers, and staff are identified and reported. This rapidly evolving virus has been able to mutate because it has incubated across the populace. We cannot afford to be indifferent to asymptomatic infections by loosening our quarantine protocols. The protocol, as detailed by RIDOH presents a danger to public health," Dr. Muñoz wrote.
Thank you for taking time to read this press release. You can learn more about Dr. Muñoz's healthcare policies and vision.