Concordia Parish School Board adopts new COVID-19 policy for employees – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

VIDALIA – A policy adopted Thursday by the Concordia Parish School Board allows teachers to receive up to 10 days of paid leave for COVID-19, however, some officials said that was not enough.

A motion to approve the new policy was passed by a 5-1 majority vote with two members absent, Rickey Raven Sr. voting no and an abstention from board chairman Fred Butcher.

Before voting, Board member Derrick Carsen said: “I’m all for it because of the struggles of our teachers, but I think (politics) should be a work in progress.”

Superintendent Toyua Watson said the additional 10 days are separate from the employees’ sick leave included in their benefits.

However, if a teacher is required to quarantine themselves for 10 days due to exposure to COVID-19 more than once in a school year, the extra time off would infringe on their regular paid time off.

Watson said the council is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Louisiana Department of Health, which say teachers who are not vaccinated and are directly exposed to COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days.

An exhibit, she said, is considered to be when a person with COVID-19 is within three feet of another person and one or both of them are unmasked.

Vaccinated employees are technically not required to quarantine themselves after exposure unless they show symptoms, but school district policy recommends that they quarantine themselves for at least three days to see if symptoms. are growing, Watson said.

“We realize it’s not perfect and that there are people out there who will benefit from it,” Watson said of the policy as he presented it to the board. “Our teachers go through a lot and every day, in front of a classroom, they put their lives at risk. It’s our way of saying ‘I see you and I respect you and what you do.’ “

As the board moved forward with adopting a policy for teachers, they also discussed revising the student’s COVID-19 policy to reduce the number of days they would have to isolate. after the exposure test from 14 to 10 as long as they do not have symptoms.

However, the council decided to postpone any action to change the student policy until districts can identify a clear strategy to monitor student symptoms of COVID-19.

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