Groups Argue Against New Quarantine Guidelines in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa - Governor Kim Reynolds and the state health department are getting pushback after announcing new COVID-19 quarantine guidelines.

The new recommendations say close contacts of positive cases no longer need to quarantine for 14 days if both parties were wearing face masks at the time they interacted.

The Iowa Public Health Association says the recommendations do not comply with CDC guidelines, and is asking the governor to provide the evidence that supports the new guidance.

The non-profit association says quarantine is part of the best defense against the pandemic until a vaccine is approved and widely available.

Meanwhile, the state's largest teacher's union, the Iowa State Education Association, says the new recommendations are not in-line with science, and come just as the flu season is beginning.

“We are setting ourselves up for problems coming in October, November, December when the flu season hits, when we’re all more confined in our houses, in our workplaces,” Iowa State Education Association President Mike Beranek told WHO-TV. “By reducing the guidelines and not requiring some of the very basics that we know that need to be in place, I think we are looking at some potential misgivings.”

Governor Reynolds announced the new guidelines Tuesday, saying she and the Department of Public Health met to school superintendents who complained they have to quarantine a high number of students when just a few test positive.

The Johnston and Waukee districts in metro Des Moines are reporting about 150 student quarantines after a handful of positive tests.

(Image from the Iowa Public Health Association)

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