Trenton – To protect against potential COVID-19 outbreaks in our schools, the Senate Education Committee advanced legislation today to require public school students and employees to self-quarantine after international travel or travel to a state included in the quarantine travel advisory before returning to school. The bill is sponsored by Senator James Beach.
“As the school year quickly approaches, it’s important we do our best to prepare and set forth clear protocols to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in our classrooms,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “While the Governor has set forth clear guidelines as to when to quarantine following travel within the United States, the federal government has yet to acknowledge the need to quarantine following international travel. This legislation will require teachers and students to quarantine for two weeks before returning to school not only if they have visited a state on the travel advisory list but also if they have left the country.”
The bill, S-2401, addresses instances of a student, teaching staff member, or other employee of a school district traveling outside of the United States or to a state on the quarantine travel advisory list during a public health emergency, that is declared to slow the spread of an infectious disease.
Under the bill, the person would not be permitted to return to the public school until the termination of the public health emergency or 14 calendar days following the date of their return to the United States, whichever occurs first.
For students, the days missed would be recorded as excused absences. School district employees whose absence is mandated under the bill, would be entitled to compensation and benefits for the days missed.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 4-1.