South Florida Families Face Moving Target for Quarantine Protocols

With cases on the rise, many families are battling COVID-19 at home, but figuring out how long everyone should quarantine could be confusing.

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Quarantining at home can mean following different guidelines for mom, dad and kids.

“Stressful" is the best way mom Angie Bradley describes life at home since testing positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 31. Her husband and sons — ages four and one — have not tested positive at all, but they’ve had varying symptoms.

Bradley's husband stayed home from his culinary job, and Bradley is still keeping both their sons home from preschool.

“They can’t go back to school until everybody’s negative,” she said.

It’s a shifting reality other South Florida parents are facing as well: a separate set of protocols for each parent’s job, and another for schools.

Ashley Liberty’s family has dodged COVID-19 so far, and she just sent her 5-year-old daughter Summer back to kindergarten on Monday.

“I sent her with a really great mask,” Liberty said. “I’m gonna rely on that and the fact that we did everything we could.”

Masks are recommended but not required for public school students in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Also in both counties, students who have been exposed to COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms do not have to quarantine. Students who test positive must stay home at least five days, in line with CDC recommendations.

“It’s been rough,” said Bradley, who hoped to return to work on Monday.

None of her family is seriously ill. Now, she hopes to soon get back to some semblance of normal.

“It’s been a ride," she said.

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