Sussex County school district requiring students who travel out of state to quarantine
A Sussex County school district is requiring students who travel out of state to quarantine, despite Gov. Phil Murphy lifting the COVID-19 travel advisory.
The decision is causing some confusion for the parents of the Hardyston Township School District.
“It didn’t make sense. I thought what the governor says, goes. Right?” asks mother Jacqui Sainsbury.
Sainsbury, her husband and two kids missed out on their trip to see relatives in West Palm Beach last year because of the pandemic. When they heard the governor announce earlier this week that he was lifting the travel advisory, they booked a flight to Florida for Memorial Day.
“We went for it and thought, ‘This is great. The kids won’t have to miss any more school.’ They won’t have to do it virtually, they can get back in the classroom right away,” Sainsbury says.
But Sainsbury says that she received an email from the Hardyston Township Elementary School nurse that stated, “We still have a quarantine in effect per the [New Jersey Department of Health.]’ That email then sent on to cite Murphy’s speech about the travel advisory being lifted.
RELATED: Gov. Murphy lifts New Jersey’s travel advisory; travelers to state are no longer required to quarantine
The email then stated that the school is following the Health Department’s guidelines and not the governor’s, saying, “Unvaccinated travelers will have to get tested BEFORE AND AFTER traveling and quarantine for 7-10 days.”
News 12 New Jersey asked the Health Department for clarification. A spokesperson said in a statement, "While the New Jersey Travel Advisory is no longer in effect, New Jersey is recommending that districts follow CDC guidance regarding domestic travel."
The statement went on to say, "School districts may require exclusion of unvaccinated students and staff who are recommended to quarantine as per the NJDOH Recommended Minimum Quarantine Timeframes and CDC guidelines."
Sainsbury says that this is very confusing and says that the district should be more empathetic and allow children to return to class instead of blindly following the policy.
“It just doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. You can go to a hotbed like New York City or a waterpark in Pennsylvania, but you can’t visit family because it’s in a different state?” Sainsbury says.
News 12 reached out to the Hardyston Township School District for comment, but did not hear back.
The Sainsbury family will still go on the trip, and unless the policy changes, the children will stay home when they return.
Families should check with their own school districts to see what the policy is regarding travel and quarantining.