By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4) – Parents and a pediatrician are teaming up to encourage the state to rethink mandatory quarantines as kids return to school. With widespread mask wearing, and teachers getting vaccinated, they say there’s no need to disrupt learning.

Pediatrician Todd Porter is calling on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to remove quarantine protocols for school districts as kids head back to the classroom across the state.

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“If you have an exposure of somebody within the school with COVID-19, if both parties were wearing masks at the time of the exposure, they should be allowed to continue to in-person quarantine over that 14-day period while self-monitoring,” said Dr. Porter, a community pediatrician in Denver. “We have an opportunity right now to start to right the wrongs we’ve done to our kids.”

Porter, a father of three, has joined other parents in Adams 12, Jeffco and Littleton Public Schools to fight for the return to in-person learning. As it becomes a reality across the state, he says state quarantine rules could set students back yet again.

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“We’ve known all along that COVID is primarily spread by adults. Children are less likely to become infected, and are less likely to spread it,” Porter said. “Since vaccinations are not a reality for our students at this time, we think this is a fair alternative that our students are allowed to self-monitor while wearing a mask.”

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He wrote a letter to Gov. Jared Polis and CDPHE for a petition. It has more than 600 signatures.

“If you have your adult teachers in schools getting vaccinated and they are no longer considered a threat for transmission, and you already have a low-risk student population that you are sending home who are healthy, and the data shows they typically do not ever end up positive, it doesn’t justify the intervention,” Porter said.

As an unpredictable year continues, Porter believes schools are safe.

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“It’s time to get everyone back to school,” he said.

Andrea Flores