AEA: Reports of Doctors sending students back to school before quarantine period over

Teachers say doctors clearing COVID students too soon

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: Alabama Education Association Associate Executive Director sent a new letter to the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners referencing a possible meeting between both entities in dealing with COVID-19 guidelines and procedures.

The letter follows a meeting over concerns some doctors may have been sending students back to school before the quarantine period was over.

Here is the letter.

State teacher union members are calling out doctors after they say they’ve gotten numerous complaints that some may have written medical releases for students to go back to school before their COVID-19 quarantine is up.

Leaders filed a complaint letter Friday with the state Board of Medical Examiners over the issue.

“Our calls ramped up a couple weeks ago and we’ve steadily been getting those calls,” said Tracee Binion with the Alabama Education Association.

Alabama Education Association leaders say the calls are coming from district staff and parents from across the state, including central Alabama.

“Whether it was a mistake, pressure by the parents or someone else," said Binion, "I’m shocked because what we’re trying to do is keep schools open, but we must have everyone follow the same set of guidelines.”

Health guidelines note you must quarantine for 10 days if you’ve tested positive for COVID. You must quarantine for 14 days if you’ve had an exposure to make sure you don’t develop symptoms.

AEA leaders say sending students back before making sure they aren’t sick puts everyone at risk.

“Kids bring it back to schools and employees test positive and the cycle continues," said Binion.

No doctors were named in the complaint. Education leaders say the letter is a warning to doctors before they are forced to investigate further and take legal action. It was also to alert health leaders of the growing reports and get their support in condemning the actions.

Education leaders say they have the backing of State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey along with the state department of health leaders.

The Executive Director of the state Board of Medical Examiners confirmed they had received the letter and released this statement late Monday afternoon:

The Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners has not yet received any complaints against any physician alleging conduct of the nature described by the AEA. We encourage anyone who has information concerning dangerous or unprofessional conduct by a physician or physician assistant to make a complaint. The Board fully investigates all complaints it receives and each situation must be evaluated on an individualized basis given the facts and circumstances presented.

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