In December 2021, the parents of a second-grade student at Sunrise Valley Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, filed suit against two school officials and a public health official challenging a now-defunct Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) COVID-19 quarantine policy, which they alleged treated vaccinated students more favorably than unvaccinated – but allegedly immune – students.
Notably, their daughter had contracted COVID-19 in late October 2021 and had completed a two-week home quarantine. Three weeks later, she was qualified as a “potential close contact” of an individual who tested positive for the COVID-19. Under FCPS policy, because she had not been vaccinated against COVID-19, she was forced to quarantine again. On the contrary, vaccinated children, were exempt from quarantining. Plaintiffs alleged that such quarantine policy was arbitrary, irrational, and discriminatory.
By decision of 7 July 2022, the Virginia Eastern District Court dismissed plaintiffs’ claims. According to the Court, the challenged policy was not arbitrary. On the contrary, in developing the policy defendants had relied on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s findings as to the efficacy of natural immunity, such findings provided defendants a rational basis for requiring unvaccinated students who purportedly had natural immunity as a result of having recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection to quarantine after being exposed to a COVID-positive individual, but not requiring the same of vaccinated children.