FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – At least eight unvaccinated Fayetteville High School students will be held out of school over the next three weeks after two of their classmates recently caught chickenpox.
The Fayetteville School District announced the chickenpox cases Monday night, prompting school staff to contact parents of the students who had not yet received their second varicella vaccine against chickenpox. Most of those students received the vaccine in time, but several missed the 48-hour deadline, a district spokesman said Thursday.
New Arkansas regulations state any unvaccinated students potentially exposed to chickenpox must be kept out of school for at least 21 days, unless they receive the needed vaccines within the following 48 hours.
Five Fayetteville High students missed the deadline, and parents of three separate students opted out of the vaccine. All eight of those students must stay out of school for the next 21 days, according to state regulations.
Those school absences will be counted as excused, and the school will work with those students to make sure they stay updated with their classwork, said school district spokesman Alan Wilbourn.
Another three students’ parents said their children have already had chickenpox and are not a threat of contracting and spreading the virus. Those students are awaiting blood test results to confirm whether they have already had chickenpox, Wilbourn said.