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QPS, Attorney talk after judge asked to rule on QPS quarantine situation

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QUINCY (WGEM) -- Parents have taken legal action against Quincy Public Schools, and Superintendent Roy Webb, in an effort to get three students back to school after they were told to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure.

Attorney Thomas DeVore of Greenville, Illinois, filed for an temporary restraining order and an injunction in Adams County Circuit Court Monday afternoon.

DeVore asks for "an immediate and definitive determination" because "each day the students are denied their in-person learning is irreparable and can never be recovered."

The Circuit Clerk's Office said a judge could rule on the case as soon as Wednesday.

Webb said the district received the documents Tuesday morning.

"We received the court documents (Tuesday) morning and are still in the process of reviewing them with our legal team," Webb said.

According to court documents, the Adams County Health Department issued an immediate order last week for all three students to quarantine until Sept. 4.

Webb said they're just following those orders.

"They should stay for the distance the Adams County Health Department says is safe," he said. "That’s what we’re supposed to enforce per the Governor's Orders and per the IDPH letter."

Court documents show the parents are Scott and Jamie Hamby, Christina Terwelp, and Travis and Ashley Oshner.

DeVore alleges the orders to quarantine should have expired within 48 hours, and even though none of the students were positive for COVID-19 or showed symptoms, Webb would not allow them back to class.

DeVore stated that in the case of Hamby and Oshner, the Adams County Health Department acknowledged via email that the emergency order to quarantine was only good for 48 hours.

"What we're saying that the health department itself has to participate in actually getting an order that this child is a public health risk and if they do that, that would be procedurally proper," he said.

DeVore points out later in the filing in all three cases, the health department chose not to seek a court order to extend the terms of the quarantine.

Adams County State's Attorney Gary Farha told WGEM News that his office would only seek a court order for quarantine if a person was living in a household where someone had tested positive for COVID-19.

DeVore claims that Quincy Public Schools has taken it upon itself to act as if the lawful quarantine still exists, and is not allowing the students to attend in-person learning, which is a violation of the Illinois State Board of Education resolution and guidance.

Webb said he met with the parents on Monday and said he is glad the issue is going through the courts.

"The best thing they can do is make it a legal thing and take us to court because then we either validate what we're doing or it shows that we're not doing the right thing," he said.

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