Americas

Coronavirus: More than 40 headteachers self-isolate after meeting exposes them to infection

More than 40 headteachers from San Francisco have been told to self-isolate, after being exposed to coronavirus at an in-person meeting.

Despite the state-wide stay at home order in California, the Santa Clara County Unified School District held the face-to-face meeting last month to discuss arrangements for the reopening of classrooms in the area.

A few days after the meeting, someone who had been in the room and was not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, tested positive for coronavirus.

Stella Kemp, the district’s superintendent, confirmed the positive case at an online meeting of the school board last week, saying that the gathering had been required due to the “complexity” of their re-opening plan.

Ms Kemp added that the meeting was conducted under “strict guidelines”, and that as far as she is aware, no other attendees have tested positive for the virus.

“I know there may be some that question every decision we make but the reality is there is no road map for this pandemic,” she added.

The decision to hold an in-person meeting was challenged by others at the online gathering, with trustee Vickie Fairchild saying: “I got calls from several educators who are a little panicked about the COVID exposure at the principals’ meeting.

“I personally was surprised, because of what I’ve heard other school districts doing, that we had a meeting of around 45 people when I think indoor meetings are recommended to be around 10.”

California is going through a record-breaking spike in coronavirus cases, and officials have begun to re-impose lockdown measures across the state.

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