Neptune Beach, Fla. – An off-campus party contributed to the outbreak of more than two dozen COVID-19 cases at Fletcher High School, Dowell County Public School Superintendent Dr. Diana Green said Thursday afternoon.
As of Thursday evening, at least 32 cases of coronavirus had been reported among students and staff in the school district.
Spots of new cases forced Neptune Beach School to close on Thursday.
“I want to be clear, Fletcher’s situation does not appear to be linked to the school, but to social gatherings outside the school,” Green told a news conference. “As a superintendent, I would be relieved if we don’t reflect on this situation and show the community what happens when it lets its guards down.”
Green said she did not know exactly when the know-f-campus party took place but added that it was likely Friday or Saturday. He did not say how many students attended the party.
“I’m not satisfied that we’re in a situation where we had to close our school because of out-of-school activity.” “If we don’t pay attention to this situation and don’t show what happens when the student community just lets their guard for the evening, I would be happy.”
On Thursday, students at Fletcher High began learning at home, at least from Monday.
Green said the school was closed because the outbreak affected 20% of students at the school – a threshold set by the district before the school year begins.
The total impact of the new cases was not fully known as contact tracing is still ongoing.
Dr. Duval County, director of the Florida Department of Health. Pauline Roll said all of the cases involved connected activities outside the party as well as small gatherings and transmissions to homes.
The health department is continuing its efforts to reach out to Rolle as she has also sought the help of the community.
“When my investigators from the health department call, please be cooperative,” Roll said. “It is very important that you answer our questions and be truthful with us. This is the only way we have been able to help protect the community. “
He asked if anyone familiar with the situation who thinks they are Covid-19 could be in contact with someone who can call the health department at 904-253-1850.
“We’ve gotten a response from the community, which said, ‘I don’t want to be a snitch.'” Rowley said, “Please, this virus is fatal. is needed. “
Roll added that she had even heard some people say they were concerned that the health department’s call was a scam. She said anyone concerned that the call they received was a scam should stop and call the health department.
The health department also reminded students to test positive for different quarantine for at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms and to keep their siblings apart. In addition, the health department asked those with a positive case to be isolated for at least 14 days – even if they tested negative. And school and health leaders urged families to continue social distance, avoid large crowds and wear masks.
“Some people in my class said they didn’t feel very good so I was like,‘ Well, here we go again, ’” said Fletcher High junior Randy Proswimmer.
Proswimmer said that when he did not know that his schoolmates had tested positive for COVID-19 and the school was going back to virtual education.
“I think I know at least three people who are sick. Probably more, but I know it all, ”Proswimmer said.
Morgan Megs said he knew it would be difficult to stop the virus from spreading.
“Anyone who has actually been to school knows that the hall is spoiled,” said Mags, who graduated from the school last year. “And if you’re in that school, there aren’t many walkways.”
“I think it was reopened very soon,” Mags added. “Not just schools but with everything.”
Rowley praised DCPS for taking swift action on Fletcher High.
“This could be a lot worse if they weren’t good partners.”
Moving In addition to online moving classes, the school will have no athletics or after-school activities, including a Friday night varsity football game.
“Help us all to help you,” Green said. “I want nothing more than to keep schools open and instruction and the activities that take place in our high schools and our middle and elementary schools as normal as possible. But if you choose to take risks outside of school or even in school, it will have an effect. For your own safety, for the safety of your fellow students, and for the safety of your teachers and staff, use health behaviors and healthy habits. “
Green said that once the health department has completed its contact tracing, the district will decide whether to keep the school closed for a long time. The district hopes to know that information before Monday, Green said.
There are plans to extend the closure if all on campus – or one in five – have 20% exposure. At Fletcher High, that means about 320 students and staff were exposed to COVID-19.
Sept. in San Pablo Elementary, one block away. Between 6 and 10 October, 23 cases were reported, and one at Fletcher Middle School, according to the state health department. Both remain open.
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