Nevada parent sends child to school despite positive COVID-19 test – exposing 80 students

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Dozens of students at a Nevada middle school were exposed to COVID-19 after a parent sent their child to class despite both testing positive for the virus.

According to officials at the Washoe County School District, the child and the parent learned they were infected over the weekend 

However, the child – whose name, age and sex has not been revealed – still attended school on Monday, the first day of classes. 

Now, more than 80 pupils at Marce Herz Middle School in Reno are quarantining at home and began virtual learning on Tuesday.  

Charges will not be brought against the parent.

The incident comes as school officials around the country are working to safely reopen schools amid an Indian ‘Delta’ variant fueled surge in cases. 

More than 80 students at Marce Herz Middle School (pictured) in Reno, Nevada, will have to quarantine after a parent sent their student to school despite having a positive COVID-19 test over the weekend

More than 80 students at Marce Herz Middle School (pictured) in Reno, Nevada, will have to quarantine after a parent sent their student to school despite having a positive COVID-19 test over the weekend

Cases in Nevada are spiking amid a Delta variant fueled Covid outbreak, growing 120% in the past month

Cases in Nevada are spiking amid a Delta variant fueled Covid outbreak, growing 120% in the past month

Families were notified on Monday night in a message sent by Herz Principal Brandon Bringhurst, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

‘Out of an abundance of caution and due to possible exposure to COVID-19, your student must be in quarantine at home, per Washoe County Health District guidelines,’ Bringhurst said. 

There are around 1,400 total students in grades six through eight attending the school.    

Fully vaccinated students who were exposed will be able to return to classes immediately. 

Other students will be able to return to school on August 17, next Tuesday, if they can produce a negative test on Saturday or later.

The Washoe County Health District is working to track and contain the outbreak, though the parent has refused to work with health or school officials.

The health district will not work to pursue charges, citing an already limited amount of resources on hand.

All students, staff and teachers are required to wear masks in K-12 schools in the county.

Managing the current COVID-19 surge in the wake of school reopenings is the biggest challenge facing school officials at the moment.

Across the U.S., coronavirus cases have grown by more than 330 percent in the past month, from 29,254 cases per day on July 13 to 125,894 on average on August 13.

This year’s summer surge is already larger than last summer’s, a surprise as vaccines were not available in 2020.

In Nevada, cases have more than doubled in the past month, from 710 average new cases per day on July 12 to 1,568 new cases per day on August 12 – a 120 percent increase. 

Washoe County has been hammered over the past month as well, with cases growing from 29 per day on average on July 12 to 164 a day on August 12, a 465 percent increase.

With the way cases are growing, this summer’s outbreak could even surpass many records set over the winter.

School districts are still pushing to maintain in-person learning this year, though, after social isolation caused by virtual learning was found to have some negative effects of children’s development.

How to go through with school reopenings safely has been a point of contention, though – especially as children now account for 15 percent of active virus cases and cases among the youth having grown by 31 percent over the past week to 94,000. 

Children who contract the virus are unlikely to suffer a severe case, though they can develop harmful longterm conditions like ‘long Covid,’ myocarditis or anosmia.

Many kids returning to school are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine – which has only been approved for Americans age 12 or older. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes the vaccines could be the answer to preventing COVID-19 spread in schools. 

Dr Lee Savio Beers, president of the AAP, wrote an open letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this week, urging the agency to expand vaccine access ahead of the new school year.

‘Pediatricians and the families they care for have been anxiously awaiting a vaccine that can be used in children 11 years of age and younger, and especially so now given the rise of the hyper infectious Delta variant,’ she wrote.

‘The Delta variant is surging at extremely alarming rates in every region of America. This surge is seriously impacting all populations, including children.’

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