COVID-19 Spread Continues In Palm Beach County Schools. Messaging, Notification Remains Problem.
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Whispering Pines Elementary School in West Boca Raton just became one of a very few number of schools in the Palm Beach County School District to report a third case of COVID-19. The case is being announced in the 5 p.m. hour to parents and faculty.
It was not immediately clear whether the case involved a student or employee. It was also unclear if the case is related to “wishes for a speedy recovery” broadcast over the school’s PA system Tuesday morning. The name of a senior administrator was used in the message. As BocaNewsNow.com has been reporting exclusively, the school district is under fire for its handling of a case in Whispering Pines last week. The school announced a case on Wednesday without saying whether it was a student or staff member. The school also claimed contact tracing was underway. But by Friday, the parent of the infected first grader took matters into her own hands and contacted everyone in her son’s class. The teacher and parents of the boy’s classmates had no idea it was a child in the classroom. Neither the school, nor the Florida Department of Health, had reached out to anyone the boy may have come into contact with. Incredibly, the students — and teacher — continued in school on Thursday and Friday with no knowledge of their possible exposure. By Monday, five days later, there was still no contact from the Florida Department of Health.
Principals are not to blame. Palm Beach County School District sources, speaking without permission to BocaNewsNow.com, say lawyers for the school district are prohibiting principals from providing what may legitimately be lifesaving information, fearing a violation of privacy. While the school district’s “COVID-19 Dashboard” is distinguishing between student and employee cases, the dashboard is several days behind reality. It currently reports 67 cases, but doesn’t include several confirmed over the past several days.
BocaNewsNow.com today separately Tuesday learned of cases at Morikami Park Elementary School and Boca Raton Community High School.
The Florida Department of Health did not refute concerns of slow contact tracing in Palm Beach County when asked for comment from BocaNewsNow.com.
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