Parents, Teachers To Be Notified Faster, COVID-19 Dashboard To Be Updated As Promised, Less Reliance On Slow Florida Department of Health
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Palm Beach County School District, following exclusive reporting by BocaNewsNow.com revealing inconsistent and dangerous procedures in notifying parents and employees of positive COVID-19 tests in schools, is preparing to change its reporting methods.
BocaNewsNow.com learned of the new procedures Wednesday afternoon and was asked to hold the information until Friday. However, at least one school Wednesday evening announced the new procedures so we are now, as well.
Under the plan: a classroom will be notified as quickly as possible that a student or faculty member in that class has tested positive. This will permit parents make real-time decisions about keeping their children home and arranging for COVID-19 tests, if needed.
Next, the general school community will be told of the positive test without specific classroom information. Contact tracers, at least in theory, will then do their jobs. A final announcement will be made contact tracing completed.
“We are fine tuning and streamlining processes this week and by week’s end, new notification processes will be in place,” said Palm Beach County School District Spokesperson Claudia Shea to BocaNewsNow.com.
As BocaNewsNow.com has been reporting since last week, a first grader testing positive for COVID-19 at Whispering Pines Elementary in West Boca Raton led to the appearance of a massive coverup, incompetence, or both involving school and school district officials. The school district never told anyone in the boy’s class that the child was positive, so students and their teacher continued to come to school. Only after two days of no contact from the school district, or the Florida Department of Health, did the boy’s mom take matters into her own hands. She contacted everyone in the class herself.
The Florida Department of Health has still not contacted anyone in the boy’s class as of Wednesday, October 14th — a week after the school first made a general announcement that there was a positive case “involving a member of the school community.”
The new policies are meant to compensate for the Florida Department of Health’s continued contact tracing and notification issues. Spokesperson Alexander Shaw did not dispute the agency’s slow response for school-related contact tracing in an email to BocaNewsNow.com late last week.
The Palm Beach County School District is expected to make an official announcement about the new policies on Friday.
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