COVID-19 Spreading In Schools. School Nurses Seeing Symptomatic Kids. Parents Ordered To Keep Children Home. Administrators Frustrated.
More Than 156 Students, Employees COVID-19 Positive Early Monday.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Parents are sending children with COVID-19 symptoms to school in the Palm Beach County School District and school administrators say it must stop. The problem is so prevalent that school officials Sunday night initiated a robocall to more than 180,000 families to remind them that if their children aren’t feeling well, have COVID-like symptoms, or if someone in their home does, the children may not come to school.
Sources tell BocaNewsNow.com that school nurses countywide are encountering a significant number of children who are coming to school with COVID-19 symptoms. These children often end up in a classroom where a teacher notices the student is sick. That child is then sent to the school nurse and quarantined until a parent or guardian picks them up. In several cases, BocaNewsNow.com has learned that the children told their parents they didn’t feel well but were still sent to school.
In several cases, BocaNewsNow.com has learned that the children told their parents they didn’t feel well but were still sent to school.
“By the time a teacher realizes the child isn’t feeling well, that child has walked through the hallway, possibly used a bathroom, come close to other students and teachers, and potentially spread COVID-19 through the school,” said an administrator who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about the issue. “It shows just how selfish parents are. We’re seeing this everywhere, but there are known instances in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.”
The trend is so alarming that the school district Sunday night took the extraordinary measure of using strong language in an email and phone broadcast countywide to the entire school district community — more than 180,000 families. Here is the full text of that message:
“The School District of Palm Beach County is reminding you to help limit the spread of COVID-19, and other illnesses in our schools, by keeping children who are sick home until they recover.
Children who are exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19, including a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, or any other flu-like symptoms should NOT attend school.
Additionally, the student’s parent or guardian must inform the school of a positive test for the child, or for any member of the household, no later than the following school day.
A student who tests positive, or is identified by the Department of Health as an ‘exposed contact’ must remain home and be enrolled in Distance Learning.
A student may return to school after he or she is isolated for 10 days and is symptom-free.
Any student who exhibits symptoms during the school day will be sent to the clinic or will be isolated until the student is picked up by the parent or guardian.”
Whether DCFS or other agencies could be called on parents who knowingly send their sick children to school remains to be seen. For now, the school district is urging parents to do the right thing.
“The fact this is even an issue is astonishing,” said the administrator. “This pandemic isn’t over. Parents need to think not just about their needs, but the needs and health of everyone else. That any parent would send a sick child to school shows the type of people we’re dealing with. They are selfish.”
“It continues to be imperative that Floridians practice preventative measures in order to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Alexander Shaw, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County. “Staying home when sick, washing hands frequently and adhering to the most up-to-date CDC guidance remains critical.”
The Health Care District of Palm Beach County oversees all school nurses in the Palm Beach County School District.
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