Elk Grove parent shares frustrations after COVID-19 cases are reported at son’s school

Tray Ling

ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) – One week after the Elk Grove Unified School District started its year-round schedule, COVID-19 cases are being reported in the classroom. Parent Tiffany Fields told FOX40 she received an email from the principal of Joseph Simms Elementary School Monday morning. The email stated that a […]

ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) – One week after the Elk Grove Unified School District started its year-round schedule, COVID-19 cases are being reported in the classroom.

Parent Tiffany Fields told FOX40 she received an email from the principal of Joseph Simms Elementary School Monday morning.

The email stated that a child in her son’s second grade class tested positive for COVID-19.

“Alarms, sirens, everything went off in my head,” Fields told FOX40.

According to Fields, the school knew about the case on Friday and she said the report might have jeopardized her weekend house guest. 

“My guest went back to her home across the country in D.C.,” Fields explained. “She was on a plane. It just seems very irresponsible.”

And she said, not being told who the infected student was, leaves her wondering. 

“HIPAA restrictions, I understand that, but what are we supposed to do?” Fields asked. 

The notification Fields got is different than one that parents get if their child comes in close contact with a COVID-19 infected student.

“Hey we want you to be aware that this is happening, but we don’t believe that your child meets the criteria for a close contact,” explained Sacramento County Public Health’s Nick Mori. 

The child in question was wearing a mask and there was masking and social distancing in the classroom. 

There were no masks at lunchtime. 

“Then we quickly found out who that student had lunch with so we could identify if there were any other close contacts,” explained Xanthi Soriano of the Elk Grove Unified School District.

Close contacts are treated more strictly but they can go back to school under a new modified quarantine approved by California public health officials. 

“They continue to participate in routine bi-weekly testing, testing twice a week and if they remain asymptomatic, they can continue attending class,” Mori said.

Fields told FOX40 she fears that other parents at other schools and school districts might be as confused as she is if some contracts COVID-19 at their child’s school.

“Going back to school with 20-plus children in a closed room, how is that quarantining?” Fields asked

EGUSD officials said their district had in-person schooling for over a year, using most of the same protocols with some success in controlling outbreaks. 

“Trying to really keep students in classrooms, in learning situations as much as possible,” Soriano said.

In the meantime, Fields said she will be keeping her son out of school, possibly transferring to an online alternative. 

EGUSD said they understand that parents must use their comfort level in navigating the COVID-19 school protocols and beginning next week, the district will have on-campus COVID-19 testing available for students who have had close contact with the virus. 

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