SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Officials for the Escondido Union School District say that 17 positive coronavirus cases reported in the first two days of its on-campus hybrid model have resulted in at least 80 students being quarantined.
The school district says it resumed on-campus classes on Feb. 2 with a hybrid-model, which sees elementary students attend four half-days and middle school students attend two full days in classes with a maximum of 12-student classes.
Of the 17 cases, eight of those students came to campus infectious and tested positive, the district said. Officials said those individuals did not transmit the virus at school and tested positive before entering.
The cases have resulted in 81 students and 15 staff members being placed in quarantine, as of Thursday night. The quarantines affected seven classrooms in the district:
• Farr Avenue Elementary: Four individuals tested positive and attended campus while infectious, resulting in 44 students and five employees in quarantine;
• Pioneer Elementary: One individual tested positive and attended campus while infectious, resulting in nine students and two employees in quarantine;
• Mission Middle School: One individual tested positive and attended campus while infectious, resulting in 16 students and four staff members in quarantine;
• Rock Springs Elementary: One individual tested positive and attended campus while infectious, resulting in 12 students in quarantine;
Through contact tracing, officials said the six cases combined at Farr, Pioneer, and Mission came from individuals who are part of the same extended family.
EUSD has about 8,700 students in the hybrid model in Transitional Kindergarten through 8th grade, covering about 500 hybrid-model classrooms at 23 campuses. Students in the 10-day quarantine continue to attend classes virtually.
"Our city struggles with a high case rate, and our community includes many multi-generational families. This makes for a challenging environment," Superintendent Dr. Luis Rankins-Ibarra said. "It is unfortunate that individuals still come to campus while they are awaiting COVID test results, or after having close contact with someone who is positive, or while they are feeling ill. Families are directed to keep their children at home if they are sick in any way."
The district says it has health and safety protocols in place at all district sites, including temperature checks and verbal questionnaires related to COVID symptoms, exposure, and testing for each student before they enter campus.
The district has also installed portable air-filtration systems in every classroom and spacing between desks. Face masks are required at all times on campus as well.