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More Than 40 Principals Got Together. Then, a Positive Test

Attendees are now in quarantine in California after meeting to discuss reopening
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2020 10:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – More than 40 school principals in northern California are in quarantine after attending an in-person meeting about how to reopen schools safely. The event was attended by a person who later tested positive for COVID-19. The individual hadn't been experiencing symptoms at the June 19 meeting of the Santa Clara Unified School District, but tested positive a few days later, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Superintendent Stella Kemp said all attendees were tested and no one else tested positive to her knowledge. She added in-person meetings were taking place under local public health department guidelines because of "the complexity required in the development of our reopening plan." Still, board trustee Vickie Fairchild questioned the decision to allow "a meeting of around 45 people when, I think, indoor meetings are recommended to be around 10."

The public health department doesn't give a limit on the number of people who should attend in-person meetings. Rather, it says "only those employees performing job duties that they cannot feasibly perform from home may come to a business facility to work," per the Chronicle. "I'm mad, I'm disappointed, I'm concerned," parent Bonnie Lieberman tells NBC Bay Area. She says the decision to host "over 40 people in the room … doesn't give me or any other parents much confidence that the district can make appropriate decisions about safety." Santa Clara County—which reported 210 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths on Wednesday, for a total of 4,572 cases and 158 deaths, per KPIX—saw a 52% jump in hospitalizations in the last week. And on Tuesday, it was one of 19 counties in the state ordered to close indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, and museums. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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