Students at Attleboro High School in Massachusetts may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus after a classmate who tested positive for the virus went to school Monday, according to the district's superintendent.
Anyone who came in close contact with the student was told to undergo a two-week quarantine, according to a letter sent out by Superintendent David Sawyer. School nurses conducted contract tracing to identify those at risk and notified families.
Parents were not contacted if their children were not impacted by the event, Sawyer noted, which includes students at other schools.
"I understand that this inevitable moment is stressful for many. However, it shouldn’t change anything," Sawyer wrote.
Measures like contact tracing and daily screenings help reduce the threat, Sawyer said, but those safety precautions are "ultimately designed to prevent the spread of the virus under these precise circumstances."
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"The guidance from the state cannot ensure a virus-free environment, especially considering we know that some carriers are asymptomatic," Sawyer said. "We will have to wait for the end of the quarantines to be certain we were successful, but there is no reason at this moment to assume differently."
The district wasn't notified of the test result until Tuesday, according to Sawyer, rendering officials unable to prevent the resulting exposure.
"This unacceptable outcome was caused by delays in the reporting timeline, not a breakdown in our safety protocols," Sawyer wrote.
The school district will continue to monitor coronavirus data and "act accordingly at both the school and district levels."