Millard parents frustrated by lack of mask rules after COVID-19 shuts down elementary class
At least one confirmed case at Montclair Elementary is a student.
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A Millard Public Schools official confirmed Wednesday afternoon that families of an elementary school class had been instructed that morning to keep their students home after multiple COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the classroom.
The district confirmed that four positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed in a Montclair Elementary classroom, with an additional case pending. At least one of the positive cases was a student, 6 News confirmed.
“The classroom is closed to mitigate spread,” an MPS spokeswoman said.
Close contacts were informed of the first positive case at the school on Monday, and that officials got word Tuesday that there were two more positive cases, according to the spokeswoman. Those cases are currently reflected on the school district’s COVID-19 web page, which is updated each weekday.
6 News spoke over the phone with two separate parents that say their children tested positive for COVID-19.
“To find out that my own kid was one that did end up testing positive was really scary and seeing her reaction. You know, we told her that she did have covid and she immediately was crying,” said Ashley Weber, parent.
As of Wednesday, there were 52 active cases in the district. Classes started Monday, Aug. 10.
“When we receive word of three cases in the same classroom, we contact the Douglas County Health Department for guidance. During this time we learned of two additional possible cases in that same classroom,” the spokeswoman said in an email to local media.
The affected Montclair families were informed Wednesday morning that their students should not come to class and that DCHD was advising that families monitor those students for systems consistent with COVID-19.
MPS also outlined the following return protocols:
- If the child is tested on Day 5, which would be Sunday, and is negative, they can return to school on Day 8, which would be Wednesday, Aug. 25.
- If the child is not tested, they can return to school after Day 10, which would be Monday, Aug. 30.
- The child should wear a mask for the remainder of the 14-day incubation period, ending Tuesday, Aug. 31.
The class will receive remote learning while the classroom remains closed, the spokeswoman said.
“We will make sure they have the lessons and support to continue their education, it will just not occur in real time. This is exactly what we do with any child that is sick or absent for any reason,” she said.
The following letter was sent to all Montclair student families on Wednesday morning:
Dear Montclair Families,
I am writing to let you know that we have experienced possible spread of COVID-19 in one of our classrooms and are taking the steps necessary to stop the spread. I want you to hear this information directly from me.
One classroom has three laboratory confirmed positive cases. Two additional individuals in that classroom are being tested. The first case was reported on Monday and reflected on the district website yesterday. I got word of the other two positive cases and the two being tested yesterday afternoon and immediately reached out to the Douglas County Health Department. In consultation with their guidance, we have shut down the classroom to stop spread. We are working with our families in that classroom to continue education during this time.
I will continue to keep you informed.
Some parents say not enough is being done. They are urging the school district and the school board to look at their policy and require masks for all.
They say they are fearful more cases will spread throughout the school.
“This is a variant now that one person can infect 6 to 9 people which is what I think is occurring right now at Montclair so the fact that we are not doing those things, that masks aren’t being required, this is very simple,” said Jamie Short.
Other parents say they are so fearful over the lack of social distancing that they are taking their children out of school during lunchtime and eating outside on the front lawn.
“When it comes to lunchtime they are going to lunch and removing that mask to eat. There’s no social distancing happening in the lunchroom. They have gone back to a more standard lunchroom environment,” said Aaron Ross.
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