Child Who Tested Positive for Coronavirus Goes to School, Forces 29 Other Students Into Quarantine

Twenty-nine students from a high school in Attleboro, Massachusetts, have been put in quarantine after a student attended class having knowingly tested positive for coronavirus.

The student, who attended the first day of classes on Monday, tested positive for the coronavirus on September 11.

"This was an egregious violation of trust one parent puts into another parent, one student to another student," Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux told WBZ-TV, a local news station.

Speaking to Newsweek, Heroux said: "There was no break down in the system, there will always be a lag for when people find out."

Heroux placed emphasis on the process and how it's hard to prevent students from coming to school with coronavirus if they are asymptomatic.

"The school superintendent, the nurse and I were all in agreement that there are COVID positive students right now but are asymptomatic. It's not believable that 6,000 students are COVID-19 free. But the protocols we have in place can prevent the spread," Heroux added.

As the local health authorities were informed, school nurses reviewed seating charts in classes, cafeterias and the students' bus to identify those who could have been in close contact with the student who had tested positive.

The Attleboro Public Schools superintendent David Sawyer told Newsweek that 29 classmates were told to stay at home for 14 days and learn remotely.

"I understand that this inevitable moment is stressful for many. However, it shouldn't change anything. The guidance from the state cannot ensure a virus‐free environment, especially considering we know that some carriers are asymptomatic," Sawyer said in an email to parents.

The high school's principal Bill Runey told Newsweek: "I am not naïve in thinking that we wouldn't have exposures, but I didn't think it would be Day 1 and beyond our control. We have been clear in asking students and families to engage in our Daily Health Checklist to determine if it is wise to come to school."

One parent expressed her frustration at the situation on the high school's Facebook page: "Who thought it was a good idea to send their sick kid to school. I mean, for real. You have potentially infected an entire town with CoVid simply by not keeping your petri dish at home until s/he was healthy?"

The Attleboro High School opened its doors on September 14 with a hybrid model, adopting a mix of in-person and remote learning.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there were 295 new coronavirus cases in the state on September 16, and 20 confirmed deaths.

Teacher school masks
Teacher Nicole Faubel teaches second graders during a math class at Stark Elementary School on September 16, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. In Massachusetts, 30 students will have to isolate for 14 days after one school attended the first day of classes with Covid-19 (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) John Moore/Getty Images