For the third time this school year an individual affiliated with Mossdale Elementary School in Lathrop has tested positive for the coronavirus.
And while schools are back in session in Manteca Unified and the latest positive test was discovered in a student, the district is not going to quarantine that student’s classroom because the likelihood of that student transmitting the virus to others was virtually non-existent.
According to Manteca Unified Director of Community Outreach Victoria Brunn, the student in question had missed several days of school prior to testing positive – effectively closing the window of contagiousness that would have made shuttering the classroom a top priority for district officials looking to control the spread of the virus.
To date there have been no cases of COVID-19 transmitted amongst students or between students and staff on campus at a Manteca Unified site – all of the cases that have been confirmed, Brunn said, have come from community transmission and then carried onto campus.
“San Joaquin Public Health Services deems an individual to be contagious 48 hours prior to becoming symptomatic or 48 hours prior to COVID-19 test date if an individual is asymptomatic,” Brunn said. “In this case, the individual self-reported a positive test result on a test taken on Nov. 28, and 48 hours prior to this test date the individual was not on campus.
“Therefore, based on guidelines from SJCPUHS and by definition of a close contact, there are not close contacts to identify for quarantine. The individual remains in isolation following all guidelines to return to school safely.”
While the announcement – which was made to the Mossdale campus community through an email from the principal – of the positive virus test spread quickly on social media, Brunn said that the district simply followed the written guidelines put out by the county health department through the California Department of Public Health.
And the district has taken a strong stand on cases where COVID can be transmitted.
Last month the head coach of the Weston Ranch boys’ varsity basketball team reassigned after a video was made available to district administrators that showed the team practicing in defiance of COVID-19 regulations. As a result of the video Superintendent Clark Burke shut down all athletic activities across the district pending an investigation in the matter – even on campuses that were not involved – and the coach resigned several days later after widespread backlash in the athletic community.
In working closely with the health department to ensure student and staff safety on school sites after the return to the classroom the district participates in contact tracing to identify elements of community spread of the virus and to isolate those that may have come into contact with somebody known to be carrying the virus. As a result of those efforts, as of Dec. 1 there have been no cases of the COVID-19 virus traced back to an origination point at a Manteca Unified school.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.