coronavirus

COVID-19 Outbreak at Marin School Caused by Family Breaching Health Order: County

NBC Universal, Inc. School officials in Marin County said a family sent a child to a school knowing they had tested positive for COVID-19, which led to a COVID-19 outbreak. Sergio Quintana reports.

A COVID-19 outbreak at a Marin County elementary school was caused by a family who sent their child to school while infected with the virus, school officials said Friday.

Officials with the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District told NBC Bay Area that on Nov. 9, the parents of two Neil Cummins Elementary School students got a notice that one of their children had COVID-19.

According to officials, the parents were told to quarantine both children at home. Instead, they sent them to school the next day mad they stayed in class for five days.

The parents did not tell school officials one of them was COVID positive.

On Nov. 18, Marin County public health officials called the school and asked why they hadn't recorded the students in their COVID-19 case reports.

Corte Madera - Larkspur School District Superintendent Dr. Brett Geithman said that several staff members scrambled to gather up rapid testing kits and swabbed more than 50 students.

They found three positive cases that likely were transmitted at school. Five others were likely due to exposure outside school.

Because of the chance of exposure, the families of 75 students had to go into modified quarantine over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“They had to alter travel plans, gatherings with loved ones. This was a major inconvenience and altered their Thanksgiving,” Gaithman said.

Per Marin County rules, the student should have isolated for 10 days if they test positive for COVID-19.

“This is very serious. This is a situation where we know that for some of our students and staff with underlying health conditions that actually getting COVID, it could be a matter of life and death,” said Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools.

Officials with Corte Madera-Larkspur Schools said they have already taken action against the parents of the elementary students but wouldn't say what kind of action.

The Marin County Department of Public Health could also pursue a case for violating a public health order, which is a misdemeanor. A spokesperson said they're still weighing what to do about this incident.