Stephen Ellison

Parents Concerned by Student’s Death From ‘Reportable Disease’ at Dublin School

A student's death and how it was communicated to the school community has left parents in an East Bay school district bewildered and a bit uneasy about whether their children have been exposed.

On Jan. 8, the first Friday back from the holiday break, the Dublin Unified School District sent out an email notification to the Kolb Elementary School community saying a student died from "a reportable disease."

"As soon as we received information from the health department, we shared it with the Kolb school community," Superintendent Leslie Boozer said.

Parents were taken aback by the surprising message and a bit confused about what action they should take.

"The email was very ... it raised more questions than it answered," parent H.T. Astrov said.

The Alameda County Public Health Department said it was "initially notified on Jan. 8, 2018, of a reportable disease by the health care provider."

No other information about the death or the illness was provided.

"Of course, you think the worst," Astrov said. "It was what I’d call very loose language, and it left a lot of room open to interpretation."

The health department did recommend that parents take their children to the doctor right away if they see symptoms such as fever, sore throat, coughing or weakness. But it didn't recommend any health screening or treatment for students, parents, staff or the rest of the community.

"We wanted to reassure families what the county health department has assured us: that there was nothing that was putting them at risk by being at the school site or being in the Kolb community," Boozer said.

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