ROARING SPRING, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Parents at a Blair County school district say nearly 50 students were sent home from school with no further information. This happened around noon on Monday at the Spring Cove Middle School.
We’ve reached out to the Superintendent 6 times as of Tuesday evening, called the middle school, messaged school board members, and spoke to the school’s solicitor – none of which gave a clear answer to the questions parents want to know… Is there a positive case of COVID-19? And why are some students required to quarantine while others are not?
A parent of an 8th grader who was sent home says “I got a call around 11:30 that somebody tested positive at Spring Cove school and that my daughter was chosen to be sent home and I had to go pick her up…We all have to be quarantined for 14 days and someone will call me about getting her COVID test done and if she didn’t get it done she couldn’t return back to school.”
This parent wanted to stay anonymous in fear of getting in trouble with the school district. They say if the district can’t tell parents whether or not there’s a COVID-19 case then they should not be open for full in-person instruction.
The 8th grader who was sent home says the lack of information is frightening and went on to say “all of us got called down to a big classroom and it took the principal almost an hour to get down there and tell everybody what was going on and then we had to sit in there and wait until our parents came to pick us up and then they told us to get our stuff and that if we talked to anyone in the hallway we would get in trouble and that we weren’t allowed to talk to anybody about it.”
The only information released from the Superintendent was this statement which was also posted to Facebook last evening. It states: “now that we are back to school, the district continues to work closely with the department of health regarding contract tracing and quarantine recommendations, as we have done since we reopened this summer. Families are notified regarding possible exposure and the need to quarantine, as applicable. We provide as much information and details as we are allowed through HIPAA and FERPA laws. The health and safety of our students and staff are of key importance. District buildings are cleaned and disinfected daily in accordance with the district’s health and safety plan. Our students and staff have been complying with the requirements of our health and safety plan and recommendations of the department of health. We wish to express that there is not a COVID outbreak in the spring cove school district.”
Parents with multiple students in the district tell us they are concerned the spread won’t be contained.
Kelli Steele has one 7th grader in the Spring Cove Middle School & 2 students in the elementary school.
Steele said: “I have two other kids that go to the district so if my son in middle school brings it home then we risk giving it to the other elementary schools because he lives with the other two siblings…My youngest son, the one that’s in first grade has an immune deficiency so if we bring it home from another school and he gets it, we risk a lot more than your average kid.”
Steele said possible exposure led her to pull her kids from in-person classes at the district because it’s simply too risky.
Other parents tell us they are concerned with how the situation is being handled and the lack of information.