COVID on Sonoma school campuses | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

As school officials expected following the winter break, COVID cases have spiked among students and teachers at some Sonoma Valley schools while the omicron variant spread across the country during winter break.

Sonoma Valley Unified School District reported 93 cases among students and staff in the first week back to school, including 63 at the high school. It tracks COVID-19 data in a dashboard on the district’s website.

It’s a different story over at the Presentation School, which unlike local public schools, was able to test students before they returned to the classroom, containing the potential spread. Last week, four parents reported that around half their children’s class came up positive, without symptoms, on the first day back to school, a number Head of School Jacqueline Gallo fiercely denied.

“Today, seven students tested positive for COVID-19 and were immediately sent home,” the school sent in a Jan. 4 notice to parents. “Our school’s positive test rate of 3.7% is far below the Sonoma County average of 11.7%. In total, we sent home 12 students (those who tested positive and siblings) per our protocols.”

The parents, who came from the same class but asked not to be identified, said they were very satisfied with the school’s protocols and efforts to keep students and staff healthy.

“We have a task force that consists of board members, faculty, administration, with medical expertise from a public health epidemiologist and a pediatrician. I have a background in academic research and am keeping current on academic research papers from my contacts in academia and continued affiliation with the University of Cambridge in the UK,” Gallo said in an email to the Index-Tribune.

Most Sonoma Valley schools have benefited from the statewide push to get two to three take-home COVID tests to every student in California. Sonoma Valley Unified School District received their tests after school began, but was distributing them last week.

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