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Band Camp Resumes After CHS Student Tests Positive for COVID-19

CISD Canyon High School resumed band camps today after a student who was last on campus on Aug. 6 tested positive for COVID-19. Twitter image of the 2018-19 Cougar Band.

Comal ISD Executive Director of Communications Steve Stanford confirmed today that a Canyon High School student who attended band camp on Thursday, Aug. 6 has tested positive for COVID-19.

The student is ‘self-isolating’ and band instruments and other equipment were sanitized, Canyon High School band director Steve Vaden said in a letter emailed to parents on Friday, Aug. 7.

Band camp resumed today. No further information is available at this time.

“The marching bands programs in Comal ISD have, and will continue to, follow all established guidelines and protocols outlined by the UIL and the district as they continue their band camps this week,” Stanford said.

A member of the Facebook group Open Comal Schools Safely who prefers to remain anonymous reached out to administrators at CHS and was told any other student recommended for quarantine would be contacted.

“The verdict from the school is all precautions were followed so no one needed to quarantine because they did such a good job with their precautions,” an administrator for the Facebook page said.

Comal ISD Supt. Andrew Kim said in a podcast posted to Youtube on Aug. 6 that this district is prepared for circumstances that could be serious.

“As we have cases, case-management process going forward when school starts, certainly we are, we don’t have a Pollyanna attitude that things are going to be all great,” he said in an interview with Stanford and Joe McKenna, Comal ISD’s executive director for safety and support. “In fact, we’ll prepare for circumstances that could be serious obviously.

To listen to that podcast, click HERE.

To follow COVID-19 outbreaks on individual campuses, visit Comal ISD’s active case dashboard.

On-Campus or Online?

Comal ISD parents must decide by tomorrow, Aug. 11, whether to send their students back to school on Aug. 25 or opt for online learning.

In an email last week, Kim described the opening of the district’s new Instructional Delivery Option (IDO) portal,  as a significant milestone in its Launch Back-to-School 2021 Plan.

“As a parent, I know that this can be a difficult decision as you try to weigh the balance between the desire to return to a sense of normalcy and protecting the health of your child,” he said in an email to parents. “In the end, it comes down to you — as a parent — making the choice for what you think is the best learning environment for your child.”

Some Parents Say No Thanks

In an Aug. 4 letter to MyCanyonLake.com, Comal ISD parents Olivia Weisinger and Shannon Drichta last week accused the district of intimidating parents and staff into silence.

“While you have tried to silence us, you are pushing forward to reopen schools in an environment that is scientifically known to be a disaster. You have a school employee who recently passed away from Covid and you have yet to recognize his loss or your concern. Is that how you plan to handle all the lives lost after you open against medical advice?”

Comal County Health Director Dr. Dorothy Overman has advised the district not to reopen schools until the county’s positivity rate — reported to day at 15.23 percent, down slightly from Friday’s rate of 15.47 percent — falls to five percent.

Here is Vaden’s statement:

CHS Families:  

Today, we were notified that a student who attended band camp on Thursday tested positive for COVID-19. They were last on campus on Aug. 6. Before practice, the student completed and passed the health screener and abided by all social distancing and hygiene-related safety measures.   

In accordance with State guidelines, and out of an abundance of caution, the student will self-isolate and not return to band camp until health guidelines required by UIL and the State are met. The equipment the student used has been cleaned and sanitized. 

Please remind your students to complete the health screener prior to attending camp each day, encourage them to follow all safety guidelines in places while at camp, and have them stay home if they or anyone in the household is experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19. If you have questions about potential symptoms, please consult your physician.    

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