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Coronavirus COVID-19 Local News Schools

Bill Brown Elementary Warns of More Possible Exposure to COVID-19

Pre-K and kindergarten teachers welcome students to first day dropoff.

Comal ISD’s Bill Brown Elementary School emailed parents Thursday that three more members of its “campus community” experienced COVID-19 symptoms while in the building and were isolated until they could leave the campus.

It’s the third time the school has contacted parents about a possible COVID-19 outbreak since the Spring Branch school reopened for the 2020-21 school year on Aug. 25.

Steve Stanford, the district’s executive director of communications, declined to clarify how the district defines “campus community,” so it is unclear whether students, staff or parents were involved.

However, in an email, Principal Ashley Jackson said that due to federal privacy laws, district employees are not permitted to divulge identifiable information about individuals’ names, age, gender or release any information about the specific areas of the building they occupied.

“We recognize that there may be multiple alternative explanations for these symptoms and that not every individual who is experiencing symptoms will develop COVID-19,” she said. “However, out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with TEA requirements, the individuals will be required to remain at home until they meet the following criteria: 24 hours fever-free, improvement in symptoms and 10 days since symptoms began or until they have received an alternative diagnosis from a medical professional.”

Jackson said the district deep-cleaned areas of the campus that individuals accessed as an “extra-precautionary measure.”

On Aug. 26, Bill Brown advised parents that someone on campus began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms while in the building and was isolated then sent home.

Under Texas Education Agency (TEA) guidelines, that person will remain at home until they meet the criteria outlined above, Jackson said.

In an undated email sent to parents on either Aug. 25 or 26, Jackson confirmed that a student tested positive for COVID-19 but did not experience symptoms while on campus.

Close contacts of the student were asked to self-isolate and not return to campus for 14 days.

Comal ISD is contacting families of these students directly to discuss return criteria, Jackson said. Parents who do not hear from one of the district’s COVID-19 case managers do not need to worry, Jackson said in her email.

Pieper Ranch, Mountain Valley Middle School Report Symptoms

Parents of Pieper Ranch Middle School students also were notified on Thursday that someone on campus began experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 while in the building.

Mountain Valley Elementary School parents learned Thursday that a member of the campus community also began experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Principal Andrea Patrick said no further information could be made public.

On its dashboard today, Comal ISD reported there are three “current positive cases,” 33 “current symptomatic cases” and 30 “curent exposure-to-a-positive cases” districtwide.

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