Spring Grove School reported its first positive COVID-19 case in an email sent to parents on Nov. 16. The notice came after the school reopened for in-person instruction on Oct. 28.
“The public health nurses and doctor have all been heavily involved in the interview and investigation and have determined that our students are not at risk,” the email states.
North County Joint Union School District Superintendent Jennifer Bernosky said the person who tested positive was an adult. Because of confidentiality laws, she could not say if it was a teacher who tested positive, but she said that no classrooms were exposed. She also said the school was notified of the positive test result on Nov. 16.
“If a class is exposed we would have done the 14-day quarantine. So we have not needed to do that,” said Bernosky, adding that no one besides the infected individual is in quarantine.
Spring Grove staff is not required to be tested, and the school is not required to notify parents unless their child is exposed.
“There was no reason that I had to do it, but I know Hollister is a small town and I’d rather be upfront with people rather than have people wonder,” Bernosky said. “I’d rather people hear it from me.”
Rosalinda Sanchez said the school’s commitment to communicate with parents allows her to trust them in taking care of her 12-year-old son. She said she received a phone message in addition to the email notifying her of the positive case.
“I trust the school because so far everything they said they were going to do, they do,” Sanchez said. “They are very clear about what are the next things that are going to happen. You are not surprised. You know what to expect. And yes, you also feel like you are being accounted for and heard.”
With a son in Spring Grove attending in-person instruction and a 14-year-old daughter doing remote learning at San Benito High School, Sanchez said she sees both the pros and cons of schooling strategies that have been adopted in response to the pandemic.
“At the end, this unfortunate problem with the pandemic just puts you in a situation that is so unpredictable. In the end you can only hope for the best and just do everything you can to keep your family safe, but their emotional well-being is also so important, and so that’s why I can’t criticize either side,” Sanchez said.
Spring Grove School has a weeklong break for Thanksgiving that starts Nov. 23, with students returning on Nov. 30.
BenitoLink is a nonprofit news website that reports on San Benito County. Our team is working around the clock during this time when accurate information is essential. It is expensive to produce local news and community support is what keeps the news flowing. Please consider supporting BenitoLink, San Benito County’s news.