33 test positive in Valencia High School COVID outbreak

KTLA 5 News at 5

Parents were notified Tuesday night that 33 people at Valencia High School have tested positive for the coronavirus within the last week. 

Cases were found among both students and staff, but were primarily within the school’s cheerleading program, William S. Hart Union High School District spokesperson Dave Caldwell said. 

“There have been some staff, but mostly students,” Caldwell said of those involved in the outbreak.

An email sent to parents Tuesday night outlined some of the steps being taken to mitigate the outbreak.

“Due to the increased cases, Valencia High School has been identified as an outbreak facility, requiring the active involvement of LADPH and integration of additional support resources,” a portion of the email sent by Valencia Principal Pete Getz said.

The school has also identified a number of close contacts on campus.

“It is important to remember that potential close contacts are not necessarily sick or at risk of transmitting disease,” the email read.

Students will not be required to quarantine if they have no symptoms and are fully vaccinated, or if they have recovered from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported.

Officials have said that while the campus will remain open, the cheerleading team will not be participating in Friday’s football game.

Pete Getz, the school’s principal, said the cheer program will be shut down through Nov. 8.

Meanwhile, the cheerleaders are being “teased and bullied” by other students “as if they are the reason” for the outbreak, said cheer parent Gloria Aguirre.

“That is unacceptable,” Aguirre added.

Other parents said the school’s lack of enforcement of the mask mandate could be to blame.

“We’ve had to call and tell the school that there are students in particular classrooms that were not wearing masks, and it didn’t seem like the teachers even cared about that,” parent Richard Montes said.

Just last week, an outbreak of coronavirus infections led to the shutdown of View Park Preparatory High School in Los Angeles County.

The independent charter school temporarily returned to remote learning out of an abundance of caution, according to the charter’s senior administrator. 

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