Hundreds of Southern California students forced into quarantine over possible COVID-19 exposure

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Hundreds of Southern California students have been forced into quarantine after testing positive or being exposed to someone with COVID-19, school officials are reporting.

For many of the students, Friday marks the end of just the first week of classes.

Lake Elsinore Unified School District reports that about 500 students have been sent home to quarantine. Roughly 300 of those are from Elsinore High School alone, according to the Press Enterprise.

“This exposure happening during the first week of school provided a perfect storm environment,” School District spokesperson Melissa Valdez wrote in an email obtained by the newspaper. “Since students have not been on campus for the past year many students were not able to identify classmates for contact tracing, which required whole classrooms to be impacted.”

The Saugus Union School District is reporting 74 students being sent home for quarantine, according to a Daily News report. Exposed students are required to quarantine for seven to 10 days.

Another 43 students in the Pasadena Unified School District were also sent home, according to the report.

Ten students and three teachers said they’ve received positive coronavirus tests in the Newhall School District. “Most of our contact tracing, it’s for a minimal amount of students,” Newhall School District Director of Human Resources Ken Hintz told the Daily News on Thursday.

“We have really strict routines at the schools,” Hintz said. “We believe the masks really, really help. Keeping masks on inside is the key to really stopping the spread.”

At Corona High School, a football game was canceled Friday because “multiple cohorts” within the varsity football team had to quarantine after a potential coronavirus exposure, according to the school’s website.

Concerns about schools becoming super spreader sites have already prompted Culver City Unified to issue a mandate for eligible students to prove they have been vaccinated by Nov. 19.

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