Students Quarantine After Quincy School Staffers Test Positive for Coronavirus

COVID-19 cases in Quincy schools are raising questions about what's to come if and when students return to the classroom this fall

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A paraprofessional at the Early Childhood Center in Quincy, Massachusetts, has tested positive for coronavirus.

Students who were in the classroom are now being told to get tested and to quarantine for 14 days.

Three other faculty members who also had close contact are being told the same thing.

All are part of the special education program taking place this summer.

"Masks were being worn," said Ruth Jones, Quincy's public health commissioner. "Sometimes, it's difficult, particularly with special needs students, for masks to stay on, particularly with the younger kids."

At North Quincy High School, where the special education program is also taking place, a teacher has also tested positive.

Five students and another staff member are being told to take a test and to quarantine.

"This is something that we'll be looking at very closely just to make sure that we were doing everything we should have been doing," said Jones. "Do we have to change protocols when we're talking about classrooms?"

This could be an indication of what's to come if and when students and teachers return to school in September.

"We have to live with the fact that if we go back to school in person, we're going to have some amount of quarantining procedures that have to take place," said Dr. Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center. "That's how people are going to feel comfortable sending their kids in."

Bring Kids Back, a coalition of Massachusetts parents, is pushing for a full return to class.

"We don't shut a school down every time a kid tests positive for the flu or for strep," said Flavia Benson, a parent and member of the coalition. "We can't continue to do the same thing with COVID. We've got to get beyond this and understand that this is something that has come and will not go away. And it's going to forever change our lives."

Doctors and medical experts consider the new coronavirus more dangerous than the flu and other seasonal illnesses because humans have no immunity to it, it causes serious complications in a wider range of the population and, when unchecked, it's sent so many people to the hospital that it's overwhelmed medical systems.

At Quincy High School, an administrator working in the building this summer has also tested positive.

Three other people also working in the building are being asked to quarantine for 14 days.

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