Local high school reports COVID-19 outbreak following band trip

Coronavirus

PARMA, Ohio (WJW) — Normandy High School in Parma is reporting multiple cases of coronavirus tied to a band trip to Orlando.

According to school officials, 14 students have tested positive for COVID-19 as of April 12.

The school has traced four cases directly to the trip. They say the others have occurred since April 12, but are not directly attributed to the trip.

Normandy High School issued a letter to parents on Thursday updating the school community on the number of cases and steps officials are taking to ensure the safety of students and staff.

It reads in part:

First, since Monday, April 12, 14 students have reported to us that they have tested positive for COVID. For context, this is approximately 1.1% of the number of students that attend Normandy for a portion or more of the school day. While 1.1% is a small segment of the student body, 14 positive cases is a significantly higher number than any other school in our district and warrants additional measures to stop the spread of the virus. The most important step that we can collectively take at this point is aggressive symptom checking.

Parma Schools Superintendent Charles Smialek

Officials ask that any students presenting with the following symptoms stay home from school:

  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Muscle aches/fatigue
  • Fever- any temperature above 100 degrees fahrenheit
  • Chills
  • New onset or worsening of nasal congestion  
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • New onset of cough

On Friday, district administrators also began monitoring school building entrances and conducted symptom and temperature checks of all students.

The school says any students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will not be admitted into the building. The district also advised that parents of students with pre-existing conditions such as allergies which may present as any of the aforementioned symptoms should ensure that all medical documentation is current in the school clinic. 

“We understand that this is a dramatic measure and could pose inconveniences to families of students to whom we deny entrance. However, we must be aggressive in preventing further students from acquiring the virus for their own health and so that we can maintain five-day weeks of in-person instruction for all students currently attending,” school officials wrote.

The district has also allocated additional cleaning staff to the school and continues to ensure that students wear their masks, frequently sanitize their hands, and practice social distancing to the extent possible.

Officials also said they are working closely with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and will follow their guidance. 

*Editor’s note: The original version of this story included a quote from Normandy School superintendent stating four students contracted COVID after they traveled to Orlando and visited Disney World. According to Disney, the students did not stay at a hotel on the Walt Disney World property.*

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