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Tampa Bay school districts change COVID-19 notifications – Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida 2021-09-13 16:44:28 –

Pasco County, Florida — The next time one of your child’s classmates tests positive for COVID-19, you may not know about it. The school district is changing the way parents are notified of COVID-19 exposure.

After September 13th in Pasco County, parents of middle and high school students will not receive phone calls or emails if students in their children’s class test positive for COVID-19. Pasco County School District leaders say they are making changes after several parents have complained about too many phone calls and emails about COVID cases.

“Given the nature of middle and high school schedules, in a few positive cases, notifications are often sent throughout the school, and some parents receive multiple notifications about potential exposure. This change is only relevant for middle and high schools. Daily notifications will continue at the elementary school level, “explained an email and phone call sent to parents in Pasco County.

WFTS

Related: Check for COVID-19 cases at your child’s school

This change confuses John DeSantis, two fathers in Pasco County.

“I want to know immediately if my child is exposed because I can mark the calendar, monitor my child and respond as soon as possible rather than later,” he said. “When I heard about change, one of my first reactions was immediate anger.”

Amy Davis agrees. She argues that this change exposes parents like her to darkness and prevents them from making informed decisions.

“When we talk about life here, I don’t know how much it is (to send a message about all the COVID cases that affect the classroom),” she elaborated. Did. Spread the virus to others.

Steve Hegarty, a spokesman for the Pasco County School District, said he carefully considered the changes.

“This year we are working hard to find the right balance. Last year we definitely received feedback that we sent too many children home in the quarantine. Many children Lost time in education and suffered from it, “he added.

ABC Action News also checked in to Pinellas County and Hillsborough County. In these districts, students who test positive for COVID-19 will only be notified of exposure if they sit within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes. The entire classroom will not be notified.

This is a change from last year when some schools notified parents about all cases.

“Why isn’t it easy enough to have parents opt in when they need a message and opt out for parents who don’t want it?” John Desantis argued.

Parents have told ABC Action News that they are particularly concerned because masks are an option this year.

“It’s really frustrating to be notified if we need to quarantine to know that there’s no more contact tracing,” Davis added.

Pasco County leaders tell parents to follow together COVID Dashboard Online, But it does not give details about which classroom or lunch period the COVID-positive students were in.



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