Baltimore City Schools employee test positive for COVID-19, two others in quarantine

Posted at 12:30 AM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 12:01:03-05

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore City School District said an employee recently tested positive for COVID-19 and two other employees, who worked closely with the person, are being quarantined.

In a statement, the district said the employee worked in a kindergarten classroom at William Paca Elementary School. As a precaution, three kindergarten classrooms are temporarily closed.

A spokesperson for city schools said the building is being cleaned and disinfected.

The three employees are currently not working on campus, the spokesperson said.

It remains unclear when exactly the employee tested positive.

The district also said LRE-C and Pre-K programs went on as scheduled at the school. On Monday, more than two dozen Baltimore City Schools, including William Paca, reopened for in-person learning.

"It’s really heartbreaking," said parent Kiera Davis-Griffith, who has a second grader in the district.

The positive case also came on the heels of North Bay Academy suspending in-person programming because of an outbreak. The organization partners with the district.

In a letter on November 10th, the Director of Education Richard Garber said a staff member and three students tested positive for COVID-19. Garber also said, 40 students with connections to seven city schools may have been exposed.

“One of the things that really bothers is me the transparency of all of this. The first time I’m hearing about it is on twitter. The second time I'm hearing about it is here in this conversation," she said.

Davis-Griffith believes, the district should close school buildings and consider going back to virtual learning

“They’ve gone home and they’ve interacted with their families. And their families have either gone to work, got on a bus or gone to the grocery store. This is now a bigger thing.”

The Baltimore Teachers Union released the following statement:

"We want our members that are impacted by COVID to know that we are sorry they have to experience the wrath of the virus. Even through these trying times, these members are thinking of their coworkers and students so they self-report, because they have little hope that the district will notify people they've come in contact with. If we can't rely on district leaders to inform the school community, community, and BTU when there is a positive case of COVID, we should not have anyone in buildings."