Students, staff at Danville's Del Amigo High School test positive for COVID-19, but school remains open

DANVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- Some students and staff at an East Bay alternative school are in quarantine after they tested positive for coronavirus.

It happened just days after they returned to the classroom for in-person learning at Del Amigo High School in Danville. Despite the outbreak, that school remains open.

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"It should never have happened," said Jan Jimenez.

Jimenez spoke to us from her home where she's in isolation, after contracting COVID-19 at the school, where she's an Autism Specialist.

"Of all the people who could get COVID in our classroom, we have 100 percent," Jimenez added.

Five staff members and three students in the adult transitional program all tested positive, just days after those chose to returned to in-person learning,

"We did notice that two students looked like they were running a fever," said Jimenez.

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Temperature checks are not required at school but in this case one was done, and the students were sent home. Although mask-wearing is required, some special education students are not able to wear them due to medical issues.

"I'm upset we'd be put in a situation with students out of their control, to wear face masks or stay socially distant," Jimenez said.

Sharon Castellanos says her daughter Ellie was exposed on the school bus to one of the students who tested positive. The mother and daughter are now in quarantine.

She says sending Ellie back to the classroom was a tough choice.

"As a parent I want to protect my child but it's so difficult for her to learn at home, or do I send her into a school where guidance is emerging, that makes me nervous."

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San Ramon Valley Unified School District Superintendent John Malloy says the classroom where the outbreak happened has been disinfected but the Del Amigo campus remains open.

"We know that some of our students need to be on campus, we do believe we can focus on health and safety," Malloy said.

Malloy says special education teachers have been issued PPE, through guidance from the health department. Parents are being asked to keep their kids home if they feel sick.

But Jan Jimenez believes with COVID-19 spiking across the Bay Area, returning to school isn't safe.

"Our district should never have allowed this combination to mix, look what happened," said Jimenez.

10,000 students in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District are scheduled to return for a new phase of in-person learning on Jan. 5th.

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