CALDWELL, Idaho — One school district in the Treasure Valley has 12 staff members in quarantine before the first day of school.
Vallivue Middle School staff held a child study team meeting but learned soon after, one attendee had tested positive for COVID-19.
"The person who did test positive, tested positive after the meeting took place. So as soon as they found out they were positive, they followed protocols perfectly. We did contact tracing with South West District Health and our Vallivue School District nurses and make sure we notified everyone and quarantined them as soon as possible," Program Director for Vallivue School District, Joseph Palmer, says.
The district says that while everyone was wearing a mask, the room was not the ideal size for the number of people there.
"Unfortunately, when you're in that kind of close quarters, the masks aren't going to do a whole lot of mitigating work for you," Palmer says.
Psychologists, counselors, administration, and teachers are among the 12 staff members who are now self-isolating for 14 days, including the first two days of the school year.
"That's not ideal starting out school and not having your actual teacher in the classroom, so we have to get creative. Instead, the teacher is going to be working from home," Palmer says.
Although they did not want this to happen, the district says it is better it happened now, rather than during the school year.
"I am thankful really that this was a learning experience that took place weeks before our school started. So that way it can really impact us on how we want to go forward in the future," Palmer says.
As of now, no other staff members at the meeting have tested positive.