Encinitas Union School District Elementary School Reports Positive COVID-19 Cases

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A young North County student tested positive for coronavirus, forcing a cohort of students and staff into quarantine. Meanwhile, some parents of children who weren't impacted by the case say they are satisfied with the school's response and still feel safe sending their children to campus.

Parents at El Camino Creek Elementary school in the Encinitas Union School District received an email Monday, saying a student tested positive for COVID-19 and a second student was presumed positive.

“The District has been made aware of one COVID-19 positive case, and one presumptive positive case at ECC. Students and staff members who may have been exposed to the individual with COVID-19 have been notified separately. The affected classrooms will be deeply cleaned and disinfected and the cohorts will be quarantined for 14 days, according to local and state health protocols. If you have not been contacted, it means that your student was not in an affected cohort.”

Catherine Sowards has two kids. Her oldest daughter is a second grader at ECC, who attends school two days a week in the hybrid model.

“I knew it was going to happen, Sowards said, “It was just inevitable. We were like, ‘when is it going to happen’? Every school is going to have COVID, I was just grateful that the school immediately took action and sent the classes that were affected into quarantine for two weeks, like they are supposed to do.”

Sowards, who is also a group fitness instructor, said she's comfortable sending her kids to school knowing staff is being as safe as possible.

One street over from Sowards lives Melanie Tornroth. Her second grader is being homeschooled full-time.

“We have an at-risk family member and we decided it was more important for us to be with family than to send her to school,” Tornroth said. “We have kind of been in an isolated bubble here in North County so I think a lot of people had put their guards down.”

When hearing of the positive COVID cases at ECC, she wasn’t surprised.

“To be honest there have been so many parties in the neighborhood, people not wearing masks at the park, I just figured it was a matter of time," she said.

Just a few blocks away is Rachel Zatulovsky. She has two young boys. Her oldest, a first-grader, is also in ECC's hybrid model.

She too is happy with the school's response to the positive cases, but still worries overall about the increasing number of COVID cases county and statewide.

“I feel like I am already living with this underlying constant level of worry and anxiety. It’s funny how all of these things can become normalized. I honestly worry about my kids being home all the time and not being able to interact and socialize.”

Still, Zatulovsky said moving into the Purple Tier is hopefully a way of making people more vigilant.

“I feel like it’s the right thing to do as much as it hurts businesses and people and brings us all back indoors. I feel like this is what we have to do just to get past it," she said.

In an email to NBC 7, ECC principal Jodi Greenberger said that the positive cases were contracted off-campus.

"EUSD’s in-person instructional hybrid model began on September 21 and since that time, there have been 12 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases (9 students and 3 employees with a total of 4528 students attending in person learning and 790 employees working at sites)," Grennberger's email read in part. "We have been successful in our efforts with no known school transmissions at this time. We have been proactive in planning procedures, readying facilities and ensuring protocols are followed… We continue to remind and encourage our families and staff to stay vigilant with safety procedures, both on and off campus. We want to keep our students, staff and community as safe as possible.”

To see all active cases of COVID-19 in the Encinitas Union School District, click here.

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