Covid-19

Mission Middle School in Escondido Closed Temporarily Due to 3 COVID-19 Cases

NBC 5

The Escondido Union School District is pausing in-person learning at Mission Middle School for two weeks after three positive coronavirus cases were reported in the school community.

The three cases are separate and unrelated, and transmission occurred off campus, according to the district. The district plans to have students back on campus at Mission Middle School starting Nov. 17.

The temporary campus closure impacts 526 students enrolled in EUSD's on-campus hybrid model.

As of Monday, the district had reported 12 cases involving students or staff across nine campuses, which have forced 92 students and 21 employees into quarantine, the district said.

According to EUSD, the amount of quarantined students and staff is less than 1% of its hybrid model enrollment.

The district educates 5,000 students in preschool through 8th grade at 23 campuses in the city of Escondido.

"The San Diego County Department of Public Health is aware of the multiple cases. EUSD’s decision to suspend on-campus learning at Mission Middle School was not directed by a public health department. County health officials have continued to express confidence in EUSD’s health and safety protocols," the district said.

While the caseload at Mission Middle played a role in the district's decision to suspend in-person learning there, the district also considered the high case rate in the region and a potential teacher shortage that could be caused by quarantining staff.

The district said it has put students into cohorts and implemented safety protocols like requiring social distancing in order to reduce the number of students or staff who might need to be quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure.

“We understand that any temporary interruption of on-campus activities causes a huge disruption to our families and staff,” EUSD Superintendent Dr. Luis Rankins-Ibarra said. “The safety and security of our students and staff continue to be at the forefront of all decisions.”

Mission Middle School students will follow the on-campus hybrid schedule in a virtual setting while their campus is closed, according to EUSD.

Free, to-go meal distribution will continue an campus, the district said.

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