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Second Mission Vista High School COVID-19 Case Leads To 150 In Quarantine

Exterior of Mission Vista High School in Vista. October 23, 2020

Photo by Tania Thorne

Above: Exterior of Mission Vista High School in Vista. October 23, 2020

Less than a week after fully reopening its schools, the Vista Unified School District reported a second COVID-19 case involving a Mission Vista High School student, leading to the quarantine of about 150 students and four teachers.

According to the district, the second student tested positive for the illness on Sunday. That student attended school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week and is not connected to the other case in a student confirmed last week, the district said.

"The parents notified us that the student likely contracted the virus while traveling on a club athletic team not affiliated with school," a district statement reads. "We immediately notified all parents, students and staff who may have come into contact with the student."

While it is unlikely the student came into close contact with all 150 students and four teachers, the district said it was "proceeding with an abundance of caution" and placing all of them on a 14-day quarantine and pivot to Zoom and Canvas distance-learning classes.

According to the district's COVID-19 safety dashboard, it has recorded five cases since Sept. 8, and just one since Oct. 20.

The Vista Unified School District, fully reopened its 28 schools last Tuesday, eschewing some of the more cautious measures some other districts are taking, moving into its Phase 3 reopening plan. The "Vista Classic" plan allows every school in the district to reopen at full capacity. Parents and guardians will still be able to keep students in "Vista Virtual," the district's distance-learning program, if they so choose.

"Our health and safety measures were working well, with mask wearing and handwashing particularly strong on all campuses," Vista Superintendent Matt Doyle said after visiting campuses Tuesday. "We will continue to refine arrival, dismissal, and lunchtime routines for students as they relearn how to interact with their friends in this new social distancing environment."

The district said it will attempt to have social distancing as much as possible, but will allow as many as 38 students in a single classroom, so desks will not be spaced six feet apart.

A rally Oct. 15 by teachers and parents at Foothill Oaks Elementary School attempted to dissuade the Vista Unified School Board from reopening, with many educators believing the safety measures inadequate.

Plexiglass barriers were not provided to teachers. Instead, they were given PVC pipes and plastic liner to create makeshift protection from students returning to in-person learning.


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