74 students in quarantine after reports of COVID-19 at Saugus Union School District

A little more than a week after the first day of school in the Saugus Union School District, 74 students from three classes are in quarantine after positive COVID-19 cases were reported.

Colleen Hawkins, the Saugus Union School District superintendent, said in an email none of those cases stemmed from exposure in schools.

Nonetheless, the students in each class who were exposed to a student with a positive COVID-19 test were required to quarantine for seven to 10 days per district and Los Angeles County Department of Health policies.

“We do have three classrooms as of yesterday that needed to close for the 7-10 day quarantine period,” Hawkins said in an email on Wednesday. “These three classes are at three separate sites and involve a positive case per classroom.”

There are about 9,000 students enrolled in the Saugus school district in grades TK to sixth and there are about 28 students in each of the classes that are in quarantine. Hawkins did not release which schools or which grades the students are in.

In the Newhall School District, 10 students and three school staff members reported positive COVID-19 tests on Wednesday. The district closed one class in the district, a specialiazed day class for students with special needs, and eight students from that class are in quarantine for seven to 10 days.

“Most of our contract tracing, it’s for a minimal amount of students,” said Newhall School District Director of Human Resources Ken Hintz on Thursday. “Right now, some of them have hit that sixth day and they’ve gotten tested, probably getting test results back today on some of these kids that were quarantined, to see if they can come back early. We haven’t heard any positive cases off of a quarantined person.”

Jeff Pelzel, the Newhall School District Superintendent, said in an email that 69 “close contacts” with people with positive COVID-19 tests have been reported in the district since school started on Aug. 12.

There are 5,935 students in the Newhall district, 215 teachers and 750 total school staff members in grades TK to sixth, Pelzel said.

Pelzel did not release names of schools affected.ine is.

“We have really strict routines at the schools,” Hintz said. “We believe the masks really, really help. Keeping masks on inside is the key to really stopping the spread.”

Hintz added that the district is following  county health policies in regard to reporting and monitoring positive COVID-19 cases.

“Whatever the county tells us to do, we have to do and we follow them to the T,” he said.

Students in the Saugus and Newhall districts who are in quarantine are provided short-term independent study programs until they are cleared to return to school for in-person instruction.

Hawkins said in an email that students will be given grade-level assignments and activities to “maintain learning while also ensuring their health and safety.”

“We’ve been doing a real good job,” Hintz said. “We had it down to a system, we still do. We’re definitely seeing more cases in kids than adults right now, but I think that’s expected. That’s kind of the trend across the nation.”

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