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'The School Shouldn't Be Open Right Now': Parents React To COVID-19 Outbreak At Cherry Hill Elementary Middle School

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore City Public Schools confirmed a COVID Outbreak at Cherry Hill Elementary Middle School Monday.

Officials said there are fourteen positive cases and among them, a 12-year-old who is currently hospitalized and fighting for her life.

"The school shouldn't be open right now."

"Why send them to school for them to get sick?" said James Fortune, parent.

On Monday, Cherry Hill's principal sent students home with a letter that reads in part, "Last week we administered our second round of COVID test. Results of the testing confirmed six positive pools."

Families with children in the six pools were called over the weekend and if they don't sign up for their kids to get tested at school this week, families are required to get their children tested on their own.

"It should be a mandatory ten-day quarantine for everyone at this school," said Takia Dixon, a parent.
Among those positive, a 12-year-old student is currently hospitalized from COVID-19. The Dixon family carpools regularly with the student.

"And her mom contacted us and said she has it, and she was in your car around your children. You might wanna get your kids tested. That's how we found out!" said Dixon.

The family is upset they never heard from the school about the COVID outbreak until now

"I think we should have had someone contact us immediately," said Thomas Lovings, parent.

Baltimore City Public Schools told WJZ they are working to identify all close contacts and determine the impact on the affected classes but parents like James, whose daughter Sema'j is in fourth grade believes the entire school should go virtual.

"This is not over with. So you should at least do virtual, let them stay home and do virtual on the computer," Fortune added.

Baltimore City Public Schools said they're aware of the student who is currently hospitalized and they are hopeful for a swift and full recovery.

But until then, Janae Stanley said she isn't sending her daughter back to school. Ever since cases were announced at Cherry Hill Elementary Middle School, Stanley said she stopped sending her daughter, Aziyah, to school

"I don't think she's safe," Stanley added. She wanted the school to shut down and for the kids to learn virtually.

But her daughter, Aziyah, who is in the sixth grade, disagreed.

"I don't wanna go back to virtual because for me it's hard, I wanna go back to school," Aziyah said.
And her mother, Stanley, did say her daughter does better in school when she's attending in-person classes.

But at least for this week, Stanley is keeping her daughter home and hoping she can pick up a learning packet for her daughter to work on.

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