UPDATE: Parents Who Sent Child With COVID to Corte Madera School Could Face Criminal Charges
CORTE MADERA (CBS SF) -- Health officials in Marin County on Wednesday confirmed the parents who knowingly sent their COVID-19 positive child to a Corte Madera elementary school last month were under investigation and could face criminal charges.
"We are aware of, and actively investigating, a recent incident involving a Marin County family who breached local COVID-19 isolation and quarantine orders and exposed a classroom to COVID-19," read a statement issued by Marin County Public Health.
The child tested positive for the virus during the week of Nov. 8, according to Brett Geithman, superintendent of the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District. Both children continued to attend school the rest of that week and into the following week.
The child and their sibling, who later tested positive as well, are students in the district's Neil Cummins Elementary School in Corte Madera.
The parents did not notify the school of the positive test or return multiple calls from public health contract tracers, Geithman said.
A total of eight students tested positive: The original student, their sibling, three classmates of theirs who are suspected school-based transmissions and three students who are suspected household transmissions. None of the students experienced serious illness or had to be hospitalized.
The parents could face a misdemeanor charge for violating Marin County's health order, under which people who test positive for the virus must isolate themselves for at least 10 days.
Marin County Public Health was able to identify all affected student families and worked closely with the affected school to prevent further transmission. The department is also working with local schools, districts, and Marin County Office of Education to emphasize "the importance of following school handbooks and decision trees."
"The case has been referred to law enforcement and the District Attorney's office for review and action for failure to comply with the local isolation and quarantine order under California Health and Safety Code § 120295," the statement from Marin County Public Health read.
Marin County Public Health said they do not anticipate a decision on filing misdemeanor charges until after the holiday season.
To protect the privacy of all the families involved, health officials are not releasing any further details about this incident.
"This is an unfortunate example of how non-adherence to public health orders and recommendations can increase risk for others," the statement released by Marin County Public Health read. "These protocols were created to lower COVID-19 risk for staff, students, and their families. Thankfully, this is the only known occurrence of a household knowingly sending a COVID-19 positive student to school."
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