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2 Palo Alto students sent home after possible exposure to coronavirus

Bay Area

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) — Two students in the Palo Alto Unified School District were sent home Friday after district officials learned they may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.

Officials say they received a report that a parent of the two students may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The students were immediately sent home and won’t attend school until more information becomes available.

One child is a Palo Alto High School student and the other attends JLS Middle School.

“I just heard from some of my friends that go to Paly that there was some kids sent home because of corona,” Zoe Zehnder said.

Zehnder is a student at Menlo Atherton High School. She said she is not worried.

“It doesn’t seem like life-threatening to us because obviously we’re like kids so we don’t really have like a full grasp on it,” she said. “But I’m not concerned about it.”

Superintendent Don Austin said the students were sent home because their parents were in proximity to a person who tested positive for coronavirus. The parents nor the students showed symptoms of the virus, but the students will remain off campus until they are cleared.

A substitute teacher with the school district also said she’s not too worried.

“Looking back at it, we had SARS, the flu epidemic, we’ve had other epidemics that didn’t threaten the people to this extent,” Cindy Costell said. “I think all we can do is to keep our hands really, really well washed and if there is somebody who is in the family or someone we think we are close to, we get a face mask.”

District officials say they will provide updates as they are received.

Schools in the Bay Area and throughout the country are preparing for the possible spread of the virus.

At this time, the school district is following the guidelines of the state’s health department and the CDC.

This weekend, they will have cleaning crews at both campuses.

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