CONTRA COSTA, Calif. (KRON) – COVID safety concerns for schools in the West Contra Costa Unified School District — Educators have filed a complaint with Cal/OSHA claiming the school district is not meeting health requirements but the district says it’s doing everything they can to keep students and staff safe.
KRON4 spoke with the president of one of the teachers union who says nearly all schools experienced problems and educators are asking for more support from the district.
“Since school started, we’ve heard from a lot of teachers, also parents and also students, about COVID issues including six students staying in schools when they have COVID symptoms, lack of contact tracing, testing not happening at sites and classrooms not being cleaned,” Marissa Glidden said.
Marissa Glidden, President of United Teachers of Richmond, listing COVID safety concerns at West Contra Costa Unified Schools – a letter was sent to Cal/OSHA.
“I think it’s about prioritizing what’s most important and the teachers really want to prioritize making sure there are not outbreaks or as few outbreaks as possible and keeping our students in the classroom and what’s happening at the district level what they say is happening is not what’s happening on the ground,” Glidden said.
“We’ve had families that have said well my student just has allergies and send the student back each day and i think that was happening right at the beginning of the school year,” Tony Wold said.
Tony Wold, Associate Superintendent for the school district, says he spoke with Cal/OSHA on Wednesday.
“We cooperate with OSHA under every circumstance, some of the areas that were brought forward were concerns of our notification timelines that our labor partners were not getting notification when there was a positive case, that was due to the fact that we didn’t have enough people doing contact tracing,” Wold said.
Wold says more protocols have been put in place. Staff and students are required to test for COVID on site every week and that the positive COVID cases came from outside campus.
“We actually contracted the contact tracers so that we can quickly find out if there’s individuals that have been exposed and make sure that they’re safe as quickly as possible,” Wold said.
The school district is considering a vaccine mandate for staff.
A meeting about it on Tuesday was cancelled due to needing more time to gather more information, a new date for the meeting has not yet been set.