Stansbury High School issues apology after not notifying all parents of confirmed COVID-19 case

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TOOELE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Four confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been linked within the Tooele County School District. A parent told ABC4 News that her son’s high school, which had one of the confirmed cases, did not notify her and other parents.

Mandy Brasher said her son attends Stansbury High School. She found out about a confirmed case of COVID-19 from social media.

“The only way that I found out about it was on a Facebook forum for our community,” Brasher told ABC4’s, Brittany Johnson. “I didn’t get any emails regarding my child or the case.”

“There were so many parents on there saying, ‘I didn’t get an email, who’s getting emails? Whose son is in what class?’ — basically trying to filter out the information on our own without any communication from the principal or any of the administration at the high school.”

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Tooele County School District confirmed that Stansbury High officials only notified parents of the children who were exposed.

“Apparently they’ve decided that they’re only communicating with the parents of children who were in the classes of those children,” said Brasher. “I still have a concern because my son in the hallways and bathrooms and every other place and could come into contact with somebody who was positive.”

“I think that he could be asymptomatic and bring it home to us, and my husband has type 1 diabetes, so he’s a high risk of getting very ill.”

Marie Denson, the Communications Director for TCSD, said not notifying all of the parents at Stansbury High School was an “accident.” 

“First of all, I think an apology needs to go out for the school. We absolutely should have made that notification to everyone. We don’t want rumors going around. This is a very serious thing that we’re dealing with — this health pandemic — as well as trying to educate children.”

“The parents that were notified were those who are impacted. Now, our intent is actually to make sure that everyone in the school is notified, and that was the original plan. That did not happen. Our administrators were so overwhelmed with contacting the people who had been impacted and asked to quarantine them. They honestly just never even got to that letter, that notification letter saying to everyone else, there was a positive case, but you are not affected.”

In an emergency meeting Tuesday night, the Tooele School Board of Education approved to hire staff at the district level to help with contact tracing and notification to help relieve some of the burdens for administrators. 

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