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Derby mom concerned as students head back to school without COVID-19 precautions

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 8:58 PM CDT
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DERBY, Kan. (KWCH) - A Derby parent is asking others to be mindful that COVID-19 can infect people of all ages. Christina Witten said her children were tested positive for the virus after attending the Derby Latchkey Summer Program.

Witten works full-time so she utilized the program for her son and daughter. She said an email was sent to her a few weeks ago saying, her children had been exposed.

“So, we didn’t think much of it at first, and then on Friday morning, I got an email from latchkey, I think it was sent to everyone at latchkey, saying that we were identified as low-risk, but we could still continue going to the program,” said Witten.

She said she felt like she needed to get her 11 and nine-year-old tested, and thankfully, she did.

“They weren’t showing any symptoms or anything, just trying to be overly cautious. And, so I was still kind of surprised when they came back positive for them,” said Witten.

Witten’s children are fine, but her biggest concern now is more cases like hers as students head back to school in about three weeks.

“Between all the, you know, Walgreens contacting the county, the county contacting the school, the school determining who the kid was around and who to identify, you know what I mean?” Said Witten. “There’s up to probably four days between the positive test and when people are notified. And as quickly as this virus spreads, that seemed really long to me. Like I said, my kids were asymptomatic, so had I not went and tested them and been so proactive they would’ve just kept going to the program and exposing people.”

“It sucks for parents who want to protect their kids, but they also have to work and they’re stuck in this position to have to put their kids at risk. I just think the school board should make a decision that keeps all the kids safe,” Witten said.

Witten said enabling a mask mandate would be a good first step for the school board.

Derby Public Schools said it has been notified of six positive cases. The latchkey program started June 1st and no cases were reported until July 6th. The district said it does enhanced cleaning and tries to mitigate risks and exposures, but won’t be able to completely avoid illness being at schools.

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