OCPS students didn't receive quarantine orders; showed up at school

There was some quarantine confusion at Bridgewater Middle School in Winter Garden on Monday.   

The health department said that 26 students never got word that they were supposed to stay home.

“On Saturday we neglected to forward an email with all the information to the principal of that school with the people who were supposed to be quarantined,” said Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino.

Pino says employees caught the mistake Monday morning.  

“Our system works because immediately this morning we have a second layer so everyone that gets notified by the school system also gets a call from us next day in the morning checking how the child but also offering testing if they want to,” he explained.

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That’s when they realized that the families involved were never notified about the quarantine orders. The kids were separated at school and parents asked to pick them up.

According to the Orange County Public Schools COVID19 dashboard, two students have tested positive for COVID-19 at Bridgewater Middle since November 3.  

OCPS Spokesman Scott Howat says there is a three-step process to let people know what’s going on.

“When our schools receive a confirmed positive case, we immediately notify parents of a confirmed positive within the area that their students were possibly were in contact with that confirmed positive,” Howat told FOX 35 News.

Howat says a message also went out to the entire school about the COVID positive cases.

But it was step three, the quarantine orders for particular kids from the health department where there was that email mix up.  

“We will do our best for this not to happen again – our apologies,” Pino said.

The health department will be doing more interviews to see who those kids who were supposed to be quarantining may have come into contact with while at school.