Valencia High School outbreak: 33 test positive for COVID, 'primarily within the cheerleading team'

VALENCIA, Calif. (KABC) -- The cheerleading team at Valencia High School is at the center of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus. School officials said they notified parents after reporting 33 confirmed cases among students and staff.

On Wednesday morning, students arrived on campus following a mass alert that was sent out by school administrators Wednesday night about the elevated number of positive COVID-19 cases at the school within the past week.

"We have sent a message to parents to let them know that we've had approximately 33 cases of COVID that have been reported primarily within the cheerleading team," Dave Caldwell, spokesman for the Hart School District, told ABC7. "There's been a few that have popped up in other groups related to the cheerleading team -- our contact tracing showed that."

School officials have been tracking the cases since last week, and when the numbers spiked administrators decided it was time to put out an alert.

"So, the cases first started to pop up last week and as they increased through the weekend and through Tuesday, that's when we knew to make certain that everyone was fully aware of what was happening," Caldwell said.

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Parents who spoke with ABC7 said officials informed them that it was safe to send their kids to school despite the spike in COVID cases.

Arlene Raschdorf-King said she received an email Wednesday "letting us know that cheerleaders had an outbreak from COVID, and that they were being quarantined, and that there shouldn't be any concern for the rest of the students because they were taking all the precautions that were necessary and following the protocols."

Some students said they were alarmed by the development, considering the safety measures that have been taken on campus to prevent such a surge in cases on campus.

"I was kind of shocked," said Ian Sanmartin, "because mostly everyone wears their masks in class and it's just weird to have COVID back again at a higher rate."
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