SPOTSWOOD, NJ (CBSNew York) – School COVID-19 outbreaks reached 96 this week in New Jersey, and now nearly 200 students are in quarantine in Middlesex County after potential exposure at a school dance.
After Saturday’s prom, Spotswood High School sounded the alarm.
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“At the moment we have four students who were at the dance who have tested positive,” said Spotswood School District Superintendent Graham Peabody.
On Monday, several students called. The school followed up and on Tuesday evening a notification was sent to inform parents and students that the 375 students at the ball should be quarantined for 10 days as contact tracing was not possible.
This was something parents made clear in advance when they filled out the permission form for their child to attend.
“Given the settings of the dance, the dance, the meal, the lights out,” Peabody said.
Sean, a senior, was at the ball.
“There were a lot of masks and stuff, and they played by the rules pretty well,” he told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
They didn’t have to wear masks to eat or dance.
Sean says that since showing proof of vaccination he can go back to school while others do virtual learning.
“Now there aren’t many people at school. It’s a bit empty, ”he said.
The school has around 725 students. Of the 375 who have gone back, so far, 187 can come back.
In addition to being vaccinated, students can also prove they have had COVID-19 in the past 90 days or get tested to come back sooner.
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As a result, Friday night’s football game also had to be called off.
“About half of our team is involved in this quarantine,” Peabody said.
“A little sad. We were hoping to win it,” Sean said.
The school principal said last year’s prom went off without a hitch and the homecoming dance took place with input from parents and students.
“It was one of those flagship events that they really wanted,” Peabody said. “We have not received any communication from the parents indicating that they were upset by the way the dance was going or the quarantine, that this was communicated.”
“Not even the parents whose kids didn’t go to the ball?” Gainer asked.
“Right,” Peabody said.
Regarding future events, a parent told CBS2, “My kids are vaccinated, so no hesitation.”
The superintendent says they are evaluating all upcoming events and will make any necessary changes.
So far, however, there are no regrets in organizing the dance.
A football match also had to be canceled this week but other sporting events are still ongoing.
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They are in contact with the Middlesex County Health Department.