Samoset Elementary School had a positive COVID-19 case among the staff on the first day of school for teachers.
Samoset Elementary School in Manatee County had a positive COVID-19 case on Monday, the first day of staff training for the 2020-21 school year.
Teachers in Manatee reported to schools for two weeks of preparations on Monday, with students set to return on Aug. 17.
A district press release said after discovering the positive case at Samoset, administrators sent staff home so that workers could clean portions of the building.
While most staff returned to work Tuesday, anyone who came into direct contact with the COVID-19 positive person must remain home for the next 14 days.
Manatee Education Association President Pat Barber said she had heard that six teachers will be required to be in quarantine after having contacted with the infected person.
Schools in Manatee are set to open for students on Aug. 17, with an array of new safety measures and instructional techniques in place. As a result of the exposure, the affected teachers will spend their entire two weeks of preparation for the school year at home.
District spokesman Mike Barber said he had not heard of any additional COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
The Sarasota County School Board is keeping an eye on Manatee. Both districts are reopening schools this month, but Sarasota pushed back the start date for teachers to Aug. 17 and Aug. 31 for students.
On Tuesday, several attendees at a Sarasota School Board workshop mentioned the Samoset incident as a cautionary indicator of what could happen if they open schools too quickly.
Sarasota School Board member Jane Goodwin said the challenges that Manatee experiences during reopening will be helpful lessons for Sarasota.
“Manatee may give us a lot of good information, because they are ahead of us, as to how to look at this,” Goodwin said.