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Potential Coronavirus Exposure at Three Santa Monica Schools, District Officials Say

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By Lookout Staff

March 13, 2020 -- School District officials announced late Thursday that there may have been potential exposures to coronavirus at three Santa Monica schools.

The exposures may have taken place at Franklin Elementary, John Muir Elementary and Santa Monica High School, Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati said.

"We want to inform you that we are aware of several situations where people MAY have been exposed to Coronavirus," Drati wrote in a statement issued Thursday night.

He stressed that no cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the District.

"We can assure our communities that we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19," Drati said.

"In an abundance of caution, the decision was made to call dismissal for Friday and Monday, while we gather more information on these possible exposures and the status in the broader community," Drati said.

"The health and safety of our students and staff are our top priorities."

Earlier Thursday, officials learned a parent of students in the District was exposed to coronavirus ("Local Public Schools Close, City Postpones Board Meetings, Events," March 13, 2020).

"We are aware of a community member with children in our schools who was exposed to coronavirus," Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati wrote earlier in the day.

"We have noticed a higher than normal absentee rate on our campuses today and will take this time to determine if students are ill, with what type of illness, or if parents are keeping students home during the coronavirus pandemic," Darti said.

The District has boosted cleaning at its campuses and is preparing to continue educating students remotely, officials said.

"As you are aware, teachers and staff will be working to provide students with continuity of education that we will share with parents in the next few days," Drati wrote.

"We appreciate the effort of our teachers and support staff to prepare the necessary materials and programming to accomplish this."

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