Amherst High School students on voluntary quarantine after Italy trip

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AMHERST, NY (WIVB) Some high school seniors are on ‘voluntary quarantine’ after returning from a trip to Italy, spending six days in school at Amherst Central High School since returning, and then being advised to stay home because they might be at risk of spreading Coronavirus.

Twelve students from Amherst High School spent about two weeks on a school trip to northern Italy. They returned on Sunday February 23 and attended classes at Amherst Central High School all week last week and the first part of this week. We’re told none of them are showing symptoms, but their parents were contacted yesterday by the Health Department and strongly advised to keep their children mostly in their bedroom, and to try to have the rest of the family use a different bathroom than the student at least until Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control believes that symptoms of the virus may appear between two and 14 days after exposure. That window for these students would end this Sunday, and if they continue to show no symptoms they will be back on Monday.
The Amherst Central School District sent an email to parents today saying, “There is no value in panicking or telling people to be afraid. Don’t let fear and emotion drive the response to this virus.” The message to parents also indicates the district has to be respectful of people’s privacy while also maintaining a healthy environment.

“I’m very concerned. It’s a public health issue,” said Renee, a parent of a student who was not on the trip, but who wishes the district would’ve given parents the information before now, and before the traveling students came back to school last week. “We were shocked last Sunday (February 23) to hear that the students were gonna be returning right back into school. I made that decision on Monday not to send my child that first day because I thought for sure the Health department or somebody would show up and say ‘Hey, we need to get these kids out of the school. Get them into quarantine, shut the school down so we can clean it.”

The students who traveled to Italy are not showing symptoms. The statement to parents from the Amherst Central School superintendent does stress that there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus and if that changes, the district will communicate as much information as legally possible.

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